What is Pilates?
Pilates is a low-impact, full-body workout that creates muscular balances and increases strength, flexibility, and mobility. If you’re new to Pilates, or if you’re a fitness business owner considering adding it to your class roster, discover how this incredible workout style can transform lives.
Life changing benefits of Pilates
One commonality between Pilates and yoga is the vast impact it makes on one’s flexibility. There is a safe increase in length and stretch of the muscles in Pilates. When you add an improved range of motion in the joints, this leads to a more flexible body. Increased flexibility can be life-changing at any age. Tight and cramped muscles can lead to injuries and back pain, whereas muscles trained to be more flexible allows for improved function in everyday life.
Mobility is essentially the ability to move around freely and easily. As we age, mobility naturally decreases. For example, it can become increasingly difficult to get up from the ground quickly. Participating in exercises like Pilates helps retain mobility throughout your life. Even if you have lost mobility, Pilates can help you make vast improvements and live a fuller life.
When you hear the word “core”, most people picture abdominals. However, your core is actually comprised of all the muscles within the torso to the hips. This includes the abdominal, back, and pelvic muscles. Pilates helps develop a strong core, which is beneficial in many areas of life. A strong core is the key to a powerful and balanced body. Your core is the sturdy central link that connects the upper and lower body, so it is involved in virtually every move the body makes. Benefits of a strong core include improvement of posture, reduction of back pain, and increased balance and coordination. In addition, a strong core can decrease the risk of injury and improve functionality in every day tasks.
Good posture is a positive representation of a strong core. One of the fundamental components of Pilates is performing each movement with proper posture and pulling your abs in tight. The after-effect is a more poised appearance and flatter stomach.
Balance and stability
Improvements in balance can be seen after participating in Pilates through the development of stabilizing muscles. These benefits can carry into other types of workouts, such as lunges, where balance can help you perform an exercise better. Daily functional movements (i.e. lifting a child into a carseat or twisting to set down a heavy package) will be easier to perform with better balance and stability.
Longer, leaner muscles
Can you truly lengthen your muscles? The answer is yes and no. There is only so much elasticity in your muscles. Without proper flexibility training, your muscles will become shorter and tighter. However, Pilates will help you improve your range of motion, and your muscles can stretch to their full potential. This creates the appearance of longer, leaner-looking muscles.
Mental health benefits
Centering, concentration, control, precision, breath and flow: These are the key principles of Pilates that create numerous mental health benefits. A calm and focused mind integrated with the body can be life-transforming. The founder, Joseph Pilates, stated that this practice involves the “complete coordination of mind, body, and spirit.” Integrating total attention into each exercise develops a strength to remain present in any situation. As a result, an ongoing Pilates practice will lead to improved self-awareness.
Rehab for injuries and back pain
Naturally, when your core strength and posture improves, your body remains more aligned. Your muscles are more balanced, and this relieves pressure on weaker spots of the body. For example, the lower back is often underdeveloped unless you consciously work to strengthen it. The improvement in flexibility can help with past injuries too. You can even use Pilates to help rehabilitate from recent injuries.
Full body workout with no joint pressure
Pilates is one of the rare strength-training techniques that works the whole body, but doesn’t place pressure on the joints. This is particularly helpful for people with existing joint pain or discomfort in the knees. It’s also the reason why many choose to practice Pilates as their main form of exercise.
Adaptable to all fitness levels
Pilates can be customized to any fitness level, even in a large group setting. For example, an instructor may be able to show three different levels of the same exercise. Beginners, moderate, and advanced Pilates attendees can easily workout together by choosing which option they are able to perform. This also allows attendees to advance while continuing to participate in a similar class format.
Change more lives
Gym and studio owners can provide these benefits to members by rolling out some new Pilates classes. If you’re not sure where to start, talk to some of your current group fitness instructors. Determine if someone would have an interest in learning the practice and heading up the new class. You can use the new format to promote your classes, and explore new marketing opportunities with the addition of Pilates classes. For excellent support and smooth class-booking tools, check out all the benefits of using OneFitStop studio management software. Book a free demo today.