Strength Training and Recovery With Pilates Exercises

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Pilates exercises maybe you’ve tried it, maybe you’ve only heard of it. You may be curious as to what it is.

Pilates is a form of physical exercise that has become quite popular lately and has risen among other forms of exercise as a lead contender. This is great because it is opening up new options for people looking to better themselves. No longer are you limited to just going to a gym and lifting weights or running on a treadmill. 

You can do something fun and empowering such as Pilates. 

Some History

Pilates has been around for a long time and just been hiding under the radar. It has been around since the roaring ’20s! It was originally created by a man with the name of, you guessed it, Pilates. His name was Joseph Pilates and he was a man of many talents such as gymnastics, diving, skiing, performing in a circus, teaching self-defense, and even boxing. He participated in the First World War as a medic within the ward to help injured soldiers get back onto their feet. He would use methods that are still used today in regular Pilates classes, to help them recover. Some of the beds he would rig with springs so that they would be supported in their movements and able to hit those small muscles that needed strengthening. This would lead to the creation of his most used Pilates machine called the “Cadillac”. This is still in use today, just slightly modified. 

Eventually, he and his wife went on to open their own studio in New York. From here they would begin to build and progress this form of physical exercise into what it is today. 

How It Works

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Pilates puts a ton of focus onto the core. This includes the stabilizer muscles of the abdomen and lower back, as well as the trunk that includes the upper portion of the leg. The idea is to create a strong foundation by which you can grow and operate on. We tend to be lacking in the department of quality movement now, so this is a great way to get better at just moving. 

All of the pilates exercises are low impact, making it a great option for people with injuries, bad joints, or fear of injury. It can be a great form of recovery if you are injured just by allowing you to still move around within worsening an existing injury. 

Not every class is going to be high intensity. There is a lot of slowing down, focus on breath, and control. This allows you to really feel what is happening in the body as you do these movements and use the equipment. Often times we become obsessed with the high intensity or fast-paced workouts, that we forget how important it is to slow down too. 

You can do Pilates in two ways. There is the class with the machine or reformer, or you have the option of doing Pilates on mats. The machine is there to add resistance and has a sliding carriage that really makes the workout challenging. It creates the need for stabilization, which then tells those tiny muscles to turn on and get to work. In a mat class, you may be working against gravity or bands. This is extremely helpful even with just minimal equipment. Each method will be challenging in their own ways! 

As you progress through a class, there is often an instructor who is giving you detailed instructions and cues for each movement. This is great because you can just follow along. There isn’t any guesswork on what to do because it’s already laid out for you. 

What Is Better About Pilates Exercises 

Pilates has a lot to offer that other outlets of exercise don’t. This makes it a great option or even an addition to what you are already doing.

You finally get to slow down and be one with yourself for a bit. A lot of us don’t understand what is going on in the body when we are going 100% all the time. With Pilates, you can connect your breath to your movement and be present with your body as it’s working. 

If you are using Pilates as your main form of exercise, there is the benefit of low risk for injury. One of the main reasons that people fail at the sustained progress of exercise is due to injury. If you can find something that keeps you injury-free, then you can do it for a longer period of time. Consistency is what breeds results. 

It’s Great for Flexibility and Is a Challenge

People don’t always associate slow and controlled with results. However, you can expect an increase in your flexibility and mobility.  That is not to say that Pilates workouts are not challenging. Many people are shocked when they finally take a class as there are a variety of ways to add resistance and pace to intensify and advance the movements.. If you were to take an intense Cross Fitter to a Pilates class, they would even have a tough time. It’s just a completely different experience! 

Many people love it and use it for the benefits, but they also love the challenge that is presented to them within the class.

“Pilates exercises are a great way to deepen flexibility and build lean muscle mass through controlled movements and focused breath work.  The reformer also adds an element of stabilization and strength training using spring-based resistance to make each workout even that much more challenging” – Kris Kruk, Tribe Pilates CEO

It’s A Form of Recovery

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Pilates was created as a form of recovery. So, it makes sense that it will help to this very day. Many people use it as a way to still be active without aggravating other injuries. If you hurt your shoulder, you could still come to a Pilates class and workout in some other area. 

It is also low impact. So, when we have an injury, it isn’t always helpful to completely do nothing. The injured tissue needs blood flow, so you want to stay active. Pilates being low impact, allows you to work that muscle without risk for making it worse. You’re actually going to make it better!

Pilates Exercises Are Great 

There is a reason that it’s become so popular and incorporated in workout routines.. It offers something different to a niche crowd. It allows people to work out longer and for a more consistent time because it isn’t hard on the body. In this day and age, that seems to become more and more important. 

It is a great form of recovery, mobility, and strength. It helps you to slow down and really understand your body and its movements. 

These qualities make Pilates a great form of exercise that everyone should definitely try out.

If you have questions about pilates or getting started with pilates – please contact us or come visit out studio.

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