Pilates is a great set of exercises to strengthen your abdomen as well as your spine, hips and low back. It enables you to gain a greater posture, reducing your risk of degenerative disc disease and osteoporosis. It might seem a little intimidating at first, but what makes it stand out is the strong mind and body connection experienced after each session and the decrease in pain you experience after class!
A century ago, Joseph Pilates started his studio in New York City. His training method mainly focused on strengthening abdominal and trunk muscles by combining hundreds of very specific movements. All his initial students were ballet dancers who were keen to improve their posture, agility and body movements.
Several studies have shown that Pilates can improve flexibility and trunk stability. It also improves athletic performance and prevent injuries in sportsmen to a great extent. For people with low back pain, Pilates are recommended to reduce pain and improve overall body movements. Elderly also gains better quality of life with Pilates.
Pilates enhances mindfulness and sensory awareness, which includes relaxation, stress reduction and mood improvement. Modern day living causes lots of stress and strains. One way to alleviate stress and have a relaxed body is to turn to Pilates. More focus is also given to concentration and breathing.
All the body movements in Pilates begins at the core. You get a better posture, flat abs and a better sense of well-being when you begin on Pilates. You will gain better strength in your arms and legs too. The movements in Pilates have unique names as "The 100”, "Swan”, Criss-Cross," and the "Elephant." Each movement is done with total attention and thus train the mind. The simple exercises help to gain joint flexibility and better joint movement.
Pilates are designed to meet your individual needs and disease conditions. People with certain disease conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol can also take up Pilates for better health. Just talk to your doctor if you are new to Pilates. Adding muscle mass with Pilate exercises helps in better management of glucose in case of diabetes. For those with arthritis, Pilates prevents greater disability in the long run.
Pilates are great for pregnant women, if you are on a smooth journey with your pregnancy. However, certain modifications are required. Lying on the back exercises have to be discontinued after the first trimester.
With a bit of hard work by doing, you can learn Pilates. They are not aerobic exercises. So it is important to add some cardio workouts along with Pilates. Pilates on a regular basis, you can het great looking abs and graceful body movements. Lastly, Pilates do not require any fancy equipment and all you need is comfortable clothing and a mat.