1.It Does Wonders for Your Abs
Pilates ranks higher in muscle activation than most traditional abdominal exercises. It focuses on developing your core strength by targeting deep abdominal muscles that form, what is commonly known as, a ‘six pack’. Pilates emphasizes correct alignment and eliminates muscle imbalances between the left and right sides of the core.
2. Improves Strength and Flexibility
Most exercise involves movement in only one plane of motion. Pilates requires movement in several planes. Strength and flexibility should go hand-in-hand; however, many people will focus on strength and forget about flexibility. This often leads to injury. Pilates strengthens and increases one’s range of motion, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. The combination of balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to result in injury.
3. Complements Other Forms of Exercise
Pilates is adaptable and can be modified to suit a specific body with specific physical needs. The practice focuses on working the smaller stabilising muscle groups. In contrast, most other forms of exercise focus more on the larger mobilising muscle groups. The stabilising muscles complement other forms of exercise which mainly work the mobilising muscles and can improve one’s overall performance.
4. Improved Posture
Proper alignment of the spine is a focal point in Pilates. Maintaining a neutral spine is one of the subtlest yet most powerful principles in Pilates. It is used to strengthen the core muscles which are responsible for overall good posture. Essentially, Pilates strengthens those muscles in a way that one uses them in their day to day life and prevents complications that are associated with bad posture such as back aches, neck pain and other back-related issues.
5. Reduce Stress
Pilates involves concentrating on one thing – your body. Thus, it requires you to be present and clear your mind from any distractions. You are instructed to breathe, release tension from specific areas and focus on the present moment. The breath creates a physiological response in the body that naturally decreases stress and anxiety.
6. You Take Control of Your Mind
“The real workout starts when you want to stop” – This is mind over matter. Pilates emphasizes precision and control, which are powerful tools to building your mental strength. When you are training, you are often moving your body in ways that can be more challenging compared to standard exercise. This requires a lot more concentration and focus.