Pilates: What It Is and How It Can Benefit You

Pilates: What It Is and How It Benefits You

Pilates is a popular form of exercise right now. But what is it? What are the benefits? Is it worth your time?

That’s what we’re going to talk about today. After reading, you’ll have enough information to decide whether to try it or not.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is an exercise that focuses on controlling your movements and conditioning your body. It works to give you both a strong body and a strong mind. Much like in yoga, you move in sync with your breath.

There are two types of Pilates you can do. The first is Reformer Pilates. It uses a special Pilates machine to help control your movements and add some resistance to your training.

The second is freeform Pilates, done on the floor with a mat. This is probably the kind you’ve seen on YouTube or Tiktok. It’s more affordable and accessible for the average person.

History of Pilates

The creator of this exercise is Joseph Pilates: a German gymnast, diver, skier, and nurse. After WWI, he developed what he called Contrology, focusing on controlled, full-body movements. He and his wife Clara moved to America and opened a studio in New York to teach Contrology to dancers.

They loved it for helping them recover from injuries and prevent further ones. Over time, other people joined the program. After Joseph’s death, it took on his name- Pilates. Now it’s practiced by millions worldwide.

Group Pilates class
Pilates helps strengthen your core and make you more flexible

Benefits of Pilates

Pilates today focuses a lot on developing the core muscles- your abs, back, and obliques. It won’t give you flat abs overnight, but it will make them stronger. A stronger core helps you have better posture.

It also helps you increase your flexibility. The movements help you lengthen and stretch your muscles. But Pilates alone is not a substitute for proper stretching.

Starting Pilates

Taking a beginner Pilates class is a great way to start. An instructor can ensure you do the moves properly and don’t injure yourself. Most gyms offer Pilates classes for all ages and skill levels.

But if you prefer to suffer in private, there are plenty of online classes and free videos as well. All you need is a mat and an internet connection. Don’t know where to begin? Check out the Blogilates, Lottie Murphy, and Move with Nicole channels.

Like most exercises, you should combine Pilates with other kinds of fitness. Cardio, weight training, and stretching will help give you be strong and healthy. Don’t forget to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise, especially if you have a medical condition.

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