I obviously LOVE Pilates! I personally love the way my body feels after a workout. There are so many benefits to doing clinical Pilates. See below what you can expect to achieve with clinical Pilates:
The first and most obvious benefit of Pilates is improving your flexibility. In clinical Pilates we work to improve the health of your joints by moving them through their full range of movement. If you loose range of movement in a joint the joint can become unhealthy and eventually degenerate. We also work on muscle flexibility. Tight muscles will lead to abnormal movement patterns and restriction of movement. By stretching tight muscles we can allow for correcting muscle imbalances and improving normal movement biomechanics.
Increased core strength and stability
Clinical Pilates works the deep core muscles in a way that no other exercise form does. You learn to switch on the deepest abdominal muscle and the pelvic floor to strengthen these areas. These muscles are designed to support spinal movement, therefore clinical Pilates will help you to stabilise the spine during movement.
Reduces back pain
There is lots of evidence to suggest that when you experience an episode of back pain the core stabilising muscles become inhibited. They then loose their ability to function properly and no longer support the spine. This is why when you have had an episode of back pain you are very vulnerable to future episodes of pain. Retraining the core stabilising muscles can reduce back pain and prevent future episodes of pain. You can read more about the evidence here.
We work on strengthening the postural muscles in Pilates. Improving your posture can have a positive impact on both your physical appearance and your confidence. Poor posture can lead to pain in various areas such as the back, neck, shoulders, even give you headaches! So stand tall and proud!
Improve your lung capacity
We use a breathing technique in pilates called lateral breathing. This allows us to expand the ribcage and and use the diaphragm to breath deep into the lungs. This can also have a positive effect on mobilising the ribs and thoracic spine (middle back) that can have a tendency to stiffen. Lateral breathing can also have a calming effect and allow you to focus on the moment and reduce stress.
Pilates is also a great way to tone the muscles around the buttocks, hips, tummy and shoulders.
Improves your focus and co-ordination
Pilates pushes you to focus on your body and what your body is doing. During my 30 minute workouts you will find yourself lost in your own zone of concentration. There are lots of challenges to improve your co-ordination too.
Can prevent injury
By having strength and support in the stabilising muscles your body can function more efficiently. I have worked with lots of sporting athletes who have suffered with things such as recurrent hamstring injuries/tight hamstrings. Naturally your hamstrings will lengthen if you can target strengthening the core and glutes. The hamstrings are usually tight in the first place due to poor contraction and co-ordination of the glutes. Having more flexibility in the hamstrings will reduce your chances of injuring them. You will find lots of top high level sports clubs do Pilates now as part of their injury prevention programmes.
Improve your energy levels
A combination of lateral breathing, co-ordination and strength based exercises will leave you feeling instantly energised after a Pilates workout!
Lowers Blood Pressure
A recent study in 2015 showed that mat based Pilates had a positive impact on lowering blood pressure! Read the article here.
Can reduce menopause symptoms
There is also more recent research suggesting that Pilates can reduce menopause symptoms. Read here.