What Is Pilates?
A question that can be heard all too often. Is Pilates worth it as a way of improving our conditioning and what are these weird poses we see on social media all the time? In this article we will try to solve all your questions on this issue. Emphasis on “try”, as you will quickly understand that Pilates is quite huge…
Let’s start from the top…
Pilates is an exercise and physical conditioning system, which was developed at the start of the 20th century by Joseph Pilates (hence the name). Pilates was born in 1883 in Germany and started training from a young age being heavily influenced by his father’s achievements in bodybuilding. He quickly found out that the modern lifestyle, bad posture and our own inability to control our breathing is one of the main reasons we are not completely healthy. His passion to solve these problems is the same passion that led him to come up with the techniques, equipment and standards that comprise the Pilates system,
Yeah but what is it?
Pilates is a training system, which places emphasis on the proper execution of the exercise with the recruitment of the proper muscles. More specifically, it focuses on the trainee’s core like their abs, glutes and lower back muscles. In contrast with most other training methods you may have known, Pilates does not give you any leeway as you have to be completely focused on the execution of each movement.
The focus on this system falls squarely on the control and precision of the movement itself and not on the reps or the sets. This is why the Pilates principles are:
Centration, focus, control, precision, breathing, alignment, flow and integration
Pay close attention! None of the above principles include terms like toning, fat burning, mass building and definition! Pilates is not solely aimed at making you thinner or helping you build more muscle mass. It places more emphasis on the overall health and wellness of each trainee.
Moreover, the breaths are especially important in Pilates since they will have to be in complete harmony with the individual’s movement.
Last but not least, Pilates has immense transferability to our daily lifestyle. Using a wide range of exercises, it teaches us to recruit the proper muscles to perform a movement so we can use the same muscles more effectively whenever the need arises in our lives.
Is it for me?
Absolutely! The beauty of this system lies in the fact that anyone can stick to it regardless of their age or experience with fitness. Whoever starts such a routine will quickly come to grips with the fact that muscle mass and body fat percentages are very insignificant and everyone is on equal terms. This is one of Pilates’ biggest successes.
Why should I start Pilates?
Because you will quickly see an uptick in your muscle endurance. Muscles – that you may not even know existed like the transverse abdominus, the deeper of the abdominal muscles – will now support all your activities much better.
Because your flexibility will explode! Pilates will force you in positions and postures you will almost certainly not come across anywhere else. You will quickly develop a greater range of motion in most of your joints like your hips or the thoracic spine.
Because your balance will significantly improve. Pilates workouts demand a greater deal of concentration that most training systems. As a result, you will learn to move your body through space more efficiently.
Athletes that come back from injury and even seniors will see the most significant improvements in their daily lives. Those who don’t belong in either of those categories, however, will also notice that they are able to execute a variety of movements far more efficiently in a matter of weeks.
Because you will notice an improvement in your mental health. The focus that is needed for your breaths will help you relax especially if you have had a difficult day at work. The breaths you take in a Pilates session will assist you in reducing stress and blood pressure and help you relax and enjoy a deeper sleep on top of it all!
These are just a few of the benefits of the Pilates training routines. When are you thinking of starting? Let us know in the comments below!