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If you want to enjoy a gentle exercise that could still strengthen the body, then you may want to consider Pilates. This uses the idea that it is possible to strengthen the body using simple motions. There are several basic principles to Pilates, which include breathing control, concentration, centring the body and flow of movement. These principles, when combined together, help to build core strength and enhance the balance and power of the user's form. There are some health benefits that can be gained from doing Pilates, and there is also a general increase in fitness which is generated by the building of strength in the shoulders, back and hips.
Pilates and Breathing
One of the most important principles of Pilates is that of breathing control. It is essential to the Pilates method, and is believed to cleanse and invigorate the mind. The method of breathing is to forcefully exhale, pushing out as much air as possible, and then fully inhaling. The breathing method focuses upon the lower ribs, and is sometimes known as posterior lateral breathing, where most of the breath is focused upon the sides and back of the rib cage. The exhalation is also used to improve the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. In many ways, breathing is the main focal effort of Pilates, and it is important to get this method right.
- Encourage proper breathing – breathing right cannot be understated when it comes to exercise and the right Pilates routine. You’ll learn how to master breathing in a Pilates class and put it to work in all aspects of your life.
- Improve balance – Pilates will improve the balance in your life, both physically and in the spiritual sense.
Pilates and users
One of the main benefits of Pilates has been shown to be the benefit to those suffering from lower back pain, but Pilates can also be performed by all ages, regardless of fitness levels and ability. The user can choose to simply make use of a yoga mat for the exercises, or they can purchase some of the more advanced Pilates equipment which uses pulleys to provide resistance and support to the user while they are exercising. You can discuss whether Pilates will be suitable for you with the Fittco community, as they will be able to offer you advice about the methods of Pilates, and you particular circumstances.
- Gently work out – a Pilates routine is gentle on your body and your mind but it still helps get you into shape. This is a low impact exercise that is good for those who can’t tolerate a workout or heavy exertion.
- Strengthen your core and bones – a Pilates routine strengthens your core with low impact tenacity. Through weight-bearing Pilates you can also build bone strength which is helpful as you get older.
Pilates and recovery
One of the biggest reasons that athletes and other fitness fans choose to use Pilates is that it benefits their recovery times, and can help them to recover from serious injury or illness through the use of gentle, repetitive exercise. There are many suggestions about the different benefits of Pilates on those suffering from aches and pains, or those who have had injuries that require long recovery times. While most of these claims have not been put out to the scientific community, there are many reasons why you should be able to generate great benefits in posture, balance and muscle tone.
- Shorter recovery times – since Pilates is a low impact workout you’ll have less time in between for recovery. This is also a great workout if you’re limited in just how much you can handle in terms of physical exertion.
Pilates and weight loss
Although Pilates may not have any direct claims to being able to help you slim, in many ways it can be a very useful tool. Pilates can help to tone the body, and will strengthen the core muscles which can make working out much more comfortable. Combined with a suitable diet, you could successfully lose weight on Pilates by becoming more generally active.