There are plenty of ways to workout or burn a few calories so what makes Pilates special? What can Pilates really do for you that another fitness class can’t?
For starters – Pilates is so much more than a ‘fitness class’. Will you get fit – yes but that is just the beginning of the changes you’ll see with Pilates. Joseph Pilates said “In 10 sessions you feel different. In 20 sessions you see the difference and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body.” That’s a pretty bold claim and yet I see it happen again and again in my studio.
Here’s a look at some, but certainly not all, of the many benefits of Pilates:
- Pilates helps to create tone in your muscles. It’s a form of strength training. You utilize either springs or your body’s own weight to build strength and tone.
- Pilates helps to elongate the body. Our muscles can become short, squatty, and tight from repeated flexion focused activities. Pilates helps to lengthen those muscles back out and create space in the body.
- Pilates improves flexibility. This goes along with creating length in the body. Some of that flexibility also comes from strength and creating a support system that allows our hamstrings to be freer or our spine to be supported as we extend.
- Pilates balances the body to prevent injury. Much of our day is spent doing activities that create imbalance in our bodies – carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder, slumping in a chair, leaning on one leg, sitting cross-legged … Pilates corrects these lopsided movements so we find balance in our bodies again.
- An hour of Pilates provides a challenge to your brain. It’s true – Pilates is a mind body exercise that requires you to focus, use your mind and get your brain involved. Making those connection between our body and our brain not only make us sharper but also more capable physically.
- Pilates improves balance. Balance is a learned trait that can also be lost without practice. We need balance! Pilates requires and teaches balance skills.
- Pilates improves our emotional state. Often without realizing it students focus on themselves and their body movements for an hour and let go of the stresses in their life while in class. Pilates lets them check out from the drama, stress, and turmoil of daily life will requiring a more inward and calming focus. It’s no wonder we all feel good after Pilates … we’ve left our stress at the door.
- Pilates promotes social engagement and support. Whether you do a private or a group class, Pilates is a connected, personal experience with your teacher and fellow students. You can not hide in the back and go through the motions without your teacher noticing and drawing you back into the class. I’ve seen so many friendships form in Pilates class – it warms my heart!
- Pilates tones muscles you didn’t even know you had and turns them into calorie burners. It’s true – Pilates find and utilizes those small muscles you’ve neglected and tones them. Toned muscles burn calories. The more toned muscles – the more calories needed to simply exist.
- Pilates is rehab. Whether you have back pain, IT band issues, are postpartum, have MS or one of so many others possible conditions – Pilates safely helps to rehab and restore the body. In the case of neurological conditions, Pilates can help to gain back some control or strength that is lost or prevent further lose of function. Pilates is excellent to rehab post knee surgery, shoulder surgery and so much more. Pilates is safe to do all through a healthy pregnancy and also safe to resume postpartum to recover the core.
This list could go on and on. Pilates is so much more than fitness. Pilates is total body wellness and it’s also fun. Come see for yourself!