Using a combination of around fifty simple, repetitive exercises, Pilates aims to create low-impact muscular exertion. Body weight is the main resistance used throughout the series of Pilates mat exercises, meaning this form of exercise is both low-impact and low-investment; often, all you need is a mat and some floor space. Changes in body position result in individual exercises, and the additional focus on breathing and concentration incorporates a meditative quality.
What are the Benefits of Pilates?
Few empirical studies have been done on Pilates as an exercise practice. However, those who practice appear to improve core strength and have more toned muscles. When practiced consistency, Pilates has been shown to improve strength, control, and endurance in the entire body. Emphasizing alignment, breathing, coordination, and balance, it targets both major and stabilizer muscles to create a well-rounded workout routine.
Additionally, Pilates has been said to ease chronic lower back pain by targeting the “powerhouse”—a person’s abdominal muscles, lower back, and hips. Moreover, Pilates is a wonderful exercise alternative for those experiencing joint pain. The slow, controlled movements place minimal impact on a person’s joints, and the addition of a thicker mat will take pressure off the back and knees. Pilates is also a popular exercise among athletes, who claim the practice’s emphasis on the core and overall balance improves sport performance.
Pilates aims to develop stronger, more sculpted muscles while increasing flexibility, posture, and overall sense of wellbeing. Classes typically range from 45 minutes to an hour, but students can do fewer moves in less time if necessary.