Pilates was pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates, and is a mind-body exercise system designed to strengthen the weak and challenge the strong. The Pilates method focuses attention on core postural muscles that help keep the human body balanced and provide support for the spine. In particular, Pilates exercises teach awareness of breath and of alignment of the spine, and strengthens the deep torso and abdominal muscles.
Benefits of Pilates
The benefits of Pilates include:
- longer, leaner muscles (less bulk, more freedom of movement)
- improves postural problems
- increases core strength, stability and peripheral mobility
- helps prevent injury
- enhances functional fitness, ease of movement
- balances strength & flexibility
- heightens body awareness
- no-impact, easy on the joints
- can be customized to suit everyone from rehab patients to elite athletes
- complements other methods of exercise
- improves performance in sports (golf, running, triathlon, skiing, skating etc.)
- improves balance, coordination & circulation
Pilates for Back Pain
When your core is strong, posture improves, relieving stress on the joints and muscles. This is one of the reasons Pilates is often recommended for back pain issues. Increased flexibility, muscle tone, and balance also improve with regular practice.
With regular Pilates practice you can expect an increase in strength, flexibility, mobility, balance and body awareness, as well as a decrease in back pain or other general pains. It’s recommended that you practice at least two to three times per week.
Pilates for Sports
Pilates will also help you with your other sports activities – it will help you ski better, enhance your golf swing, run faster and bike longer – or do any activity better. It is an ideal form of conditioning for other sports and helps you to stay injury free and strong.
Whether you’re an elite athlete or a complete beginner, you can benefit from the Pilates Method. As Pilates is a non-impact resistance workout, it enables you to exercise whilst minimising stress on your joints so Pilates is a safe, versatile and effective method for a range of fitness goals.