Pilates have been a hot “fad” for a while now, but it seems that it’s not going away any time soon. So exactly what is Pilates?
You may have heard the term mind-body exercises floating or thrown around in the fitness industry. What, exactly is mind-body exercises? Mind-body exercises refer to any activities that prompt a connection between the mind and the body. Standard mind-body exercises include Tai Chi, Yoga, and Pilates. These type of exercises contribute to a healthier state of mind as well as body. Emphasis is placed on controlled breathing, muscle relaxation and mental calm. The end result of these workouts are stress reduction, and overall relaxation, both body and mind. Of course, such conditioning offers many health benefits.
Pilates is an inventive and safe system of mind-body exercise that emphasizes a connection between the mind and the body through a system of body conditioning. Body conditioning involves taking part in activities and movements aimed at improving one’s flexibility, endurance, coordination, and strength, without necessarily adding muscle volume.
For many years, dancers and gymnasts have used Pilates to condition their bodies, however, recently, more and more people including athletes are jumping on board the Pilates train. Through Pilates, a person improves their flexibility by performing controlled movements on mats or through the use of certain equipment that can help to strengthen and tone the body. Everyone, regardless of their age, can participate in a Pilates workout safely and efficiently.
There are many advantages to Pilates. Here are just a few:
Pilates Insists on Whole Body Fitness
Unlike other fitness programs that concentrate on specific parts of the body and neglects others, Pilates focuses on the well-being of the entire body. Not only does it help to improve core strength, but Pilates workouts also promote balanced muscle growth and improved range of motion. Additionally, because Pilates emphasizes proper breathing, the person becomes acutely aware and in tune with the body, learning how to control one’s body and thoughts.
Pilates Strengthens Without Bulk
For people looking for long, lean muscles, Pilates is the perfect workout because it allows individuals to build toned muscles, which promotes muscular balance. A lot of the traditional workouts that people are used to only work the same muscles over an extended period, which causes muscle imbalance; the primary reason for chronic back and injury pain. Pilates elongates and strengthens the muscles, giving individuals a higher level of elasticity and mobility. A body that has bulky muscles is prone to injury.
It Conditions the Body
Pilates conditions the whole body, including the ankles and feet. In Pilates, no muscles group is left out of the workout, yet none is over exerted.
Since the entire body is conditioned and balanced, one is able to enjoy participating in day to day activities better, and sports activities are done with more ease. It is because of this that more fitness professionals, as well as many athletes are now incorporating Pilates into their daily workout routine.
If you’re interested in giving Palates a try, there are plenty of classes out there as well as studios that specialize in Pilates only. The below video from Jessica Valant offers a good insight to the basic Pilates routine. Give it a try and see if it’s a good fit for your workout routine.