Hello my friends, let’s talk Pilates!! I’m a little biased but EVERYBODY and every BODY needs Pilates. Why, you ask? Well because it’s “AH-MAZING” for your core!! Pilates has the power to impact your core unlike any other workout when done correctly.
But let’s not stop there, it’s not just your core muscles that benefit from Pilates. Before we get into the Wall-Pilates workout below, here are just some of the amazing benefits of Pilates for you and your body.
- Conditions the whole body.
Every part of the body, from head to toe, gets a workout from pilates, and all are equally trained. Your entire musculature is evenly balanced and conditioned. Not only are daily activities enjoyed more, sports become easier with greater performance and with less risk for injury.
- Eases back pain
People with chronic lower back pain who practice Pilates for just 4-8 weeks will experience some relief in their back pain. YAY! happy dance!!
Stress is alleviated in the lumbar-pelvic (low back) region and more mobility occurs because of the stabilization of this area targeted by Pilates.The deep intrinsic muscle that we are strengthening during Pilates helps support your spine.
- Improves sports performance
It’s pretty amazing when you start focusing on your core, you realize that all of your muscles are connected through your core. Try doing lunges without your core muscles. You’ll most likely fall over. With a stronger core, you can run faster and all of your overall workouts will improve.
- Reinforces strong, mobile joints and increases muscle strength and tone
Pilates strengthens your muscles and the elasticity within which increases mobility providing a more elongated look. Oh and by the way, joint mobility also improves with the Pilates “Magic”. This means less risk for weak or stiff joints, and it helps ward off arthritis. This is crucial for quality of life maintenance as we age.
- Increases awareness of our mind/body connection
That means it boosts your brainpower!!
Joseph Pilates was adamant that Pilates, was about “the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.” This is one of the secrets of Pilates exercise: we practice each movement with total attention. Researchers have found an increase in the brain’s alpha peak power, which is related to neural network activity, memory performance, and other cognitive functions. When we exercise in this way, the body and mind unite to bring forth the most benefit possible from each exercise. Pilates principles are centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow. These are key concepts that we use to integrate body and mind.
- Improves posture
Life tends to get in the way of us maintaining good posture (sitting at a desk, looking down at our phones, driving etc). Good posture is a reflection of strong core muscle and alignment. You can see this in the beautiful posture of those who practice Pilates.
- Builds confidence
In her TED Talk, social psychologist Amy Cuddy discusses how the “power” posture boosts confidence levels. I hope you listened to your parents when they told you to sit up straight because it is the exact posture that makes us more confident.
Of course, good posture is important for your health, but the confidence you gain is as important for optimal health. This confidence also stems from the other benefits we have already discussed. When we feel strong and in control of our health, confidence is commonly a byproduct.
- Improves breathing and aerobic conditioning
The careful attention to breathing patterns practiced in pilates not only improves breathing patterns during your workouts, but it also improves blood circulation in the body. With proper, deep breathing, blood is better able to deliver oxygen to the appropriate muscles and organs, which can cleanse the body of toxins and help muscles recover better. Pilates increases lung capacity and circulation through the deep breathing done during each move and exercise.
So, if being a higher functioning human being, with more confidence, better breathing, less back pain, more mobility, etc. sounds bad, then you should steer clear of this whole Pilates thing. A word to the wise, proceed with caution, Pilates is addicting.
Here’s a quick Pilates workout you can do right from your home or anywhere you can find a wall. This 15 minute wall series is a low-impact way to tone and tighten your glutes, core, and legs. Follow along the video as I guide you through your Pilates workout today!