When we opened the studio in downtown Visalia a few months ago, we had a lot of people asking about Pilates. What is it? Can it help me? What are those machines?
These are all great questions that our Beginner’s Guide will answer and hopefully inspire you to try a class.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is an exercise regime that works your entire body with different sequences of machines and exercises, focusing primarily on your core. It works to gather the muscles that start two inches beneath your navel, continue two inches above your navel, and wrap entirely around your front and back side
How is Pilates different from other forms of exercise?
Unlike most exercises, Pilates is non-impact. It focuses on your body as a whole. Your body must be moved by accessing the abdominal wall to protect your upper and lower back. Your body is also being worked evenly, so one side is not being worked harder than the other. Pilates helps flatten your stomach and tones your upper and lower extremities while working you from the inside out – ensuring you focus on your deep abdominal muscles before starting each movement. This is one reason it’s a good tummy-flattening exercise.
What are the benefits of Pilates?
Students of Pilates know that it helps reduce stress and anxiety. It requires you be present with your body when you exercise. Often as an instructor, I ask my clients to think about the body region they are presently exercising or the muscles they are moving, rather than moving mindlessly without focus. This focus helps to avoid the risk of injury and reduces stress!
Pilates also improves posture and emphasizes body alignment. If taught well it is a great way to counteract the effects of sitting long hours at a desk or on the couch. It teaches your body awareness of good posture not only while exercising but while carrying on in everyday life. Pilates reduces aches and pains by stretching and strengthens certain muscles to balance them, therefore often reducing pain. Pilates also prevents and helps with injury rehabilitation by keeping joints stable and strong.
How can Pilates help me lose weight?
The calorie-burning potential is boosted thanks to the unique way Pilates conditions core muscles. Intermediate and advanced forms increase your ability to burn more calories and fat as well as burn more calories throughout your day. An effective weight-loss and body-toning regimen can be used and incorporated with Pilates. If you commit to a consistent program, you can achieve a slimmer, trimmer appearance along with significant weight loss. No matter what the skill level, all students find these exercises to be challenging and beneficial to their overall well-being.