The Pilates that we know today was originally developed by Joseph Pilates, who dedicated his entire life to improving physical and mental health during the early 20th century.
Today, Pilates is well-known across the globe and is a popular form of exercise for thousands of people.
In fact, the number of Americans who practice it regularly has exploded by over a sixfold from 1991 to 2005 (from 1.7 million to 11 million).
And it is still increasing to this day.
However, have you ever thought about its benefits and exactly what is Pilates good for?
Just for your convenience, we have listed a few health benefits of Pilates below.
1. Great for killer abs and core strength
Pilates really hits your core muscles (or ‘powerhouse’ as it is called in the Pilates world) and has positive effects on your lower back, abdomen, hip and pelvic muscles. Not only is a strong core essential for exercises but also for everyday tasks such as carrying heavy items and picking up objects you need to move or relocate.
As well as helping you to improve your physique, core training also helps to achieve those flat abs that we all crave for.
2. It is a good workout for your entire body
Even though the main focus is on your core strength, Pilates also plays a part in developing a full-body workout. It ensures that no specific muscle is overdeveloped and underdeveloped, giving you that perfect lean body you are looking for.
3. Perfect rehab for back pain
It’s not always guaranteed and certainly not a quick fix, but many people have seen their back pain gradually disappear after practicing Pilates. There is even a case study where a sufferer has visited 50 specialists only to find that Pilates has helped to cure her back pain.
4. Gives you a great backside
You will not find one specific exercise which solely benefits your backside. But with a whole-body Pilates workout, a major bonus is that every single exercise involves your backside in some way or form.
5. Improves your posture
Poor posture form, as a result of bad habits such as slouching at your desk and chair, can eventually cause backache, neck ache, headache, etc. The bad habits will result in asymmetrical muscle development, where some muscles are weaker than others. Pilates can help to strengthen those underdeveloped muscles and get rid of bad posture.
6. Places no pressure on your knees and joints
Since Pilates consists of slow and controlled movements, there is minimal impact on your joints. This is naturally ideal for those who cannot (or do not want to) take part in high-impact sports and exercises.
7. Pilates is for everyone
It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, fit or out of shape, flexible or not, Pilates is one of a handful of exercises which can benefit everyone.
8. Boosts your mental health and encourages you to improve your focus and concentration
Pilates helps to create a body & mind relationship, where concentration, focus, and meditation come together to help boost your mental health.
An important part of Pilates is that it pushes you to focus on your body, breathing and how they all work and move together. It is with focus and concentration that you are more likely to benefit from the exercise.
9. Improves sports performance
Many sportsmen and women find that their bodies are misaligned due to the one-sided nature of certain sports e.g. swinging a tennis racquet or golf clubs.
As Pilates helps to balance your body, develop muscular symmetry and align your posture, sportsmen and women find that Pilates can help reduce the likelihood of injuries.
10. Increases your flexibility
It was Joseph Pilates who said: “true flexibility can be achieved only when all muscles are uniformly developed.”
So rather than saying you can’t do Pilates because you are not flexible enough, you should actually participate in Pilates exercises to help improve your flexibility.