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If you thought Pilates was developed somewhere in Hollywood, you'd be surprised. This trendy training modality was created more than a hundred years ago by a German trainer whose last name was...Pilates! He first came up with the idea of achieving body strength just by the same exercise set. So, what secret does his methodology keep?
Pilates somehow echoes yoga in its philosophy and focuses on flexibility, body balance1J. Hyun, K. Hwangbo, Ch.-W. Lee.(2014, February).The Effects of Pilates Mat Exercise on the Balance Ability of Elderly Females.The Journal of Physical Therapy Science.DOI:10.1589/jpts.26.291, and posture2J. Casonatto, C. M. Yamacita.(2020, January).Pilates Exercise and Postural Balance in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.DOI:10.1016/j.ctim.2019.102232. But an essential difference exists. The exercises in Pilates are more dynamic: you perform the movement following a breath rhythm. Breathe out during the first part of the movement and breathe in when returning to the starting position. Besides, you are free to choose diverse resources like balls, ribbons, rollers, and rings if needed. Moving to the advanced level, you can even use simulators. It allows not only diversifies the training process but also makes it more qualitative and effective.
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Mindfulness is a key point. Your mind must assist the body in bringing focus and initiation of energy to the center of the body3K. Caldwell, M. Adams, R. Quin.(2013, December).Pilates, Mindfulness, and Somatic Education.Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices.DOI:10.1386/jdsp.5.2.141_1. Also, it must concentrate on becoming present, controlling the body and its movements, and signaling to the body precision of movement. The mind tells your body to breathe in the rhythm called for, and it must be ready to enhance the flow of the exercises.
Health benefits of doing Pilates
So what tremendous pluses for our health do we get? Here they are:
Joseph Pilates developed his method to harmonize spirit and mind and eliminate negative emotions4K. M. Fleming, M. Campbell, M. P. Herring.(2020, March).Acute Effects of Pilates on Mood States among Young Adult Males.Complementary Therapies in Medicine.DOI:10.1016/j.ctim.2020.102313. You will be filled with positivity for the whole day!
Pilates is also widely used to reduce stress. This method decreases hormones linked to stress, like cortisol and increases endorphins5H. Ahmadi, M. R. Mehravar.(2019).The effect of an eight-week Pilates exercise regimen on stress management and cortisol levels in sedentary women.Journal of Physical Activity and Hormones.Retrieved from https://jpah.shiraz.iau.ir/article_673139.html.
Along with improved cognition, one research found Pilates effectively improved motivation among students. Another research8S. Petracovschi.(2014, December).Motivation in practicing Yoga & Pilates and satisfying the need for self-knowledge.Timisoara Physical Education and Rehabilitation Journal.DOI:10.1515/tperj-2015-0020 studied the type of motivation that drives those who practice Pilates and found that its practitioners are more driven by intrinsic motivation rather than external validation.
You will create flexible abs and a strong back by working out the deep muscles of the core. The main principle of Pilates is to pull the navel to the spine. Applying this simple technique in everyday life will make your belly flatter and more attractive11M. R. M. Mainenti, B. Krawczky.(2016).The impact of pilates exercises on the postural alignment of healthy adults.Sports Medicine.DOI:10.1590/1517-869220162206153957.
Pilates exercises will increase your flexibility and joint mobility15G. Suna, K. Işildak.(2020).Investigation of the Effect of 8-Week Reformer Pilates Exercise on Flexibility, Heart Rate and Glucose Levels in Sedentary Women.Asian Journal of Education and Training.Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1250306.pdf. You will work to safely add length and stretch to your muscles and increase the range of motion in your joints. In this aspect, Pilates is inferior only to yoga and stretching.
It is essential to note Pilates is not the most effective method of burning belly fat and losing weight. Also, this training system will not help you develop endurance and significantly improve your physical form.
Pilates can be demanding on the quality of the exercises. So practicing on your own or with an illiterate instructor, there is a chance that the training will be ineffective. Following the correct technique for performing exercises requiring special care and attention is crucial.
Pilates is great for strengthening and toning your body's muscles and improving flexibility, but it's not a comprehensive strength program. You'll need to supplement it with other exercises, such as strength training.
How long to see benefits from Pilates
You can feel the instant "before & after" effects of Pilates in the mental aspect right after the first session. Exercising plays the role of the magical elixir of endorphins. If we mean physical results, benefits from Pilates will be noticeable within three to eight weeks, depending on how often you exercise.
Pavel Bazelin is a fitness expert at Unimeal. He owns a fitness studio and works as a personal trainer. His education includes a bachelor’s degree in Health, Fitness, and Recreation.
, Fitness expert
Pilates can change your body shape by burning fat and replacing it with lean, toned muscle. But it happens due to many factors such as quality sleep, decreased stress, and, most importantly, a caloric deficit, - says Unimeal fitness expert Pavel Balezin, - At first, your muscles will have both newly formed muscle and fat. It will make them appear bigger or fatter. After this period, the muscles obtain their toned and sculpted build, synonymous with Pilates.
The final word
If you are looking for calmness, want to control your thoughts, and keep your body young, feel free to choose this type of training. It is suitable for everyone regardless of fitness level, age, size, or other factors. Try incorporating Pilates into your routine, and you'll find the new limits of your body!
Unimeal does not diagnose or suggest treatments. Any description of the diet, training plan or supplement should be discussed with your current physician or nutritionist. This article does not address specific conditions and is simply meant to provide general information on healthcare topics. Following any advice is at your own initiative and does not impose any responsibility on the blog authors for your health and safety.
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H. Ahmadi, M. R. Mehravar.(2019).The effect of an eight-week Pilates exercise regimen on stress management and cortisol levels in sedentary women.Journal of Physical Activity and Hormones.Retrieved from https://jpah.shiraz.iau.ir/article_673139.html
G. Suna, K. Işildak.(2020).Investigation of the Effect of 8-Week Reformer Pilates Exercise on Flexibility, Heart Rate and Glucose Levels in Sedentary Women.Asian Journal of Education and Training.Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1250306.pdf