Let’s talk - why Pilates! We all love it and it’s no secret that the difference can be felt in your body, but what is it, exactly, that makes Pilates such a great work out?
The Pilates method was invented by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century and was first called “Contrology” because of the focus on slow controlled movements. Joseph described the 6 main focuses of Contrology as Centering, Control, Concentration, Breath, and Flow. By practicing Pilates you will increase your strength, balance, alignment, energy level, flexibility, and body awareness!
Pilates exercises typically originate from the core of the body. We’re talkin’ abdominals, inner thighs, glutes, hips, and lower back. The idea is to create a strong foundation of strength.
Long and lean is the name of the game here, Pilates focuses on elongating the body and shaping long toned muscles. With every stretch, there’s a strengthening in the body that aligns.
Typical heavy weight-bearing gym exercises create short bulky muscles that are more prone to injury, whereas the controlled exercises in Pilates allow longer muscles to be shaped and are more elastic and allow for more joint mobility.
Because the Pilates method is also low impact, it is perfect for all ages and fitness levels along with people who might be navigating an injury - just be sure to always listen to what your body tells you feels right and always let your instructor know if you have an injury so they can tailor your workout just for your own abilities and limitations!
Pilates is a great workout on its own or supplemented into another fitness regimen since many of the movements we are able to create on the reformer are not things that are achievable in a gym. Take carriage splits, for example. Standing profile on a reformer, one foot planted firmly on the front platform and the other placed on the carriage with weight evenly distributed, the carriage is then slid out in one controlled motion to it’s widest point. Depending on the spring load beneath you, this exercise can work either inner or outer thigh muscles on the body. The focus on both inner and outer thighs worked through horizontal movement is unique to reformer Pilates.
Another great benefit of the Pilates work out method is that since there is such a huge focus on form, the benefits affect your day to day movements and posture greatly. In Pilates, it is preferred that you know how to do a few repetitions of an exercise correctly rather than many repetitions with poor form.
Physically and mentally the benefits you can reap from Pilates are endless!