This popular mat workout developed by Joseph Pilates concentrates on core strength, body alignment and muscular balance without adding bulk. If you are looking for that long, lean dancer body, this is the class for you!
Pilates exercises teach awareness, in particular awareness of the alignment of the skeleton. The exercises have a particular focus on the spine and aid in strengthening the deep postural muscles that support good alignment.
When performed correctly they will improve our posture, restore good alignment and create good movement patterns. The result is to build stability, strength and mobility, which in turn will help to prevent injury.
Longer and leaner musculature
If you tend to bulk up when you work out, Pilates is an ideal strength-training program for you. Pilates exercises accentuate the length of the limbs and change bulky muscles into longer and leaner ones. In general, Pilates exercise should lengthen your muscles and make you look taller.
Better posture is something Pilates can pretty much guarantee. And other people will surely notice this change in you after only a few Pilates workouts. If you take the lessons you learn from Pilates to heart, you'll stand and sit taller and look more elegant.
A flatter tummy
The best way to get a flatter tummy is to lose a little weight. The second best way is to do Pilates. If you're already thin but have a bulge in your middle, Pilates can help you lose a notch in your belt. The most basic aspect of the Pilates method is pulling your navel in towards your spine or scooping your abdominals. If you apply this simple technique to your everyday life — when standing, walking and so on — your belly will be flatter and more attractive.
Less back pain
Most back pain results from faulty posture and a sedentary lifestyle. Pilates addresses the muscle imbalances that most typically contribute to back pain, namely weak abdominals and butt muscles. Pilates also stretches out the tight and overworked back muscles. Proper alignment is the main factor that helps to alleviate back pain. If you do Pilates carefully, you'll understand how to use your body in ways that protect your back from injury.
Pilates exercises stretch the muscles and the joints while they strengthen the body. If you have found that your spine has lost some of its range of motion and flexibility, Pilates very quickly lessens this problem. Everyone has physical limitations that depend on age, genetics and lifestyle. Pilates is not a panacea, but if you do a regular Pilates exercise program, your body can reach its potential in the areas of flexibility and strength.