shutterstock_73583191 copyAs a gentle yet challenging workout, pilates is one of the best ways to tone your body and increase muscle strength without adding bulk. Pilates has gained a lot of attention over the decade and it is no wonder. This discipline lengthens and tones muscles, adds core strength, and improves posture. When you incorporate pilates with a healthy diet and a cardio workout the results will prove amazing. You will feel better, look better, and condition your entire body.

Developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, this discipline conditions the entire body by building flexibility, increasing muscle strength, and adding endurance to the back, arms, legs, and abdominal muscles. It also helps align the spine and pelvis. Developing a regular pilates routine will help you develop strong core strength, helping to improve your balance and coordination.

As a conditioning routine for your entire body, pilates was developed to strengthen both the body and the mind, as Joseph Pilates believed the two to be intrinsically related.

Demanding intense focus, pilates works to control muscles. A concentration of smooth movements in pilates is a huge part of the discipline. Pilates teaches you to be in control of your body rather than surrender to it. With the main focus on the center part, or core, of your body, including your upper and lower back, your abs, inner thighs, and hips, pilates works from this centre and flows outward toward the limbs.

Benefits

There are a number of both physical and mental benefits that come with a regular pilates practice. By practising pilates you can get a full-body sculpting work-out in just one hour while working to focus your mind and increase concentration at the same time.

Good for body and mind

Like yoga, pilates focuses on controlled breathing while performing physical exercises. While concentrating on fluid movement, you also concentrate on your breath which helps you become deeply in tune with your entire system. In pilates, you control the movement of your body, and with proper breathing you learn to execute movements with power and efficiency. A physical workout where you engage your breath will reduce stress and increase muscle strength.

Build long, lean muscles

Rather than build bulky muscles, pilates helps to build long and lean muscles over time. Quickly building bulky muscles in other types of strength training most often leads to injury. When you build muscles with pilates, you improve the elasticity of your muscles and joints and are less susceptible to injury.

Conditions the entire body

Pilates does not concentrate on one specific area of the body, but rather works to condition your entire body giving balance to the entire body. There is no muscle group in pilates that is under trained or over trained. Rather, every muscle in your body is conditioned in fluid movement to ensure a full body strengthening workout. This helps to enjoy sports and daily activities with greater ease. With its benefits for the entire body, pilates has become a standard part of work-out routines for professional and elite
athletes around the world.

Good for back pain

Pilates focuses on working the muscles that are most associated with back pain. Often back pain is contributed to weak abdominal and glute muscles. Pilates focuses on strengthening these muscles as well as stretching out back muscles that may be tight and overworked.

One of the main components of pilates is proper alignment. With proper alignment, back pain is often diminished.

Provides better balance

By strengthening your core, pilates helps improve balance. Your core muscles are responsible for the maintenance of balance and coordination. Pilates focuses on increasing the strength of your core muscles so you may find better balance with everything you do in your daily life.

Whatever activities you partake in within your daily life, pilates will help with your precision to execute these activities in the smoothest way possible. Rather than a bunch of separate movements, pilates will help you move your entire body as one system and provide you with not only greater ease with movement, but greater ease in maintaining your entire system, helping both body and mind.

– Jen Keehn

 

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