Pilates is a great workout for the whole body, but how does it change your body? It’s not just about toning and sculpting muscles; there are other benefits to be gained from this unique exercise system.
Pilates has become very popular over the years, especially among women who want to tone their bodies. Pilates exercises focus on strengthening core muscles and improving posture. If you've never tried them before, they might seem intimidating at first.
Pilates was developed by Joseph H. Pilates in the 1920s. The founder believed that exercise should be fun and relaxing, and he created his own unique form of exercise called “Contrology”.
He also incorporated breathing techniques into each workout session.
Pilates is now considered a great way to improve flexibility, strength, balance, and overall health. It’s also a great workout for pregnant women, postpartum mothers, and anyone looking to get fit.
Pilates Is Whole Body Fitness
The exercises involved in Pilates are designed to strengthen your whole body. You can use these exercises as part of an overall fitness routine, or even just as a stand-alone program.
You'll work all major muscle groups in every move. That means you're working your arms, legs, back, stomach, chest, shoulders, neck, and abs.
You'll build strong core muscles with moves like side planks, bridges, and crunches. These will help stabilize your spine, so it's less likely to curve forward or backward.
Exercises Are Easy To Do At Home
There are many different variations of Pilates workouts. Some people prefer more traditional routines, while others enjoy more modern versions.
If you have access to a mat, you can do most of the exercises right from home. There are also several videos available online that show you how to perform the movements correctly.
If you don't have access to a mat or video, there are still plenty of resources out there. Many gyms offer classes where you can learn the basics of Pilates.
Benefits Of Pilates Exercises
1. Strengthens Your Core Muscles
Core muscles include your abdominal muscles (stomach), lower back, hips, and buttocks. They play a big role in stabilizing your spine and helping you maintain good posture.
When you practice Pilates, you'll work your entire core area. This will give you stronger, more stable muscles that will keep you upright and balanced throughout life.
2. Improves Flexibility
Pilates focuses on stretching and loosening up tight muscles. By doing so, you'll feel more flexible and mobile.
3. Increases Strength And Endurance
When you practice Pilates, your heart rate increases, and you breathe faster than normal. As a result, you'll burn more calories during a workout.
4. Helps With Balance & Posture
One of the main goals of Pilates is to develop better balance and posture. When you're standing up straight, your head is positioned properly, and your shoulders are relaxed, you look taller and slimmer.
5. Reduces Stress
Many people find that practicing Pilates helps reduce stress levels. In fact, some studies suggest that regular Pilates may actually prevent depression.
6. Promotes Better Sleep
Studies have shown that when you sleep well, you're more alert and energetic. If you've been feeling tired lately, try adding a few Pilates sessions into your daily routine.
7. Boosts Immune System
Studies indicate that Pilates improves immune system function. The reason why this happens is because it stimulates the lymphatic system, which cleanses toxins from your body.
Pilates Is For Everyone
The best thing about Pilates is that it is accessible to all individuals. Whether you have just given birth, are elderly, or are a trained athlete, Pilates can be beneficial to all people.
Pilates is easy to modify depending on the individual and their needs and goals, whether they want to tone up their bodies, or just build some strength.
Pilates Can Promote Weight Loss
Pilates is a fitness method that works your whole body, so if you are also incorporating a diet that means you are burning more calories than you are consuming, then you will begin to see weight-loss results.
If this is your goal, you may want to try a few Pilates classes or try to find ways that you can incorporate it into your fitness regime.
Pilates Integrates Body And Mind
As mentioned above, Pilates is a mind and body exercise. It's not just about working out your muscles; it's about developing a healthy lifestyle.
By combining both physical activity and mental focus, you will achieve greater success with your workouts. Each movement involves complete focus and total attention, uniting the body and mind.
How Does Your Body Change With Pilates?
There is an array of positive changes that will happen to your body when you get stuck into your Pilates workouts.
You are making use of internal resistance when performing Pilates, and this will improve your overall balance and grace.
You may find that you have greater stability in your body, as Pilates really creates an emphasis on balance in the movements involved.
As mentioned in this article, one key principle in Pilates is working on your core strength. When you work on your core, you are likely to begin to notice more toning in your stomach area. This may also lead to an improved posture.
Pilates also focuses on lengthening the muscles and expanding them. This improves your range of motion, contributing to a leaner look.
Examples Of Pilates Exercises
To give you a better idea of what Pilates actually is, here are a few common movements you are likely to perform.
This is a great exercise to engage your core and will really work out your abs! You are to begin by sitting on your sit bones and bending your knees, ensuring your feet are hip-width apart.
Then, placing your hands under your knees, you are to roll down slowly into the first four vertebrae of your back, and then roll back up. Remember to keep breathing as you come back up.
This exercise targets your back muscles, which are very important for your posture.
Simply lie face-down, and lift your arms and legs, so you are in a line. Lift or right arm and left leg at the same time, and then switch with the other side of your body.
Keep alternating this for around 30 seconds.
Targeting your lower abs, this exercise will improve movement in your hips as well as flexibility.
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Extend one leg to 90 degrees and draw circles with that leg, keeping your arms by your sides. Switch over to the other leg once you have completed 5 circles.
Pilates is a great way to incorporate some toning and strength-building exercises into your fitness regime.
Rather than focusing on building muscle like weight lifting, Pilates engages your core, focusing on elongating your muscles and building on your flexibility.
As a result, you are likely to notice more toning on areas of your body, more flexibility, and more ease of movement when performing other exercises.
There are also benefits to the mind when it comes to Pilates, as attention and concentration need to be implemented in order to perform well.