A refreshing mind-body workout
Emphasizing breathing, proper alignment of the spine and pelvis, and concentration on smooth, flowing movement, you become finely in tune with your body. You really learn how to control its movement.
In Pilates the quality of movement is valued over the number of repetitions. Proper breathing is essential, and helps you execute movements with maximum power and efficiency. Also, learning to breathe properly can reduce stress.
Develop a strong core - flat abdominals and a strong back
The Pilates exercises develop a strong "core" or center of the body. The "core" consists of the deep abdominal muscles with the muscles closest to the spine. Control of the "core" is obtained by integrating the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle.
Gain long, lean muscles and flexibility
The more traditional training methods are weight bearing and tend to build short, bulky muscles - the type most prone to injuries. Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured.
Create an evenly conditioned body, improve sports performance and prevent injury
In the same vein, many of these traditional training sessions tend to work the same muscles. This leads to weak muscles getting weaker and strong muscles tend to get stronger. The result is muscular imbalance - a primary cause of injury and chronic back pain.
Pilates conditions the whole body, even the ankles and feet. No muscle group is over trained or under trained. Your entire musculature is evenly balanced and conditioned, helping you enjoy daily activities and sports with greater ease, better performance and less risk of injury. This is why so many professional sports teams and elite athletes now use Pilates as an essential part of their training regimen.
Learn to move efficiently
Pilates exercises conditions multiple muscle groups at once using smooth and continuous movements. By developing proper technique, you can actually recondition your body to move in safer and more effective motor patterns - essential for injury recovery, sports performance, good posture and optimal health.
Most of the exercises are performed sitting or lying, and most are low impact with partial loading. Pilates is so safe it is used in physical therapy facilities to rehabilitate injuries.
But it is also a challenge ...
Pilates is also an extremely flexible exercise system. Changes to exercises allow a range of difficulty ranging from beginner to advanced. Get the workout that best suits you now, and increase the intensity gradually as the condition of your body improves.