Pilates is a great form of exercise that uses both the natural resistance of your body and a pilates reformer depending on where you are doing it. It can also be conveniently modified to for practice in your own home on a mat if you can’t get to classes. Pilates differs from yoga so don’t think you have already tried it if you have not specifically. Here are some reasons to give it a go.
Pilates is great for lengthening the muscles and the appearance of the body. It can actually help to create the proper space between the vertebra so you can stand at your full height as opposed to letting your posture and your back sink in while you sit during the day. Over time this can actually help strengthen the back and reduce the occurrence of back pain.
Pilates is a great form of strength training. No matter how it’s performed you will be using the resistance of your body to work and lengthen the muscles. Some of the movements seem like they are focused on the core muscles only but in actuality you will end up working your whole body and working it in a way that teaches it to work more cohesively. Resistance training not only burns calories while you do it, but it builds lean muscle as it lengthens which helps to burn more calories later even while your body is at rest. Pilates is a great way to work on your resistance training without bulking up if you’d prefer not to add noticeable mass to your shape.
Pilates can also be tailored to specific sports if you are training for something in particular. There are different movements that can help to strengthen muscles that you will be using and also keep you stretched out to increase the chances of avoiding injury while you train.
Pilates has very specific movements that you have to think about while you do them, so its not a passive activity where you zone out. Putting together the mental focus with the movement of your body increases the power of the workout and imporves your focus. The creator of pilates described the process as a “coordination of mind, body, and spirit” so it is certainly intended to push you in a variety of directions. The slow and steady movements in pilates can also help to reduce your stress levels as they have a calming effect on the nervous system.
Pilates classes that utilize the reformers are generally kept small so that the teacher can keep a close eye on your movements and make any necessary corrections. The reformer uses pulleys and springs to help assist in the resistance department. Don’t be surprised is you are sore after your first time!