What is Pilates?
In the 1920s, a German physical trainer and former gymnast, Joseph Pilates, introduced Pilates as a rehabilitation program to assist injured athletes and dancers to safely resume exercising and maintain fitness, one of the original primary benefits of Pilates. Since then, Pilates has evolved to suit all people in the general community. Pilates is a low impact exercise program, that can be aerobic or non-aerobic, and comprises a series of approximately 600 controlled movements. Each exercise has a specific placement, rhythm and breathing pattern, and requires focus and concentration to move your body through precise ranges of motion, and to find that central point to control your body through movement. Pilates stretches and lengthens your body muscles in a balanced fashion, but never works them to exhaustion, so there is no sweating or straining, just intense concentration.
Many people ask, what is Pilates good for, and is it good for me? Pilates focuses on deeper, smaller muscles that support body structure and due to its low impact nature, it really is available to everyone regardless of age, gender, ability and fitness level from beginners to elite athletes. Pilates can be adapted for special considerations too, like during pregnancy or to treat clinical conditions. It’s mind-body connection, holistic approach and ability to offer a range of advantages to individuals at various levels of fitness makes Pilates a powerful form of exercise to master. Here, we are going to explore in more detail, some of the main benefits of Pilates.
1. Improve Core Strength
The core muscles of your body are the deep muscles of the back, abdomen and the pelvic floor, and core strength is the foundation for whole body health. It impacts your stability and posture, and plays a key role in safely performing everyday actions such as bending, lifting, twisting, exercising and playing sport. One of the main benefits of Pilates is that by maintaining a strong core, you can reduce your risk of injury, stabilise your lower back, improve your flexibility and mobility, protect your organs, and generally allow yourself to perform many day to day activities without stiffness and discomfort.
2. Improve Balance
With improved core strength comes greater balance. Have you ever felt as though you have the stability of a baby giraffe? Studies show that Pilates will improve the balance of older adults in particular, reducing the risk of falls, which is the single most common reason for hospital admissions.
3. Improve Body Tone
Pilates is very successful at increasing your muscle strength without creating any bulk, thereby improving your muscle tone and changing your body shape. Pilates will particularly target and improve the core muscles of your body, being around the abdominal area, lower back, buttocks and hips. When our body looks good, we naturally feel better about ourselves and when Pilates is balanced with aerobic exercise and a healthy eating plan, this can support you in weight loss too.
4. Improve Posture
Since Pilates targets core muscular strength, it promotes optimal posture, providing the foundation for a strong and supported body structure. Correcting posture can reduce chronic pain being experienced in the body, and support you in the rehabilitation of injury to the body.
5. Reduce Tension and Stress
Pilates can be considered a form of active meditation, especially for those who find it difficult to sit still, relax and just breathe. Pilates exercises are steeped in principles of breathing, stretching and strengthening. Focused breathing is well recognised for its ability to reduce stress, and the relaxed sessions promote a reduction in muscle tension. Both practices have a calming effect on the mind and body, reducing anxiety, tension and stress, and is another one of the main benefits of doing Pilates.
The Atkins Health Pilates classes Gold Coast studio is located at the Gold Coast Performance Centre, with classes delivered by accredited exercise physiologists using Pilates Reformer equipment. Together with a maximum class size of just four participants, this ensures that you will receive the highest quality of Pilates instruction available, to reach your goals sooner.
Atkins Health offers both mat Pilates in private one-on-one sessions, and group classes using Pilates reformer equipment. What is reformer Pilates? You can read more about our reformer Pilates classes, or simply complete the form below and we’ll get back to you shortly to answer your questions.