Pilates, originally known as “Contrology,” was created in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. It is a series of low-impact exercises inspired by yoga, ballet, or calisthenics. It’s a method of whole-body exercise designed to help improve daily activities and livelihood. It is a challenging exercise that creates optimal strength through muscle balance and fine-tuning neuromuscular patterns. Benefits of Pilates include balancing strength with mobility, aligning the body, improving movement patterns, and strengthening the deeper muscles of the core. Pilates also supports your joint and coordinates your movement and breath to work the smaller and deeper stabilizing muscles of the body as much as your prime movers.
Visit here to make a choice between Pilates and Yoga.
Types of Pilates
Generally, we have two forms of Pilates;
- Mat-based Pilates: includes a series of exercises performed on the floor using gravity and your own body weight to provide resistance. This style aims to help support the muscles of your body to improve posture, coordination, and balance.
- Equipment-based Pilates: This form of Pilates includes using specific equipment that works against spring-loaded resistance, including the reformer( a moveable carriage that you push and pull along its tracks). Some of these exercises utilize weights such as dumbbells and other pieces of small equipment that offer muscle resistance.
In the article below are the health benefits of Pilates;
It prevents injuries
One of the health benefits of Pilates is that it helps prevent injuries and balances the body’s muscles so that they’re neither loose and weak nor tight and rigid. When the muscles in your body get too weak and tight or rigid, it makes your body more vulnerable to various injuries. This exercise focuses on developing dynamic strength, which makes it better for you to stabilize and support your joints while moving. In addition, a lot of research has also suggested that Pilates can effectively help reduce injury risk in sport.
Helps Improves your posture
This exercise is an excellent way to help improve bad posture. Bad posture develops due to bad habits such as slouching at your desk and chair, which can later cause backache, neck ache, and headache. Pilates focuses on the full body’s alignment and ideal range of motion at the joints and helps balance all opposing muscles. In addition, Pilates also helps improve your posture by strengthening underdeveloped postural muscles and bringing awareness to your alignment.
It decreases stress
Another health benefit of Pilates is that it helps decrease stress. As you know, workouts generally help relieve stress due to the release of feel-good hormones such as endorphins or serotonin. These hormones help off your bad mood, lower cortisol, and help detect stress over time.
It reduces menstrual pain
Pilates helps reduce menstrual pain, also known as Dysmenorrhea in females. Dysmenorrhea can be so debilitating for people who have experienced it. In fact, it has been confirmed by many researchers that engaging in Pilates can significantly help reduce menstrual pain in females.
It boosts your immunity
Another benefit of Pilates is that it helps boost immunity. A recent study shows that Pilates helps boost immune system functioning, especially in people aged 40 and above. Though much research has been done on adults, this workout can actually help boost immunity among people of all ages mainly because of improved circulation(as Pilates helps improve immune system function). A sound immune system is a function of properly flowing blood and lymph, which are boosted by Pilates.
Increases core strength
The benefits of Pilates range from improving core strength and function to helping you build a better body frame. This exercise has an effect on your abdomen, hip, and pelvic muscles as well as your lower back. When your core(center of the body) gets strengthened, it helps stabilize and support your whole body. It’s also a key factor in decreasing pelvic floor dysfunction, hip and back pain, and pains in the area from which explosive movement derives.
Other health benefits of Pilates include;
- enhanced muscular control of your back and limbs
- improved stabilization of your spine and relaxation of your neck, shoulders, and upper back
- improved concentration
- increased body awareness
- safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries
- prevention of musculoskeletal injuries
- increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing