Being a Pilates instructor, I obviously love Pilates but I’m often asked ‘How will Pilates help me?’ So here are some of the awesome benefits of Pilates;
Tone, baby! Pilates involves strength and conditioning exercises that help tone your body. Working with weights and spring resistance helps to create toned and lean muscles. Based on your posture and goals, your instructor will design a program that suits your body and ability. Balancing strength with flexibility is Pilates strength and your instructor can make you work hard!
Have you ever thought about how you breathe? Do you breathe deep or shallow? Quick or fast? Through your nose or mouth? What happens to your breath when you’re stressed?
Many people don’t think about how they breathe and have never been told that their breathing technique may be contributing to their tight or painful neck, chest or back. In Pilates we look at these finer points of breath and work on ways to optimise breathing. Learning to utilise your breath during movement reduces tension and increases ease of movement. It also contributes to healthy movement of the diaphragm, vital for optimal breathing and gut health.
Rehab and Prehab
Pilates is amazing for injury prevention, rehabilitation and cross-training.
More and more therapists are referring their clients to attend Pilates to work on optimal movement patterns for injury prevention and rehabilitation. From sore backs to hip replacements and pre and post-natal, Pilates can be beneficial for everyone at any age. I have taught kids as young as 7 and adults as old as 84 and they all obtain benefits.
Various different sports such as football, basketball, netball, dance and tennis are utilising the Pilates method to help their athletes maintain optimal biomechanics for their chosen sport. Whether it be at a local, state or international level, athletes all over the world are utilising the Pilates method.
Functional Movement Patterns
What is that you may ask? Literally getting you to move well for every day tasks such as bending down, hanging out the washing, running after your kids etc. Ever heard of someone saying they bent over and their ‘back went’? Pilates can help prevent that.
Creating optimal movement patterns is always my end goal for clients. The skills and movement patterns we practice in class I want clients to be able to use outside of class so we always incorporate standing, balancing, rotating, bending, reaching and jumping into sessions.
Sometimes through injury our body creates poor movement patterns that are then adopted. Pilates can help retrain these movement patterns with our aim to create the best movement with minimal effort.
Pilates is exercise and exercise/movement is good for the body. Exercise is not only good for the body physically but also mentally as it promotes the release of endorphins which helps to elevate our mood. Different types of exercise can have different benefits but any exercise that you enjoy and gets you to move is a winner.
Whether it is your relationship with your instructor or with the other people in your class, creating new relationships is beneficial and rewarding. Having an instructor that you trust and can ask questions to, is a great tool when trying to understand your body and how and why it moves. Meeting other people with similar interests (who wouldn’t love Pilates?!) can lead to new friendships in and outside of the studio too.
A note about the Author:
Kate Boyle has been been teaching since 2005 and is a Level 4 Australian Pilates Method Association Pilates instructor.
A previous dancer and athlete at state level, Kate has trained in movement her whole life.
Kate owns and operates Mind and Movement Pilates in Melbourne, Australia and believes in creating overall health for the body and mind through functional movement patterns and good nutrition.