When one of our interns said “I have always thought Pilates was a workout for moms,” I found it quite humorous, yet also realized that this is a common stereotype of Pilates.
Long story short, no, Pilates is not just a “workout for moms.” We like to think of Pilates as a “work-in” rather than a workout. The perfect mid-day work break to balance your body, clear your mind, and boost your endorphins. Pilates is a workout for everyone that not only improves your workout routine but also improves your life as a whole.
Pilates is based entirely around proper body alignment (shout-out to the office slouchers), aiming to tone muscle while also aligning your body. So, try to put aside the fear of the reformer (or a mat) and let us share how we have grown to love Pilates.
Kick back (not like this- unless you want to do some serious core work while you read), and learn about the best benefits of Pilates!
The first thing important to note on Pilates— it isn’t just for women. In fact, Pilates helps you access muscles that you normally wouldn’t be working in a typical gym environment. That makes it beneficial to everyone, even the most hardcore gym-goers. It also adds some cross-training to your regular exercise plan.
One of the greatest benefits of Pilates is perfecting our posture. A big focus in a Pilates workout is maintaining alignment and balance as you move through the exercises. You learn and practice the correct positioning of the spine and how to support yourself with your legs, glutes, and core. By engaging your entire body, you develop much deeper body awareness and an understanding of your body as a whole.
Pilates allows you to practice movement and body patterns that will assist you in engaging in a workout safely and skillfully. This builds body awareness and helps you get a pulse on what movements may need to be worked on or relearned to avoid any muscular imbalances with strength or mobility. This naturally works to prevent some injuries before they occur.
Many of us equate core strength with a flat belly or six-pack abs. And while those may be motivating goals to you, there are so many more benefits that come from improving core strength than how your midsection looks, including improved posture, better balance, reduced back pain and easier breathing. Pilates requires you to maintain alignment and stability, helping fire up your core. A British study even showed that the majority of individuals that completed a 12-week Pilates routine showed increased core strength.
Because many of your body’s movements originate from your core, working toward improving its strength will enhance your posture, spinal alignment, stability and more.
Luckily, you don’t need to already be flexible in order to reap the benefits of Pilates. The static holds and dynamic stretching that are performed during Pilates encourages your body to take itself through its full range of movement. The juicy bonus is, you become more flexible.
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