The method of Pilates has grown exponentially in popularity over the past couple of years, and for a good reason. Of course, as a Certified Pilates Instructor, I am biased to how incredible this way of movement is, but if you are not yet convinced- this article is for you. Keep reading if you want to know more about the benefits of Pilates, what to expect when taking a class and more.
What Is Pilates
Pilates is a movement method designed to realign the body, improving balance, muscle tone and coordination.
Pilates was created in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates in Germany. He developed a system of exercises intended to strengthen the human mind and body.
Essentially, Pilates is an exercise system focused on the movements of your spine and core muscles. In Pilates, the exercises aim to build strength and flexibility through low-impact movements, all while focusing on alignment, posture and proper breathing. Pilates is accessible for everyone regardless of age or fitness level and can be tailored to your specific goals, whether that be to improve your overall fitness, help rehabilitate injuries, lose weight or support yourself during pre or post-pregnancy. It really is for every 'body'.
Regarding Pilates, there are two different types of classes, Mat Classes and Pilates done with Equipment (Reformer, Cadilac, Barrel, Tower etc.). Mat Pilates is done on a mat, while equipment-based Pilates, such as the Reformer, Tower etc., is done on a resistance-based machine. Mat Pilates can be done anywhere, where equipment-based classes usually take place in a Studio.
What To Expect
During your class, you will work with small movements and muscle groups thoughtfully and intentionally. Expect to connect to your mind, body and breath all through exercise.
Expect to feel muscles you may not be familiar with and leave with a heightened sense of mind & body awareness. Pilates is a type of workout that will leave you feeling strong, calm and centred in your body and mind.
If you are new to Pilates, I always recommend starting with a Mat Class as this is the foundation of Pilates and will help set you up for success in your future classes. I often explain it as the Mat Foundations Exercises being the foundation when building a house. Therefore, it would be best if you started with a strong foundation before bringing in the decor, accessories etc. (which in our case would be the Reformer etc.) to get the best results.
There are many benefits of Pilates, such as improved posture and alignment, increased core strength, and a decrease in low back pain. In addition, participating in consistent Pilates classes can help to prevent injuries.
The top benefits I have seen in myself and in clients are improved posture and alignment and increased muscle tone and definition.
Another essential part of getting an effective Pilates workout with all the benefits listed above is the Instructor. A good instructor will be able to assess a client's gait, posture and body imbalances. The Instructor's plan should be specific to the individual's needs and physical ability. Working with a good Instructor allows you to enjoy Pilates no matter your fitness level. I always recommend starting with a couple of private sessions to get a proper body assessment so that you know what to focus on and can get the most from Pilates as a whole.
Pilates is a practice that never really gets easier. Instead, as you become stronger and more familiar with the method of movement, and as you progress, the exercises evolve and get more challenging.
That is why so many people fall in love with Pilates because it is a way to constantly evolve through fitness without hitting a plateau or getting bored.
I believe that Pilates is more than a way to exercise, but instead, it is a pivotal part of living a healthy & active lifestyle. It is something you can look forward to doing every day.
If you are new to Pilates and looking for a place to start, take advantage of the 14-day free trial on The KM Method Online Studio, where we have Premium Pilates Classes for all fitness levels to enjoy.
Thank you for reading.