As a gentle yet challenging workout, Pilates is seriously one of the best ways to tone your body and increase muscle strength without adding bulk. It’s really no wonder that Pilates has gained so much attention over the last decade. This discipline lengthens and tones muscles, adds core strength, and improves posture. When you incorporate Pilates with a healthy diet and a cardio workout, you can get amazing results. You will look better, feel better, and have conditioned your entire body.
What is Pilates?
Developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, this discipline increases flexibility while building muscle strength. It works on all areas of the body adding endurance to the back, arms, legs, and abdominal muscles. It also helps align the spine and pelvis. But most importantly if you have a regular Pilates routine you will develop strong core strength, helping to greatly improve your balance and coordination and prevent back pain. Joseph Pilates believed body and mind to be intrinsically related, and this so his pilates exercises develop strength in both of these areas. Demanding intense focus, Pilates works to control muscles throughout your entire body. A concentration of smooth movements is a huge part of the discipline and, Pilates teaches you to be in control of your body rather than surrender to it. With the main focus on the center, or core of your body. Pilates works from this center flowing outward towards the limbs.
Benefits of Pilates
There are a number of both physical and mental benefits that come with a regular Pilates practice. By practicing Pilates you can get a full-body sculpting work-out in just one hour while working to focus your mind and increase concentration at the same time.
Pilates is Good for Body and Mind
Like yoga, pilates focuses on controlled breathing while performing physical exercises. While concentrating on fluid movement, you also focus on your breath which helps you become deeply in tune with your entire system. In pilates, you control the movement of your body and with proper breathing you learn to execute movements with power and efficiency. A physical workout where you engage your breath will reduce stress and increase muscle strength as well improving your body awareness.
Pilates Helps Build Long, Lean Muscles
Rather than build bulky muscles, pilates helps to build long and lean muscles over time. Quickly building bulky muscles in other types of strength training most often leads to injury. When you build muscles by practising pilates, you improve the elasticity of your muscles and joints and are less susceptible to injury.
Pilates Conditions the Entire Body
Pilates does not concentrate on one specific area of the body, but rather works to condition your entire body giving balance to the entire body. There is no muscle group in pilates that is under trained or over trained. Rather, every muscle in your body is conditioned in fluid movement to ensure a full body strengthening workout. This helps people to enjoy sports and daily activities with greater ease. With its benefits for the entire body, pilates has become a standard part of work-out routines for professional and elite athletes around the world.
Pilates is Good for Back Pain Pilates focuses on working the muscles that are most associated with back pain. Often back pain is contributed to weak abdominal and glute muscles. Pilates focuses on strengthening these muscles, correcting muscle imbalance and stretching any back muscles that may be tight and overworked. One of the main components of pilates is proper alignment. With proper alignment, back pain is often diminished.
Pilates Provides Better Balance
By strengthening your core, pilates helps improve balance. Your core muscles are responsible for the maintenance of balance and coordination. Pilates focuses on increasing the strength of your core muscles so you may find better balance with everything you do in your daily life. Whatever activities you partake in within your daily life, pilates will help with your precision to execute these activities in the smoothest way possible. Rather than a bunch of separate movements, pilates will help you move your entire body as a whole and provide you with not only greater ease with movement, but greater ease in maintaining your entire system, helping both body and mind.
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