Pilates is well-known for developing long, lean muscles, yet the benefits go beyond aesthetics. It renews the body from the inside. By Ivy Ong
Would you really believe doing pilates could give you a whole new body after 30 sessions? It’s not miracle – pilates is based on exercise science and rehabilitation study, and consistent practice develops mind-body connection so that the body is able to move intelligently. Any exercise or movement will help a person lose weight, tone up and grow stronger, what’s different with doing pilates is that it creates balance within the body, trains you to access core strength and makes your body more resilient. Read on for more on how doing pilates changes your body.
- What those long, lean muscles are all about
We develop muscles as we contract them during exercise. The thing is, there are three kinds of contractions, and in pilates, there is plenty of focus on the second kind, which is in the eccentric phase. Eccentric contractions work against resistance – there is control, a deliberate decceleration of the movement. Muscles in the eccentric phase of contraction work harder, because they must contract as they get longer. This means we build muscles that are not bulky, but long and lean.
- Doing pilates makes you more flexible
Stretching in a fixed position can improve flexibility, but incorporating stretches into movement like the exercises in pilates will gain us more flexibility. And going back to eccentric contractions, pilates guides the muscle into moving through the full range of motion in the eccentric phase, which is the key to more gains in flexibility.
- You get a strong core
A strong core is not about abs for show. The core, made up of the deepest layer of our abdominal muscle, the pelvic floor, the diaphragm and deep lower back muscles, wraps the torso in a supportive corset. Pilates helps you find your core and then strengthen it so that you can move with stability, control and dynamic energy with less risk of injuries.
- Your body will listen to you
Pilates emphasizes quality of movement rather than quantity, and you can’t have good quality movement without first stabilizing the body and putting it in proper alignment. By training you to lead with the breath, draw strength from the core and move with intention, pilates enhances mind-body connection not only during exercise but also in everyday activities.
- Pilates brings the body back into alignment
Our bodies have a natural and neutral alignment that should give us the most comfort and stability at rest and when in motion, but we lose this alignment through bad habits and poor movement patterns. Exercises in pilates work the muscles to promote proper alignment. A body in good alignment can move with ease and freedom with very few aches and pains or none at all.
- You become less prone to pains and injuries
Pilates began as a rehabilitation program for injured soldiers. Today, rehabilitation and post-rehabilitation for people with injuries incorporate pilates principles and exercises. It’s also good for prevention, because a strong core and good body alignment protects the back and the joints and also upholds intelligent movement.
- You get more energy
Doing pilates not only makes you feel more energetic, you actually get more energy than before you started your session. The body draws fuel from oxygen, and pilates encourages us to take full breaths – to push the air into the lower lobes of the lungs. The more of our lungs we use, the more efficient the energy exchange.
Change your body with All Core Pilates, located at Upper Ground Floor, Alabang Town Center. Call or text 0917 187 2207 for more information.