Pilates is a form of exercise that has been around since the early 20th century, based on the work of Joseph Pilates. This form of exercise focuses on improving strength and flexibility, both of which are important components of a healthy body. Some people do pilates as part of their fitness routine, while others use it to rehabilitate their bodies after injuries or surgery. The idea behind the exercises that comprise Pilates is to improve your posture and to create muscle balance in your body through core strengthening, flexibility training, and breathing techniques.
As we get older, our posture tends to worsen. Whether that’s caused by decades of sitting at a desk or overworking certain muscles in our neck and back, sitting and standing incorrectly places extra strain on joints, bones and ligaments. It also takes a toll on our bodies. Slouching for long periods of time increases pressure on intervertebral discs (the cushions between each vertebra in your spine) causing them to lose fluid and press against nerves. Pilates incorporates exercises to strengthen the mid back and increase mobility in the spine to help realign and enhance posture.
Pilates offers a wide variety of moves that target different muscles and build strength in a safe way. Rather than focusing on lifting heavy weights, most Pilates routines rely on controlled, precise movement patterns. An added benefit of strengthening your muscles this way is that it is low-impact. Pilates targets the smaller muscles around the joints to help stabilise and strengthen with the stress of high impact movements.
INCREASES MOBILITY AND FLEXIBILITY
You don’t have to be a ballerina or a Cirque du Soleil performer to reap flexibility benefits. Whether you’re trying to relieve muscle tension, decrease stress or prevent injury, flexibility is key. By improving how flexible your joints are and how easily you can stretch, you also allow for greater strength. As an added bonus, stretching regularly helps with proper alignment of muscles and joints which can lead to better posture over time. HOUSE OF SCULPT incorporates mobility exercises into every class. We also have classes purely dedicated to improving flexibility. Try a MELT class here.
Pilates improves core stability and encourages more even development between left and right sides of the body. For example, as one shoulder is depressed (pulled down), there should be an opposite shoulder elevation; if a pelvic tilt is performed on one side, there should be an opposing tilt on the other side to keep balance. Pilates movements may seem strange at first, but with time and practice, these stabilising exercises will help even out strength imbalances that could lead to pain and injury.
IMPROVES JOINT HEALTH
Pilates is a series of movements focused on improving alignment, balance, and strength. In fact, many of Pilates’ core principles are geared toward enhancing joint health. Exercise is one of your best bets for living a pain-free life. The more you move, the more synovial fluid (the gooey stuff that cushions joints) you create; too little synovial fluid leads to stiff joints. Pilates is low-impact, causing no stress on the joints.
Begin your Pilates journey with HOUSE OF SCULPT – an online Pilates destination with on-demand classes for every level and mood. Start your 7 day free trial today!