Pilates is a physical conditioning regimen developed early in the 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Originally called Contrology, it is generally used in western nations, with about 11,000,000 practitioners. As first designed, Pilates emphasized the controlled movements of the body, for increasing flexibility, strength, endurance, and control. Special emphasis includes strengthening the body’s “core”, the muscles of the lower back, abdomen, and hips. There are many variations of Pilates, each emphasizing particular exercises or techniques.
Pilates is based on principles; depending on the version, up to nine of them. For instance, breathing is one of the most important methods. Deep breathing is used during exercise, with very vigorous breathing for both inhalation and exhalation. Another important principle is using the center of the body as the starting point for exercises. The center of the body is the abdomen, lower back, upper back, inner thighs, buttocks, and hips. From the center, the exercises move out to the limbs. And, the principle of precision is notable. Do one exercise, with perfect precision, instead of many mediocre attempts. The point is to make the precise form habitual, so it, and not the imperfect form, become a habit.
Pilates Can Give You Washboard Abs
With 36 weeks of Pilates, strengthening of the rectus abdominis by 21 percent, on average, was noted. The rectus abdominis is the muscle with the “six-pack” appearance. Thus, continued Pilates will give increasing definition and tone, including greater symmetry between the left and the right sides of the body’s core.
Pilates Can Help with Low Back Pain
Many older people are afflicted with low back pain; one cause is weak (unexercised) back muscles. Pilates can decrease back pain by strengthening back muscles. Logically, is designed to strengthen the core, including the lower back. With sufficient practice, even spinal alignment can be improved.
Pilates Can Increase Flexibility
Pilates involves stretching exercises, which lengthen muscles and improve their elasticity. Pilates can be part of a pre-workout and post-workout routine. So, the increased flexibility will assist with other exercise routines you have.
Pilates Can Improve Focus
Pilates uses focused breathing to perform all exercises, so you will learn to focus automatically. Making such a strong connection between mind and body can help improve the strength of the bond between the nervous system and the body.