Pilates can help you improve all aspects of your life, from physical health and well-being to mental health. In this article, we delve into the benefits of Pilates and how, with regular practice, you can alleviate stress, build core strength and avoid injuries from everyday activities and sports.
Pilates gives you an endorphin buzz. Much like we do in Yoga, Pilates also encourages you to focus on your breath. This provides an escape that acts as a great stress buster but also oxygenates the blood which triggers the brain to calm down creating a physiological response in the body that naturally decreases our stress and anxiety.
Slow and controlled movement in Pilates guarantees that core muscles are worked efficiently as all of the moves challenge the core stabiliser muscles whilst maintaining the pelvis in the correct position.
Through strengthening the core muscles, Pilates trains your body to be more efficient, more balanced in movement and improves flexibility and can help prevent injury. Improved core strength allows you to have more dynamic control of your movements and reduces risk of injury.
Unilateral movements in Pilates mean that the body responds more efficiently during sports training and exercise.
Natural physical movement needs a healthy connection between your brain and your muscles. Pilates requires you to think, focus, listen to your body, and most importantly, inspires you to come back for more.
Learning the main principles of Pilates such as shoulder stabilisation, neutral spine and pelvis, engaged core muscles and correct breathing, will transfer into all areas of sport and exercise. These are fundamental building blocks upon which all other forms of training can be built on.
Pilates has been proven to promote changes in posture by enhancing spinal, scapular and joint flexibility. It also strengthens the shoulder, lower back and abdominal muscles and reinforces efficient movement patterns.
This is particularly important for those with sedentary jobs who spend the majority of their working day sitting at a desk or on a train as incorrect training can potentially cause problems associated with this lifestyle, to become worse and longstanding.
Amateur and Elite athletes worldwide are now incorporating Pilates into their training programmes for the benefits that it can offer. Pilates programmes can be tailor-made to suit your specific area of training, focusing on common areas of weakness and muscles prone to injury associated with that particular sport. Sportspeople are also using dynamic Pilates such as advanced mat work and reformer work to greatly improve strength and movement.
Could Pilates improve your life? In a nutshell, one or more sessions of Pilates per week can greatly improve everyone’s training regime–no matter whether you’re a regular gym-goer, an elite athlete or a relative novice that enjoys participating in recreational sports. Pilates can help protect against injury both during sport and in everyday life. So why not give it a go and see what it can.
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