Pilates is a relatively modern form of fitness and movement, started in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates to treat patients during WWI, using a revolutionary style of movement and weight training to aid injury recovery. Since this time, the popularity of Pilates has grown, and now it is being used for a whole range of health benefits. Here are just a few.
To begin an exercise regime when overweight can be difficult as a lack of flexibility and strength can lead to a greater risk of injury. By starting with a Pilates program, the focus is on strengthening the core, which will lead to greater support for the frame of the body. Once this strength is established, and hand in hand, flexibility is increased, it opens the doors to having a safer foundation, to commencing new weight loss exercises.
It’s a difficult balance to find an exercise that strongly engages your muscles, but doesn’t add muscle mass to your appearance. Pilates works by giving your body an all over workout, with the aim of utilizing your muscles equally, so unlike repetitive weight training, that adds girth to your existing muscles, the Pilates movements involve stretching along with slow, purposeful movements. This draws out your muscle length, thus increasing your muscle tone and gaining lean but strong muscles.
The techniques used during a Pilates class are quite unique, so you may find yourself, in what may feel like, odd positions. This is because your body is used to only a certain range of movement, and we build up a lot of muscle tension during daily activities such as sitting and standing. By finding a way to move your body at different angles, these normally tense muscles can become elongated and strengthened, thus increasing your range of movement and flexibility.
Reduce Back Pain
Your back supports your body in every position: sitting, standing, walking, lying down. So when you suffer back pain it can be crippling. Although medication and other treatments such as physiotherapy may temporarily alleviate symptoms, Pilates can be used to address the cause. When the muscles in your back are weak, you may hunch when you stand, and slouch when you sit, leading to increased muscle pain and tension which causes you to hunch or slouch even further. Pilates aims to engage the muscles in your abdomen, that can provide strength and stability to the muscles that support your spine. This alleviates the pressure on your back, and with time, can improve your overall wellbeing.
When you are recovering from an ailment or injury, it is important to keep moving to aid muscle rejuvenation. This can be hard if there is an area of your body that has become weakened. Pilates aims to fortify the bodies core, and by building strength in the center of your body, it means you place less pressure on the area of injury, as a network of muscles work together. Muscles in the pelvic floor are located deep inside the body and can be hard to engage using other forms of exercise. By focusing on core movements and exercising the pelvic floor muscles, you can tighten and strengthen this area, making Pilates a great practice to aid in recovery from pregnancy and childbirth.