Here are 6 benefits of Pilates & differences to other forms of exercises…

Personally one of the many things I loved about Pilates when I first started was I could do most of the exercises lying down. ;o)

I know some of you like the sound of this too. However don’t choose it just because of that, you maybe disappointed as there are a also number of exercises done standing.

People often think Pilates is slow and boring. Sure, there are probably some classes out there like this and maybe when you first start out learning the key principles it may feel a little slow, however it doesn’t have to stay that way!

As one of my latest addicted clients says….
    ‘Must admit I had a huge misconception about Pilates before…I thought it would be too slow and boring in all honesty, but after giving it a try I think I’ve found my latest addiction, it’s much harder than I expected! Emma is an excellent Instructor’ 
– Riikka

I could talk for hours about the benefits and why Pilates it’s a good choice of exercise to add to your fitness routine, here is a summary…

1. Pilates helps to flatten your stomach & tone your whole body
Pilates works you from the inside out. Ensuring you are focused on the deep abdominal muscles before you start each movement. This is one of the reasons it’s great for flattening the stomach. You also get to work the whole body and tone up each muscle group – even the hard to reach areas like inner thighs and waist! Some other forms of exercise miss out certain areas…Pilates gives you a balanced workout.

2. Pilates reduces stress 
Pilates is a mind body exercise. It requires you to be present in your body when you are exercising. Often as Instructors we ask you to think about the area of the body and or muscles you are moving, rather than just moving mindlessly. Two b
enefits of being present when you exercise are you lower the chances of getting injured and it’s a great way to reduce stress!

3. Pilates improves posture
As Pilates emphasises alignment of the body, if taught well
 is a great way to counteract the effects of sitting long hours at your desk or on the couch. It teaches you awareness of good posture, not only while you are doing the exercises but also to carry through with you into every day life. You will start to notice who does Pilates and who doesn’t. ;o)

4. Pilates reduces aches and pains
Pilates helps to stretch and strengthen certain muscles in order to balance them, therefore often reducing pain.  EG 1. When we sit all day we can get tight in the hips, this can cause hip and back pain.  2. When we hunch over the computer our shoulders can get tight. Pilates would stretch and strengthen particular muscles around the hips and shoulders to reduce these pains. No other form of exercise caters as specifically to this.

5. Pilates prevents & rehabilitates Injuries
It keeps the joints stable and strong by focusing on working the smaller muscle groups of the body not just the larger ones. We call the small muscles stabilising muscles and the large ones mobilising muscles. Eg our quads move the body so are mobilising muscles. Our deep abdominals (Transverse Abdominals) help so stabilise the spine so are called deep stabilising muscles.  This is one reason why Pilates helps reduce back pain. Most other forms of exercise like gym etc focus more on the larger muscle groups.

6. Pilates helps you take control of your body 
Great for all you control freaks out there ;o)
When practising Pilates you are often moving the body in different directions and in more challenging ways in comparison to standard gym exercise. This requires concentration. 
We also focus on using the breath to help you move.

I believe Pilates is a great base…..
You can use the amazing Pilates principles during all other forms of exercise. EG at the gym, practising Yoga, swimming, playing Golf or even just standing around.

Has Pilates helped you in any of these areas?

Let me I’d love to hear your story in the comments below and how Pilates has benefited you.

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