What Is Pilates and Why Is It So Good For You?

October 30, 2020

You probably heard of Pilates before, since many gyms offer classes. But do you actually know what Pilates is and why so many people enjoy it that much? We got the answers for you and present you with the many benefits of Pilates.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a great workout routine, that aims to strengthen and stabilize your core body while aligning your posture and improving your flexibility. It consists of low-impact exercises that mostly target your core area. However, other parts of your body are also involved, so it is a good full-body exercise.

You can do Pilates with or without equipment, depending on the type of class you are taking. Either way, it involves slow, precise movement and breath control. You can differentiate between mat classes (performed on a mat that is a bit thicker than a yoga mat) and reformer classes. 

A reformer is a machine that consists of a sliding platform with a stationary foot bar, springs, and pulleys that provide resistance. So usually mat classes are better suited for beginners since reformer classes are a little more advanced. A typical Pilates workout is between 45 minutes and an hour long. 

Here are some benefits that Pilates offers for the wellbeing of your body and mind:

1. Pilates is a great exercise

Pilates focuses on core strength, but at the same time, it trains the body as an integrated whole. That makes it the perfect workout to train and tone your full body. It promotes strength and balanced muscle development, increases flexibility, and range of motion for the joints.

Further, breath work is an important part of Pilates. This combination of focusing on the fitness of your body and your mind makes it very unique. Pilates is also popular for rehabilitation after injuries and to treat back pain. 

2. Pilates builds muscles and core strength

The best thing about Pilates is that it creates long, lean muscles that won’t make you look bulky. So if you are looking to tone your body, this is the right exercise for you. At the same time, it builds core strength, by working the deep muscles of the back, abdomen, and pelvic floor. 

These muscles support a strong back, good posture, and efficient movement patterns. That is why Pilates is such a good exercise to treat back pain. With a strong core, your neck and shoulders can relax, and the whole frame of the body is supported

3. Pilates makes you more flexible

Are you struggling to touch your toes when you are bending over in a standing position? Then regular Pilates exercise can help you increase your flexibility. If you dislike yoga, because of the many bends and stretches, you might enjoy Pilates a lot more, since it works towards increased flexibility differently. 

However, there is also a routine called Yogalates, which is the perfect combination of Pilates and Yoga. That way, you can have the best of both worlds. The great thing about Yoga is, that it carefully focuses on all joints in your body, even the ones you don’t use that much. Combined with Pilates you will be able to increase your flexibility, while also building lean muscles.

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4. Pilates promotes weight loss

Regular Pilates exercise will change the way your body looks. Building long, lean muscles will improve your muscle tone, balance your musculature, and teach you to move with ease and grace. But it also helps to burn more calories and lose weight effectively. 

For the best effect, you should combine it with a healthy, balanced diet. There might even be Pilates classes in your home town, that are targeted primarily to weight loss. However, any Pilates style and class can support your weight loss journey, as long as you take other measures as well, like watching your calorie intake.

5. Pilates increases mindfulness

Pilates not only works for your body, but it is also very beneficial for your mind. In general, it will help you increase awareness and balance your body-mind-connection. To perform each movement, you need to concentrate and focus completely on your body. This makes Pilates such a great exercise to also practice mindfulness. 

According to the founder of the practice, Joseph Pilates, it is all about the “complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.” The principles of Pilates therefore are centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow. 

6. Pilates is suited for everybody

No matter if you are a beginner or advances if you want to lose weight or decrease back pain: Pilates is suited for everybody, due to its many benefits. If you are new to it, we recommend you take a beginners class, so the instructor can adjust your poses and movements. If you are more advanced, you can even do Pilates on your own.

Like any exercise, Pilates is also a great way to unwind and relax. Just like a massage. At RLAX we offer you spa-quality massage on demand, that you can enjoy in the comfort of your home, hotel, or even at work. Our highly skilled massage therapists are all approved by the Ministry of Public Health and offer a broad range of different massages. Go ahead and try it yourself: Book your first appointment and RLAX!