Pilates is a blend of calisthenics, yoga and ballet designed initially to help people recover from injuries. While many people do use it after an injury, doing pilates regularly will some pretty dramatic effects on anyone’s body.
1. How Pilates improves posture
Neck ache, back ache, headache, even stomach ache - you name it, most aches can occur as a result of bad posture. In pilates this is called alignment, where muscles are not straining to hold your body up and your head, hips, feet and so on are positioned in such a way as to allow muscles to work effectively without putting excess strain on one muscle group over another.
As you correct your alignment or posture, you’ll find you put less pressure on sensitive joints such as knees and hips, for example. You’re also less likely to suffer a strain or injury. You’ll also look better – taller, leaner and more confident.
2. Pilates and improving flexibility
While yoga is renowned for being the best way to improve flexibility, pilates can be more effective for some people. Rather than utilising static, ie unmoving, stretches, pilates focuses on movements while stretching. This means the muscles are warm as you stretch, allowing you to stretch farther with less pain.
Extra benefits: The more flexible you are, the less muscle tension you’ll endure. You’ll also enjoy better blood circulation as the blood can flow more freely around a body that isn’t stiff or stuck in one position most of the time.
3. Boost stamina with pilates
Because pilates is done in sequences with several repetitions, your body is learning to endure exercise for longer periods each time. At first, some exercises might seem tiring but as you continue to work on the moves, and the sequences, you’ll find that your endurance improves.
It’s not just your body that becomes better at sticking to exercise, your mind is also affected. The more often you push through to finish a pilates sequence, the more confident you’ll feel in your own abilities.
Continue to page 2 to find out how to get look better, cut stress and get more muscle power with pilates.