Pilates and Muscle Building – Health Benefits

Pilates (or Pilates method) is a series of around 500 exercises inspired by calisthenics, yoga and ballet. Pilates lengthens and stretches all major muscle groups in the body in a balanced way. It improves flexibility, strength, balance and body awareness.

Pilates explained

In the 1920s, physical trainer Joseph Pilates introduced Pilates to America as a way to help injured athletes and dancers return to exercise safely and maintain physical fitness. Since then, Pilates has been adapted to suit people in the general community.

Pilates can be both aerobic and non-aerobic form of exercise. It requires focus and focus, as you move your body through specific ranges of motion. Pilates lengthens and stretches all the major muscle groups in your body in a balanced way. You have to concentrate on finding a central point to control your body through movement. Each exercise has a prescribed placement, rhythm, and breathing pattern.

In Pilates, your muscles are never worked through exhaustion, so there is no sweating or straining, just intense concentration. The training consists of a variety of sequences of exercises that are performed in small repetitions, usually five to ten times, over a 45 to 90 minute session. Carpet work and specialized resistance equipment are used.

Pilates is taught to be suitable for each person and the exercises are regularly re-evaluated to ensure they are suitable for that person. Due to individual attention, this method may be suitable for everyone from elite athletes to people with limited mobility, pregnant women, and people with low levels of fitness.

Classes are held at specialty Pilates studios, physiotherapy clinics, or at your local recreation center or community center.

Benefits of Pilates for Health and Well-Being

The health benefits of Pilates include:

  • improved flexibility
  • increased muscle strength and tone, especially your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks (the ‘core muscles’ of your body)
  • balanced muscle strength on both sides of your body
  • better muscle control of your back and limbs
  • better stabilization of your spine
  • better posture
  • rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
  • improved physical coordination and balance
  • relaxation of shoulders, neck and upper back
  • safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries
  • prevention of musculoskeletal injuries
  • increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
  • improved concentration
  • increased body awareness
  • stress management and relaxation.

Pilates suitable for all

Pilates is for everyone, from beginners to advanced. You can perform exercises using your own body weight or using various equipment.

A typical Pilates workout includes a number of exercises and stretches. Each exercise is performed paying attention to proper breathing techniques and abdominal muscle control. To get the maximum benefit, you should do Pilates at least two or three times a week. You may notice postural improvements after 10-20 sessions.

Pilates and challenge your body

Pilates is partly inspired by yoga, but it is different in a key point: Yoga is made up of a series of static postures, while Pilates is based on putting yourself in unstable postures and putting your feet up. challenge body by moving your limbs.

For example, imagine you are lying on your back with your knees bent and both feet on the floor. A Pilates exercise may involve straightening one leg so that your toes point toward the ceiling, and using the other leg to slowly raise and lower your body. You need tight abdominal and glute muscles to keep your hips straight, and focused attention to keep yourself from tipping over.

Types of Pilates

The two basic forms of Pilates are:

  • Mat Pilates – is a series of exercises performed on the floor using gravity and your own body weight to provide resistance. The main goal is to condition the deeper and supporting muscles in your body to improve posture, balance and coordination
  • Equipment-based Pilates – this includes specific equipment that works against spring resistance, including the “reformer,” which is a moving cart that you push and pull along its rails. Some forms of Pilates include weights (such as dumbbells) and other types of small equipment that provide resistance to the muscles.

Quality in a Pilates workout

Pilates involves performing a series of slow, sustained exercises using abdominal control and proper breathing. The quality of each pose is more important than the number of repetitions or how vigorously you can move.

Books and videos are available, but seek instruction from a qualified Pilates teacher or a physiotherapist trained in Pilates for the best results.

Pilates and general precautions

Although Pilates is a low impact form of exercise, some people should consult a doctor before embarking on a new program, including:

  • people who have recently had surgery
  • pregnant women
  • people aged 40 or over
  • people with a pre-existing condition such as heart disease
  • people with pre-existing musculoskeletal injuries or disorders
  • anyone who has not exercised for a long time
  • overweight or obese people.

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