Pilates is one of the fastest growing fitness activities in America, and with good reason. Pilates is designed to increase flexibility and improve balance, coordination, and posture by focusing on strengthening the body’s midsection (core). Your core is not just your abdomen but consists of all the muscles along one’s spinal column including hips, glutes, pelvic region, abdomen, back, shoulders. The benefits of Pilates are endless including; preventing injury, stress relief, elongating and strengthening of muscles, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility, and creating an overall balance in the body.
For athletes Pilates benefits include creating more efficient movement patterns. Pilates focuses on the deep muscle groups “local stabilizers”, crucial in controlling joint movement and in maintaining the stability of the joints. With the benefit of balance throughout the entire body athletes are able to withstand rigorous training regimens. With the increased body awareness athletes learn to listen to their body’s and breathing patterns. The restorative nature of Pilates and breathing techniques learned while practicing increases blood flow through all your muscles. Learning to breath through the exercises while your muscles are working results in an increase of power, a huge benefit for athletes. Another important benefit of Pilates is an increase of neuromuscular coordination, syncing of function between groups of muscles and the nervous system. Neuromuscular coordination is all about making movement easier for the individual. With many elite athletes, recreational athletes, and those looking to increase their wellness finding great success and enjoyment in Pilates, those that have not experienced it’s benefits should seek out instruction in the form of an private instructor, class, or reputable DVD.
Basic Pilates exercises can be easily incorporated into your current conditioning program without the need for large expensive equipment. One must be patient, you did not learn to ride a bike perfectly the first day the training wheel came off, pilates takes patience and practice. After 10 sessions you will begin to feel a difference, after 20 sessions you will see a difference, after 30 sessions you will be convinced that Pilates can both benefit your performance AND your overall wellness.
*Look for coming reviews on Pilates DVD’s….