When you hear “Pilates“, you immediately think strong core. Partly true, but there is so much more to it. Many people associate it with yoga, putting it in the same box, while in reality they could not be any different. The benefits of Pilates are endless but here are some of the specifics.
It’s a system developed in the early 20th century by German-born Joseph Pilates.
Growing up a gymnast, he practiced many different kinds of physical regimens available in Germany and it’s from those he developed Pilates. It is intended to strengthen the human mind and body, as he believed that mental and physical health are interrelated. It is also related to the tradition of “corrective exercise” or “medical gymnastics” .
It is endorsed by medical professionals as a great rehabilitation method.
While most people think, it’s mainly a good core workout, it actually engages the full body. It’s great for increasing your range of motion and strengthen weakened or impaired muscles, in fact many rehabilitation programs use moves from Pilates.
Benefit of Pilates
- Improved core strength and stability
- Improved posture and balance
- Improved flexibility
- Prevention and treatment of back pain
Pilates encourages students to use their “powerhouse” throughout the day. Students are taught to use their “powerhouse” throughout the day.
“The powerhouse is the centre of the body and if strengthened, it offers a solid foundation for any movement. This power engine is a muscular network which provides control over the body and comprises all the front, lateral and back muscles found between the upper inner thighs and arm pits.
The Powerhouse is activated effectively by hollowing of the deep abdominals, by drawing the navel back into the spine in a zipping-up motion, from the pubic bone to the breast bone thereby engaging the heels, the back of the inner thighs, the deep, lower-back muscles, and the muscles surrounding the sitting bones and tailbone area without inhibiting the natural function of the diaphragm—that is without the practitioner holding their breath either from lifting the chest upwards or contracting the chest.
In the sitting position the power engine elevates the torso and places the center of gravity at its highest and most efficient position; in prone position it elongates the body bidirectionally to reduce weight in the upper body; in supine position it elongates the body bidirectionally and places the center of gravity again at its highest and most efficient position.”
Today many variations of Pilates exist going from the very basic all the way to more modern, using different equipment, making it more challenging. If you’re on the market for a low-impact, easy to follow, full body workout, this is it. Try it and let us know what you think!
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Jillian Michaels BodyShred instructor
NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist
Contributing writer at http://fittipdaily.com/