Pilates Is The Best Exercise for Your Body
Fitness trends come and go, but Pilates is a fitness classic that is great for the body. Pilates is an exercise program that involves working on the core, which includes in the muscles supporting the belly, pelvis, and back. It is very important to keep these parts of the body strong because they support the vital organs, maintain good posture, and provide strength for the rest of the body.
Core Strengths Adds to the Whole Body
When the core is strong, the rest of the body becomes strong, too. Many of the Pilates exercises are designed to isolate core muscles, but while isolating those muscles, the arms and legs are usually also involved in secondary movements. Pilates helps to make the body balanced by aligning the spine and the pelvis, which reduces pain in the extremities from pinching and impingement.
Props in a Pilates Class
Today’s Pilates classes often use a variety of different props to help with strengthening and stretching. Gyms often provide foam rollers, exercise balls, balancing balls, resistance bands, and hand-held weighted ball. Most classes are conducted on a sticky mat and many women like to practice in bare feet. Some private Pilates studios also use a reformer, which is a piece of exercise equipment designed to isolate the core and add more intensity to a Pilates workout. Gyms usually do not have reformers because they are quite expensive.
Similarities to Yoga
Pilates classes are often compared to yoga classes because they have many similarities. In a Pilates class, centering is a vital part of class and the same goes for yoga. Breathing techniques are also important in both classes, but in Pilates, there is a special type of breathing that focuses on drawing the breath towards the back and bottom of the lungs which helps expand and strengthen the back of the body.
Controlling the Core
Pilates also involves many other techniques. One of them is to stay focused on controlling the core. The Pilates student will learn that she can either train her core to stay tight or to stay inflated. By staying in control of the core, women will notice their cores become tight and sexy rather quickly. They will also notice that their spines become more erect and they realize that they feel less pain throughout their bodies.
Control and Alignment
Pilates exercises are more about control and alignment that anything else. The idea of keeping the movements controlled helps to improve strength. Anyone can flop up and down in Pilates moves, but those who stay aware of what their bodies are really doing will reap the benefits much faster than those who are having their minds elsewhere. The mindfulness of practice is very similar to yoga, too.
In a Pilates course, good instructors will include transitions between moves to keep the class flowing smoothly. These transitions will also add to the core strengthening work of the class and will often be like a ‘palate cleanser’ between the moves, so the body can readjust and get ready for the next series of controlled and focused motions.