After realizing I needed some serious toning before I head out in a bathing suit this summer, I looked up new classes at my gym and am joining one next week. How did I make my decision, you ask? Well, after hearing about some of the health benefits of Pilates, I thought this was the class for me. Read on to hear about all the great aspects of this exercise.
At the heart of Pilates is the skill of body awareness — knowing how you can change the shape of your body by altering your daily posture. With shoulders down and stomach in, you will gain core strength. Gaining awareness of how you sit and stand can help alleviate pain and reduce injuries.
A Stronger Core
Think of a tree: the largest amount of strength isn’t in the branches but rather in the trunk. So when you work out, it’s most important to focus on your core, and then build out from there. Flexibility is more important than strength, so instead of aiming for hard muscles try to get muscles that are strong and flexible.
Better Body Movement
Instead of isolating muscle groups like in weight lifting, Pilates moves all of your muscles in synergy. The body muscles are meant to work together, so exercise them that way! You will learn about why you can’t move your body in certain ways in this class, and work to improve sticking points.
Not in all cases, but in many circumstances strengthening back muscles can improve posture and alleviate pain that is generated from moving incorrectly.
Lessons for Outside of Class
You learn things in Pilates class that you can use in your daily life, which is different than if you were in a swim class or lifting class. Teaching yourself methods for exercise even as you sit at a desk or drive your car is important for overall fitness.