My day job is running a successful Pilates studio in the Hunter Valley. One thing I’m always asked is about the benefits of Pilates. I think it’s a fair question when you want to know what you will get out of something. When we become clear on how it will benefit us, we feel more inclined to give it a go.
There are a few known benefits including increased core strength and increased flexibility. But the benefits of a regular Pilates practice far outweigh just being able to touch your toes and having a strong core. Here are 8 benefits of a regular Pilates practice – of course you actually have to head along to a class 😉
1. It will strengthen your core muscles
Expect to stand taller, have a tinier waist and a stronger pelvic floor. When the core muscles are strong, your lower back is protected. They help to support the lower by which means you’ll reduce your risk of lower back injuries. The main muscle used in the Pilates workout is your Transverse Abominis which wraps around your mid section like a corset. This is why people with low back issues experience great results with regular practice.
2. It will exercise your body in a balanced fashion
You quickly become aware in Pilates of your stronger/weaker/flexible/tight areas. The more Pilates you do, the more even your body will become. Your flexible side won’t become tighter, but hopefully your tighter side will catch up because you’re now giving it more attention. Your body functions better when everything is balanced and aligned.
3. It will improve your coordination and balance
Pilates is a fantastic way to improve your body awareness. When you have good body awareness it means you’ll be more coordinated with movements and have improved balance too. On the subject of balance, I joke to my clients that balance is in their bum. One of your butt muscles – glute med, helps with hip stabilisation which will in turn, will improve your balance.
4. It will reduce your stress levels, relax you and boost your endorphins
Although gentle on the body, Pilates will deliver the same feel good endorphins you get from a run. Not only will you be on a happy high after you finish, your blood pressure and stress levels will be lower too! Getting a natural pick me up couldn’t get easier.
5. It is injury preventative and rehabilitative
We often get injuries when our body is misaligned, we are using muscles to do movements that we shouldn’t and we’ve created faulty movement patterns. Because Pilates gets the body to move bio-mechanically as best as possible, expect a regular Pilates practice to strengthen up old injuries so they don’t reoccur and ensure you don’t create any others!
6. It will make life easier
We need a certain degree of flexibility to perform daily tasks like bending forward to tie up our shoes. The full body flexibility you gain from Pilates means that you can perform these tasks with ease and reduce your risk of injury. It’s one of the reasons I created my best selling stretching dvd.
7. It is a safe pre and post natal exercise
It’s so nice to see clients coming into the studio when they’re 39 weeks pregnant and then coming back a few weeks after having their baby. Abdominal separation from being pregnant? No problem, a good instructor will understand what that is and will work to bringing you closer each class to your pre-baby body.
8. It will give you a perkier bust
If the muscles of your back and chest are tight it’s impossible to stand up tall. Slouching posture gives the illusion of a saggy bust so when you have good posture it does the exact opposite! It’s a natural lift, no push up bra required!