The term Pilates refers to a workout program that was created by a man named Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s. Since then, the program has received much acclaim and it is currently a pop culture phenomenon.
It’s a very different form of exercise than the standard types of workouts that people commonly use, so in this article, we’ll give an in-depth examination of pilates, relaying the benefits that one can achieve through proper use of the pilates program.
One of the first things that you need to realize is that pilates is not a type of exercise that is immediately helpful when it comes to losing weight. You lose weight by burning more calories than you take in, and pilates is a low-intensity type of exercise that involves the usage of slow, precise movements.
Just because pilates isn’t a good fat-burning type of exercise does not mean that the exercises it employs are without merit. There are many benefits that one can achieve through a proper use of the pilates program.
Increasing Stabilizer Muscle Strength
One of the most significant points of the pilates program is it’s ability to increase the strength of stabilizer muscles that may not commonly be worked out in a standard exercise program. Also, since pilates stresses the use of graceful and fluid movements, it can be a great way to get a better sense of the kinesthetics of your body.
The sense of body that you can achieve through pilates is quite significant, and many find that they are better able to balance themselves regardless of the position that they are in.
Another aspect of pilates that is stressed by the founder, Joseph Pilates, is the increased amount of strength that one can achieve in the ‘core’ of the body. The term core refers to the muscles in and around the area of the abdominal muscles and the back. Proper breathing control is also stressed in pilates, adding to the numerous list of benefits that one can attain through regular use of the exercise program.
Now that you know more about pilates, you can better determine if the benefits that it offers is suitable to the results that you are looking for out of your exercise program. If you are interested in learning more about the program, there is a host of information online that is available to you to make you more aware of exactly how pilates works. You can begin a pilates program in your own home by ordering instructional DVDs and some basic pilates equipment such as a mat.
If you’re looking for a more hands-on approach to learning, you may wish to enquire at your local exercise center about any pilates programs that they may offer. There are often pilates programs set up at most fitness centers as the exercise routine as getting more and more popular.
Limitations of Pilates
If regular pilates practice really can help you achieve these health benefits, what are some of the limitations of pilates, if any?
Some fitness experts argue that although pilates is commonly seen as a ‘whole body’ conditioning system, it does not represent a complete fitness routine or discipline.
According to certain fitness experts, pilates should not be your sole means of fitness or movement. It must be augmented with other forms of exercise in order to complete your fitness routine.
So what are the major limitations of the Pilates Method?
Some health experts suggest that pilates practice does not supply enough cardiovascular benefits to sustain a healthy body. Because pilates does not exert the body or contain much high impact and high output movements, some fitness experts believe that it may not provide enough cardiovascular benefits.
Another limitation of pilates is that it does not build muscle mass. To some, this is actually a benefit of pilates because it does not build the bulky muscles associated with other forms of exercise.
But for others who are seeking to build muscle mass, pilates may represent a limited discipline.
Image by Robert Bejil, Creative Commons 2.0 License