ALL ABOUT THE CORE BABY!
Get That Extra Flex
With emphasis on the core, Pilates gives added flexibility and range of motion while developing and protecting your back. Pilates is the perfect whole-body-fitness program to compliment any workout regime.
Often thought of as an exercise designed for women and for athletes recovering from an injury, Pilates is being used more and more by weight trainers to increase muscle power and flexibility.
It is the perfect way to keep flab at bay. Both young and old are reaping the benefits that Pilates can give and with some of the world’s most elite male athletes discovering just how beneficial Pilates is, Pilates has became hard to ignore.
When Joseph Pilates and his wife Clara opened their New York studio in 1926 many of their clients were men of various athletic disciplines. From boxers to wrestlers to professional athletes, all trained in Joseph’s gym and benefited from the challenging workouts that Pilates put them through.
Many were surprised to find just how sore they were after a session of focused, challenging workouts that emphasized the importance of core stability, strength, balance, and flexibility to prevent injuries and enhance athletic performance.
By the early 60’s Joe and Clara could count among their clients many New York dancers. George Balanchine not only studied “at Joe’s,” as he called it, he also invited Joseph Pilates to instruct the ballerinas at the New York City Ballet.
In the 1970’s Hollywood celebrities discovered Pilates and as we all know, where the stars go the media follows. In the late 1980’s the media began to cover Pilates extensively, the public took note and the Pilates business boomed.
No longer the workout of the elite, Pilates had entered the fitness mainstream.
Today Pilates is featured in fitness facilities all over the world and has become a very important part of training for professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL and many Olympic athletes. Currently over 10 million Americans practice Pilates, and the numbers continue to grow.
For many, Pilates has long been perceived as a lightweight distraction from higher-impact forms of working out. This year will see that attitude change – and whether you’re new to the gym or an established weightlifter you can make this low-impact, highly effective exercise work for you.
In conjunction with a complementary gym program, you can expect better flexibility and vastly improved core strength. If you still need a little bang for your buck, gym clubs like Ten run classes like Dynamic Pilates, which introduces extra elements such as circuits, weights, or spin.
The beauty of Pilates is that anyone can do it, anytime anywhere and get fantastic results. For those who are short on time you can do a routine in as little as 10 minutes, and in as few as 10 sessions you will start to both see and feel results.
As no stress is put on the body through jarring, or bouncy movements Pilates is the perfect exercise for those who shy away from working out because of joint pain or muscle weaknesses.
SOME OF THE MANY BENEFITS OF PILATES ARE:
1. PILATES PROMOTES WEIGHT LOSS
Although you don’t usually break much of a sweat during a Pilates session, it can still help you on your quest to lose weight and build and maintain lean muscle mass while burning calories. By combining regular Pilates sessions with 30 minutes of cardio 5 times a week you will reap great benefits. You will notice an increase in muscle tone as your body grows stronger.
2. PILATES CONDITIONS IN A GENTLE WAY
If its been a while since you have worked out and you want to ease back into it, then Pilates is for you.
It is a great place to begin as it doesn’t add stress to your joints, neither does it put any wear and tear on the ligaments and cartilage around the knee or shoulder joints.
Pilates gently conditions your muscles and increases your self-awareness by drawing your focus inwards. This rehabilitative form of exercise can be done day in and day out without the worry of over-stressing your joints or muscles.
Doing Pilates consistently just three times a week will bring you great results in as little as three weeks.
3. SUPPORTS THE SPINE
Pilates supports the spine by creating space between each vertebra which makes you both appear taller and gives you more mobility. You will find that your spine which was once as stiff as a board is supple, allowing you to do so much more. This suppleness will protect you from degenerative spinal problems like a slipped disk, in no time at all you will find that you are able to move with ease and grace.
4. QUIETS THE MIND AND RELEASES STRESS
The smooth steady movements of Pilates quiets the mind and soothes the nerves. With each workout you will be left with a sense of calm, balance and rejuvenation. Benefiting your emotional health, Pilates focuses on letting go of tension putting you on a path to a stronger version of yourself both inside and out. You will find your circulation greatly improved and tensions of the day will have faded away.
5. IMPROVES BALANCE & COORDINATION
Many experts agree that Pilates is the best way for older adults to stay healthy. As we age into our 40’s our balance and coordination starts to deteriorate as our muscles grow weaker and our nerve receptors lose sensitivity, because of this we start to lose some of our balance and coordination. By doing Pilates we can reverse the aging process by stabilizing the core.
Pilates increases strength and flexibility in both the core and the legs which affects our balance in a positive way.
6. PILATES HELPS TO REDUCE PAIN AND STIFFNESS
Symptoms of arthritis can be very uncomfortable, dealing with chronic pain and inflammation can be hard to deal with at times. But if you practice certain exercises in Pilates, you may find that the pain in your joints are greatly reduced, and your range of motion greatly improved.
The core strengthening workouts performed in Pilates strengthens bones and helps prevent injuries. They may also protect against osteoporosis.
If you suffer from osteoarthritis pain, you’ll find that lengthening your body through Pilates will help soothe the soreness. But not all movements performed in Pilates are suitable, some movements should be avoided such as those that require you to bend forward.
In a world that is full of hustle and bustle it nice to know that we have so much to choose from to calm and relax us while we strive to live a healthy lifestyle. Pilates is ideal for those who are looking for an intense workout while they slow down and focus on every movement whilst de-stressing. The awareness that Pilates can bring to your workouts will carry over into all your other workouts, allowing you to better target muscle groups while strength training.