by Julie Harlow, BASI Certified Pilates Instructor
Pilates is adaptable to all ages and all fitness levels
Pilates is a mind-body workout
Pilates focuses on stability and controlling your muscles so that you get better mobility. By emphasizing proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and concentration on smooth, flowing movement, you become acutely in tune with your body. You actually learn how to control its movement.
Pilates conditions the whole body
Pilates conditions the whole body, even the ankles and feet. Every muscle group is taken into consideration. Your entire musculature is evenly balanced and conditioned, helping you enjoy daily activities and sports with greater ease, better performance and less chance of injury.
Pilates is about lengthening and connecting your muscles by doing exercises to develop a strong “core,” or center of the body. The core consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. Control of the core is achieved by integrating the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle. By developing the core muscles and increasing your awareness of how to support yourself will result in improved posture.
One of the benefits of doing pilates is working your muscles through their full range of motion. Pilates exercises focus on elongating, strengthening, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility thus improving flexibility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured.
Less Back Pain
Pilates exercises are designed to counteract and address postural imbalances. Pilates increases awareness for proper posture and healthy body mechanics. Strengthening the abdominal muscles and lengthening the spinal muscles will create space between the vertebral discs, relieving pressure.
With every pilates exercise there is an element of balance involved. When trying to align your muscles correctly you going to incorporate stability and balance.
Learn how to move efficiently
Pilates exercises train several muscle groups at once in smooth, continuous movements. By developing proper technique, you can actually re-train your body to move in safer, more efficient patterns of motion – invaluable for injury recovery, sports performance, good posture and optimal health.
Pilates is low impact and partially weight bearing. Pilates is safe and often used in Physical Therapy facilities to rehabilitate injuries.