Why is Pilates good for you?
Your core muscles are not only your abdominals but also include your gluteal and in particular those running alongside the length of your spine, known as paraspinal muscles, responsible for supporting the spine during movement. Each Pilates movement requires the activation of your core musculature before moving through a controlled range of motion targeting one or more other muscles of the body.
This sequence of muscle activation and focus is one of the most important answers to why is Pilates good for you. This activation sequence and focus places emphasis on energy efficiency and the quality of how you perform each movement. The end result is a body which moves with greater ease, fluidity and is less prone to injury.
A proven exercise system
Joseph Pilates is believed to be the pioneer behind its development as early as the 1920's and was considered a master of rehabilitation. What Pilates does for you today is maximised by bringing this age old wisdom and proven technique together with our modern understanding of the human body, muscle function and biomechanics, resulting in a very effective total-body conditioning programme.
Why is Pilates good for all ages?
Pilates is considered a low-impact exercise routine because there is no jumping around or heavy load carrying that requires extensive training in order to perform the movement without causing injury.
What Pilates does for you can be realised using nothing more than a simple floor mat and expert guidance. A few light equipment props and aids can be included at later stages to increase the difficulty and scope of certain movements. The pace of a Pilates class can be adapted, as can many of the floor based exercises, to suit the level and capability of the participant.
Why is Pilates good for balance and stability?
Fall prevention in the elderly is a primary concern and studies have indicated that
Pilates-based exercise sessions can significantly improve a person's static and dynamic (moving) balance.
A Pilates routine can be a fluid exercise system moving from one movement to the other in rhythm with your breathing cycles. As your confidence grows in performing each individual movement so will you ability in performing longer sequences in a fluid and smooth routine. What Pilates does for you during this process is assist you in developing greater body awareness and coordination, together with an improvement in strength through the legs, arms and core muscles, all important factors for improving balance and being more stable on your feet in your day to day activities.
Why is Pilates good for lowering stress, improving sleep quality and self-confidence?
Performing regular exercise of any type is known to offer many all round health improvements. Some studies suggest what Pilates does for the older adult can be of significant benefit; increasing the brain's oxygen supply, enhancing brain function and mental state as well as leading to improved sleeping patterns and overall self-confidence.
One study assessed the benefits of Pilates training on Alpha Rhythm/ brain function leading to the view that Pilates can even be beneficial for improving brain function or intelligence and helpful for the intervention of brain degenerative diseases and cognitive dysfunction rehabilitation.
Why is Pilates good to complement other sport training?
Another confirmation of the benefits of Pilates as a proven and effective exercise system is the fact that it has been adopted by professional sport players and teams, such as the tennis player Andy Murray and the world-champion rugby team of New Zealand.
Professional sport players require the maximum amount of strength and stability with specific muscles requiring more targeted conditioning relevant to their sport. However, the need for a strong core, extending the full length of the human torso where most power-driven movements originate, is common to all athletes.
Pilates is also flexible enough to target specific muscle groups making it a suitable exercise routine for sport recovery and rehabilitation programs.
To summarise what Pilates does for you
- Increases core strength
- Is low-impact on the joints
- Improves postural problems
- Improves circulation
- Improves balance and coordination
- Heightens body-awareness and self-confidence
Written by Robin