Which Pilates method is best for you?
What Is Pilates?
This training method has been around since the early 20th century. It enjoys huge popularity around the world. Pilates involves a series of movements that help develop core strength, increase joint flexibility, and boost functional fitness. Even though Pilates is not a cure-all, it can alleviate back pain, improve your posture, and keep you fit until late in life.
In general, Pilates studios provide resistance bands, steppers, foam rollers, reformers, loops, and other accessories that allow members to perform a variety of movements. Compared to other training methods, this system is safe for people for all ages and fitness levels. Most exercises can be adjusted to meet the needs of those with back pain, knee pain, pre-&-post natal women and other injuries.
When done correctly, Pilates can shape your body and increase core strength. It also improves balance and coordination, enhances mental focus, and calms your mind. In the long run, it leads to greater flexibility, spinal mobility, and muscular endurance. When used along with a balanced diet, it may lead to weight loss and improved body composition.
Pilates is ideal for women and men, seniors, children, and athletes. Actually, Pilates is becoming more and more popular among crossfitters and fitness pros looking to diversify their workouts. Its versatility may be its best asset for the future. Nowadays, most Pilates studios offer classes for pregnant women, elderly adults, teens, and people recovering from injuries. It may surprise you that this training method is widely available in tennis, rugby, and football clubs as well as in physiotherapy clinics and spas.
What Are the Benefits?
Pilates promotes natural grace and suppleness, focusing on the core muscles. A strong core helps maintain your posture and balance, makes everyday activities easier, and improves athletic performance. This training method is based on six principles, namely:
- Concentration (mind-body connection)
- Precision (good form helps prevent injuries)
- Control (Pilates exercises require a slow, controlled motion)
- Flow (fluid movements)
- Breath (Deep, controlled breathing improves oxygen flow and circulation)
- Center (the central core is the beginning of all movement)
When done regularly, Pilates builds core strength and balance, increases body awareness, and boosts your confidence.
According to researchers, this exercise method may relieve chronic low back pain. Additionally, it helps build long, lean muscles through controlled contractions. Due to its beneficial effects on blood and oxygen flow, Pilates increases your energy levels and wards off stress. Some workouts take just five minutes to complete, so you can exercise whenever you’re feeling stressed or anxious.
Pilates Types and Styles
There is more than one way to practice Pilates. This training method has evolved over the years, so now we have access to a variety of programs. Stott Pilates, clinical Pilates, contemporary Pilates, BASI Pilates, and Polestar Pilates are popular worldwide. Some people choose to follow the classical method, which was developed by Joseph Pilates. This exercise system is safe and beneficial for all ages. However, there are dozens of variations that can be just as effective when done correctly. It all comes down to your needs.
At Upwell Health Collective we offer the following classes:
Clinical Pilates is widely used in Physiotherapy centers around Australia. It appeals to those suffering from injuries, muscular imbalances, herniated discs, hip and knee weakness, or back pain. This treatment method is typically used as part of a physiotherapy plan. Most movements are done on a reformer and require small props. According to health experts, clinical Pilatesimproves muscle tone and strength, increases core stability, and promotes healing. Over time, it helps prevent injuries and restores natural movement patterns.
Fitness Pilates is based on “dynamic sequencing,” a method that promotes fat loss and body toning. It is great for those looking to drop weight, build a strong core, and get leaner. It is also ideal to maintain healthy physical function as you get older.
Regardless of what Pilates method you choose, be consistent and stick to your workouts. Experiment with different workout methods to find one that works best for you. Use Pilates as part of your fitness routine to break through plateaus, ward off boredom, and make exercise fun!
Hannah Drysdale is one of Upwell’s guru pilates physiotherapists. Hannah treats a range of musculoskeletal, pre-and-post natal and sporting conditions using her extensive pilates training and also delivers non-pilates based physiotherapy treatments for musculoskeletal conditions such as sports injury, back pain and post-operative rehabilitation.