The Amazing Health Benefits of Pilates
I’m going to be honest. When one of my close friends suggested to me to try Yoga or Pilates; I’m like ahhh, naahh its not for me. Being the HIIT queen that I am, loving high heart-rates, the fire burn in the muscles, I really didn’t think that this was going to be my thing. But I thought I better give it a go – so I can say that I have tried it! And to my astonishment, this was incredibly challenging and requiring a lot of strength and endurance! Such a different way of movement than I am used to, Pilates focuses on mindful breathing, the powerhouse stabilizers, increasing flexibility and highly focused muscle strength.
Such an AMAZING way to BALANCE out my YING & YANG! Thank you dear friend!
I fell in love, so in love that I am now a qualified in teaching Mat Pilates 1 and am incorporating its techniques in all my practices and sessions. I would love to support you and get you started in our Belmont fitness club. Let’s explore the amazing health benefits of Pilates.
Pilates is a stretch with strength and control, and the control is the most important because that makes you use your mind.Romana Kryzanowska (1st Generation Teacher)
1 . Core Strength :
The abdominal area, from the rib cage to the navel to the pubic area, is your centre of control – the core. The core is essential for Pilates, you cannot perform Pilates correctly with out it. It is to create a stable and strong, yet flexible framework, to which the arms, shoulders and legs work from. Resulting in aligned hips, spine and chest enabling functional moves for daily operation.
Core connection relates to the activation of specific muscles in the torso, specifically the Abs (mainly Transverse Abdominus), Lower back (Multifidus), the muscles as the base of your butt (back of thigh) and Pelvic Floor. A great way to connect the mind and tissue relationship is to visualize these muscles working. By scooping the lower abs down (in) towards the spine, then up towards. So basically holding in your ‘peeing’ muscles (yes the muscles you use when holding in your pee) and gentle pulling the belly button towards the spine.
Having good core strength means to have balance and stability, help with reducing lower back pain, and increase overall posture. A supportive core is essential in performing other workouts, eg: a bodybuilder who lifts heavy weights needs to activate their core, to keep spine/ lower back safe.
2. Breathing :
Breathing is one of the most basic functions of the human body and comes naturally to us all, so it may seem odd to think about improving our breathing habits. However, Pilates puts a strong emphasis on proper breathing during its workout.
The way you breathe can have a huge effect on how you body functions and eventually on your health and well being. Apart from supplying your cells with nutrients and eliminating waste, your breathing can calm you down, improve your cardiovascular (heart and lung) fitness and not mention the awareness and connection to your body.
Even if you follow no other instruction, learn how to breathe correctly.Joseph Pilates.
When you work out, it’s easy to become out of breath or even hold your breath during certain movements, especially when concentrating. Pilates makes breathing a part of your workout so that this doesn’t happen. If you take our Pilates class, you’ll notice I will encourage you to breathe and will even give you instructions on how to do so.
A question is often asked; “how do you know when to breathe in an exercise?” The answer is; that it depends on the objective of the exercise and what you want the breathing to achieve. Below are some general rules to follow:
- Exhale on exertion of movement
- Exhale on stability
- Exhale on control
- Exhale to aid trunk (body) flexion
- Inhale to prepare for movement
- Inhale to challenge stability
- Inhale to challenge control
- Inhale to aid trunk (body) extension
If you’re looking for a low impact, challenging, full-body workout, you need not look any further than Team McLean Fitness Clubs Mat Pilates session. While much of the focus surrounds the core and establishing a stabilized center, it includes hundreds of exercises that work the entire body.
In a Mat Pilates personal training or group fitness session, we will go through each part of the body, from head to toe. You will walk out from your session feeling taller, stretched and stronger. And to elaborate from our Mat Pilates we can adapt these movements onto our brand new Pilates Reformer Bed!
Video Audio Credit : ‘No One’ by Golden Features.