If you’ve been around the fitness world, you’ve likely heard of Pilates. Or maybe you’ve heard that your favorite celebrity is doing Pilates and the practice has “changed their life.” But why Pilates, over all of the other exercise and fitness methods out there?
Before we dive into why people choose Pilates (keep scrolling if you can’t wait), it’s important to understand exactly what Pilates is all about.
Let’s get down to it…
What Is Pilates, Exactly?
Developed by Joe Pilates in the early 20th century, Pilates is a unique, systematic and integrative approach to body conditioning—utilizing body weight and springs for resistance training to strengthen, stretch and realign. It’s a compressive program that progresses a person from simple fundamental movements to very advanced skills on multiple Pilates apparatuses. (Yes, I’m talking about those crazy-looking contraptions you’ve seen when you’ve peaked into your local Pilates studio, and they all serve a purpose.)
Pilates brings a myriad of benefits for everyone, including the following improvements to your physical and mental condition:
One buzz word you might hear in Pilates is “Powerhouse.” This word was coined by Joe Pilates as the core muscles, which include, the hips, abdominals and upper shoulder girdle. When a person works from their “Powerhouse,” there are noticeable improvements in their posture, strength, stamina, flexibility, balance and an overall feeling of wellness. Regular practice is guaranteed to energize the body and sharpen the mind.
As a whole-body exercise—encompassing mind, body and spirit—Joe Pilates believed that the mind plays a vital role in body conditioning, so he designed the Pilates method around these six guiding principles:
Why Pilates Over Other Exercise Methods?
There are seemingly thousands of workouts, fitness trends and exercise methods to choose from. It can become overwhelming at times when you’re just trying to find the best way to improve your health and get moving.
So why choose Pilates?
I tell clients that practicing Pilates is like reading, learning and memorizing the owner’s manual of how to properly move your body. It’s therapeutic in a way that brings you back to balance, proper posture and grounds you in your center.
It’s a complete lifestyle, on-and-off the Mat (or apparatus).
There’s a reason professionals and performers—such as musicians, athletes, dancers, you name it—turn to Pilates as their exercise method of choice or add it to their fitness repertoire.
Pilates is incredibly athletic and advanced, and a lot of people don’t understand this until they’ve done it for years (and seen the results). This shouldn’t stop anyone from trying it out, though. Pilates is for everyone, and you can start at any point in your life. It’s all about learning the technique, first and foremost. We recommend starting out with a series of privates.
Not convinced yet? Read on for the many undeniable health benefits Pilates has to offer.
5 Health Benefits Of Pilates
1. Improves Flexibility & Elongates Muscles
Instead of holding static stretches, Pilates is all about movements that incorporate the resistance of springs to deepen the stretch and overall flexibility. This allows tight, short muscles to lengthen and grow stronger in their full extension.
2. Increases Stability & Balance
Stability and balance come from having a strong core, stable joints and flexibility. A regular Pilates routine helps develop a more stable and balanced body.
3. Promotes Better Posture
Pilates promotes better posture by helping to realign the body and spine. Sitting and standing with proper alignment keeps your spine healthy and strong. This is what we mean when we say Pilates isn’t just a type of workout, it’s a whole lifestyle. A regular Pilates routine spills into everyday life and promotes better habits when you’re sitting at work, driving your car, and so on.
4. Strengthens The “Powerhouse”
The core is the center of the body from which all movement stems. That being said, it’s important for people to realize that core is more than just the abdominal muscles. It’s the entire trunk, which also includes the hips, the inner and outer thighs and the back. When strengthened and pliable, these muscles support and stabilize the body. They’re also where all of your explosive movements come from (hence the name “Powerhouse”) and contribute to your overall stamina.
5. Improves Breathing
In the words of Joe Pilates, "Above all, learn how to breathe correctly." Breathing well nourishes every system of the body and allows the body to operate optimally—during Pilates class and long after you leave the studio. Proper breathing eases and releases tension in the body, leaving you feeling calm, less stressed and more energized.
Getting Started With Pilates
If you’re new to the Pilates world, the best way to get started is taking a private class to learn the proper movements and techniques.
For a limited time, we’re offering 3 private sessions for only $225. You don’t want to miss this—click here to learn more and claim your offer.
About The Author
Fitness has always been a guiding force for Kathy Lopez, owner of Studio Be. Her inherent drive for health has naturally translated into helping others achieve strength, balance and wellness. Kathy has been voted Ventura's best Pilates instructor nine years in a row. Learn more...