Several health benefits of Pilates can be
derived from practicing Pilates including:
Increased core strength
Because all movements originate at the
core, not only are the abs strengthened (giving you the flat stomach you’ve
always wanted), but also the muscles supporting the lumbar spine, legs and
pelvic floor. A strong inner core is the starting point and from there the
movements flow outward to develop the extremities.
Better posture and balance
Many injuries of the back are caused by
poor posture. Sitting behind a desk eight hours a day is particular detrimental
to good posture. Pilates can bring back your straight erectness that you had as
a young adult. Plus, because Pilates develops muscles equally, you’ll find that
you’ll have better balance. Better balance means less chance of falling and
suffering a debilitating injury.
Pilates target not only the back, but also
front, sides, hamstrings and hips. By working these body parts through their
full range of motion, joints become more flexible. While yoga uses more of a static-type
stretching (holding the stretch for up to 30 seconds), Pilates uses dynamic
stretching (moving the joint and muscles through a full range of motion, but
not holding the stretch). More flexibility makes it easier to do common tasks like
mop the floor, carry laundry and vacuum.
Decreased back pain
A common cause of back pain is bad posture.
As noted above, Pilates improves posture and can alleviate back pain, before it
progresses to an injury. Back pain can also be caused by an imbalance of
muscles – one muscle stronger than its opposing muscle. Because Pilates is
especially good at improving postural asymmetries, back pain subsides once
muscular balance is achieved.