The 6 Benefits of Pilates
by Erin Kidd Pilates and yoga teacher.
Pilates is a fantastic way to move the body. This system of exercise has benefits that are endless. Joseph Pilates (German born) developed this hugely popular style while living in England at the outbreak of World War 1. He was interned as an ‘enemy alien’ and began training other German national internees with his system that we now know as Pilates. I have expanded on just some of the reasons everybody should do Pilates.
- Improves muscle tone and strength
Pilates is based on the idea that all human movement comes from the ‘power house’; the abdominals (the muscles of the stomach), the glutes (the muscles of the buttocks) and the lower back. Pilates is focused on strengthening these muscles. With a strong power house all other forms of movement become more natural and powerful. The Australian cricket team have a regular Pilates practice as having a strong power house contributes to their ability to bowl, bat and dive for that ball.
2. Improves Breathing
Pilates has a specific breathing technique in which you engage the abdominals and breathe in through the nose and push the breath out through the mouth. Breathing like this alone actually gives your abdominals a working out. This breathing technique also brings our awareness to the breath and the importance of having a steady, deep breath not only whilst exercising but throughout the day. Having a steady, aware breath reduces stress and also helps us to be more focused on whatever task might be at hand.
3. Improves alignment, body awareness and balance
Pilates is focused on the body working in alignment. It corrects our imbalances and allows us to move more freely in our daily tasks. With improved alignment we become more aware of our body in space and this improves our coordination and body awareness. With improved alignment and body awareness balancing becomes a lot easier and more natural. Dancers practice Pilates regularly for these and many other reasons. These benefits will also naturally develop a good sense of rhythm which could come in handy when hitting the dance floor.
4. Improves flexibility
Pilates not only creates a stronger, more coordinated body but also a more flexible one. Our muscles need to be able to stretch just as much as they need to be able to take load and the Pilates system is the perfect balance of stretch and strengthen.
5. There is so much variety
I teach Pilates and no two classes of Pilates I have taught have ever been the same. There is simply so many movements that can be incorporated to give the body a complete working out. Pilates can be varied from very simple movements aimed at directly targeting the core muscle groups to advanced power Pilates or even barre (a form of power Pilates done at the bar with a bit of a dancing streak to it.)
6. It’s fun!
Pilates is also done to music which makes it so much fun. There is nothing like music to uplift the energy to make us want to move our bodies.
Pilates is the most perfect form of exercise to combine with chiropractic treatment. While adjustments of the spine allow the skeletal system to find it’s natural form, Pilates allows the muscles, tendons and ligaments to keep up with these positive changes.With our skeletal system, muscular, respiratory and other systems functioning as they should we are able to live a life where we move, think and function with ease and live the life we were born to live.
Pilates improves posture, our health, happiness and quality of life
See you on the mat