10 Best Benefits of Pilates Exercise

There are far more than 10 reasons to do Pilates. For example, better sleep and better sex aren't even on this list, but they could be. Start here and see what you think. Is Pilates right for you? If you already do Pilates, see if your favorite reason makes the list.


Pilates Is Whole-Body Fitness

woman doing Pilates on mat
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Unlike some forms of exercise, Pilates does not over-develop certain parts of the body and neglect others. While Pilates training focuses on core strength, it trains the body as an integrated whole.

Pilates workouts promote strength and balanced muscle development as well as flexibility and increased the range of motion for the joints.

Attention to core support and full-body fitness, including the breath and the mind, provide a level of integrative fitness that is hard to find elsewhere. It is also a reason that Pilates is popular in rehab settings, as well as with athletes who find that Pilates is a great foundation for any kind of movement they do. ​


Pilates Is Adaptable to Many Fitness Levels and Needs

Whether you are a senior just starting to exercise, an elite athlete, or somewhere in between, the foundations of Pilates movement apply to you. Building from core strength, focusing on proper alignment, and a body/mind integrative approach make Pilates accessible to all.

With thousands of possible exercises and modifications, Pilates workouts can be tailored to individual needs. There are ways you can modify the exercises and even specific considerations for Pilates for men. This information can help you maximize your classes to achieve your goals.


Pilates Creates Strength Without Bulk

Long, lean muscles are the name of the game. In Pilates, you are not looking to build muscles for show. You are building toned muscles that work perfectly within the context of your body as a whole, and your individual functional fitness needs as you move through life.

One way Pilates creates long, strong muscles is by taking advantage of a type of muscle contraction called an eccentric contraction.


Pilates Increases Flexibility

In Pilates, you work toward a safe increase in length and stretch of the muscles and range of motion within the joints. You won't find quite as much "pretzel logic" in Pilates (as you might in yoga), but having a body that can stretch and bend to meet the flow of life is a realistic goal.​


Pilates Develops Core Strength

The core muscles of the body are the deep muscles of the back, abdomen, and pelvic floor. We rely on these muscles to support a strong, supple back, good posture, and efficient movement patterns.

When our core is strong, the frame of the body is supported. Our neck and shoulders can relax, and the rest of our muscles and joints are free to do their jobs (but don't have to do more).

A nice side benefit is that core training promotes flat abs. Pilates can help you learn how to pull your abs in to get the most out of the exercises.


Pilates Improves Posture

Good posture is a reflection of good alignment that is supported by a strong core. It is a position from which one can move freely. Starting with Pilates movement fundamentals and progressing through mat and equipment exercises, Pilates trains the body to express itself with strength and harmony.

People who practice Pilates often have excellent posture. It's also a reason why people do Pilates for back pain. 


Pilates Increases Energy

It might seem like a paradox, but the more you exercise, the more energy you have. The more energized you are, the more you'll feel like doing your exercise routine (to a point, of course).

Pilates gets the breath and circulation moving, stimulates the spine and muscles, and floods the body with the good feelings one gets from exercising the whole body.


Pilates Promotes Weight Loss and Long, Lean Appearance

If you practice Pilates regularly, it will change your body. Known for creating long, strong muscles and a leaner look, Pilates improves your muscle tone, balances musculature, supports beautiful posture, and teaches you to move with ease and grace. All of these things will make you look and feel very fit.

If you want to lose weight, the formula for weight loss remains the same: Burn more calories than you take in. As a full-body fitness method, Pilates help will help you do that.

Combined with aerobic activity, Pilates becomes a prime weight loss and body toning tool. To get started, you might look into a plus-size Pilates class or read up on how to design your workout for weight loss.


Pilates Increases Awareness — Body/Mind Connection

Joseph Pilates was adamant that Pilates (or "contrology" as he called it) was about "the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit."

This is a secret of Pilates exercise. When we practice each movement with our total attention, the body and mind unite to bring forth the most benefit possible from each exercise.

The Pilates principles — centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow — are key concepts that are used to integrate body and mind.​


There Are Many Ways to Learn Pilates

The ever-growing popularity of Pilates has put it on the map, so classes are easy to come by. The accessibility is good for beginners because it's important to start with live Pilates instruction at a studio or gym (preferably from a certified Pilates instructor) when you first begin your training.

You can always supplement your learning once you get going. You can even practice Pilates at home. You don't need fancy equipment—just a mat and comfy clothes!

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Article Sources
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