Having a strong core goes further than just toning your abdominals. When your core is strong, it can help decrease back and hip pain. It reduces your risk of injury in movements such as lifting or bending down, whether performed in daily life or sports.
Pilates is often prescribed as a remedy for back pain it strengthens the abdominals and all of the muscles of the trunk. When your back or abdominal muscles are weak, it can cause imbalances in the body which lead to pain. Pilates exercises will help to point out where your weaknesses are so you can feel more balanced and live without pain.
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition of the joints which can affect the quality of life. Pilates should be included for anyone suffering from arthritis because it helps to get the blood circulating through the body. This will promote less inflammation in the joints. Because arthritis can lead to joints becoming weakened as well, Pilates can also help to strengthen those joints to stay mobile in your daily life.
Poor posture is a common cause of muscular pain and stiffness in the body. In Pilates, there is an emphasis on using proper alignment during the exercises to improve postural issues such as cervical or thoracic kyphosis (rounding of the neck or shoulders) and lumbar lordosis (swayback). If you find yourself sitting at a desk all day over a long period of time, you may begin to feel a strain in your shoulders, neck, or upper back which will pull the body out of alignment if not corrected.
If you are an athlete, Pilates can help to improve your performance in your sport. In addition to the physical benefits of strengthening your core, it also enhances your precision and concentration so you can focus more on your game.
One of the greatest things about Pilates is that you can do mat work anywhere! You can do it at home, the gym, or where ever you are working out that day. You do not need any props- all you need is your own body.
The hips are compromised of several muscle groups attaching the lower body to the upper body. Dysfunction in the hips can lead to instability, weakness, and pain. The Pilates concept of the Powerhouse, which includes the muscles of the core, back, and hips, trains your body to move from a centered place. Tight or weak hips can also cause knee pain. There are specific Pilates hip exercises, such as the Side Kick Series, targeted to correct this problem.
Your body is at risk for injury whether it is age, sports, or postural related. If you exercise regularly but are failing to see results, Pilates can help to correct biomechanical issues first and foremost so that the body can return to the exercise effectively. The emphasis on a strong core helps to take pressure out of the low back and other joints, therefore decreasing your overall risk of injury.
The Pilates method uses various breathing techniques during its exercises. Deep breathing, percussive breath, and active breathing are all used to not only increase the lung capacity, but also to activate different muscle groups.
Body awareness is something that can be developed through mindful observation of your movement. Through a controlled system, Pilates can help you slow down and observe your strengths and weaknesses so you can improve your overall well being.
If you are looking to improve any of these areas in your life, try adding Pilates to your next series of workouts. Make sure you keep it consistent so that you can continue to see the benefits over time.
Want to share these benefits with others? Learn more about becoming a Pilates teacher here.