The Benefits of Pilates

I have been doing Pilates for the last 10 years, following a back injury. Before that I used to think it was only something for bored, rich housewives 🙂

The week’s blog post is by Claudia Armani – wellness coach and Pilates instructor. She outlines the manifold benefits of Pilates for everyone:

Pilates is the perfect fitness method for the 21st century. It helps you counteract hours spent sitting in front of your computer, reduce your back pain, all while giving you strong abdominal muscles.

Created in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, a former boxer and gymnast, it has since been the secret weapon of dancers and athletes.

Pilates is a “functional fitness” method: it addresses the whole body and the biomechanics of movement. It focuses on strength, flexibility, breathing, centring, coordination and proprioception.

Pilates has many benefits and it is an extremely adaptable and versatile fitness method, making it helpful for clients with very different needs. Below I identify five different areas where Pilates can help.

Lower back pain and postural correction

Most clients come to Pilates to correct their posture or reduce their lower back pain, often referred by their physiotherapist, osteopath or GP. Pilates exercises can be broken down, to suit anybody with reduced mobility or pain, and are very effective at mobilizing the spine and work all the postural muscle of the back.

Post-natal & pelvic floor

With its focus on the “core” and graduality, Pilates is the perfect fitness method for postnatal women. Most mums can’t wait to get back into shape, but overly strenuous exercise can be counterproductive if your core muscles and pelvic floor are too weak.

Pilates can be modified for new mums, helping you retrain your core and abdominal muscle, whilst being gentle on your pelvic floor.

Sport performance and injury prevention.

Another area where Pilates is very helpful is injury prevention and sports preparation. For example, if you play Golf, your Pilates programme may include a lot of rotational exercises to help you increase your performance at swinging.

A sport specific Pilates programme can also correct muscle imbalances to help you reduce the chance of injuries. For example if you are a runner your Pilates teacher may give you exercises to improve your gait reducing over pronation or supination.

In a one-to-one Pilates programme, everything is tailored to your specific needs so that you can work in the areas you need the most work.

Healthy aging

Balance training is important as we age. Pilates will improve balance, coordination, strength and flexibility. With its adaptability and functionality Pilates is a great fitness method for elders and those with reduced mobility.

Pilates is great for those who suffer from fatigue or are out of shape

Pilates is a great fitness method for those who start exercising after a period of inactivity, or for those who suffer from fatigue. Most of the exercises are performed lying down, so are great for those who are chronically tired.

Another advantage of Pilates is that it stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, the repose-and-digest system, meaning that it helps you relax, reduce stress and sleep better.

The importance of personalised Pilates programme

To get the best benefits of Pilates a personalised programme is advisable. It usually starts with a Postural and Movement assessment, to identify patterns of movement and areas where you need more work. A personalised programme will help you progress at your own pace and be more effective.

 

Profile

Claudia is a Pilates teacher and Health Coach based in London. She has taught Pilates for 14 years to a private clientele including CEOs and high-flying executives, and in some of London’s tops studios and physio clinics.

She specialises in Postnatal Pilates and Pilates for postural correction and healthy backs, but has worked with a wide variety of clients, from professional dancers to clients with MS and stroke survivors.

She combines her Pilates programs with health coaching helping her clients achieve the healthier and happier version of themselves.

She now works with her clients online. You can find her at www.claudiaarmaniwellness.com

 

 

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