A balanced body Pilates workout is ideal for general strengthening and achieving better overall balance. Pilates is known for its benefits when it comes to balance and coordination. There are several reasons why a balanced body Pilates workout helps with these key areas.
Joseph Pilates designed the exercises after studying dancers. And who has more grace and balance than a dancer? A dancer’s movements are always controlled and strong by their very nature, so Pilates movements that mimic some dancer’s moves offer those same qualities.
To give you a balanced body, Pilates designed the Reformer. The Reformer is also known as the Pilates machine, a machine designed to “reform” your body and your muscles. This machine is a precision instrument compete with straps, pulleys, springs and a sliding platform that helps you achieve balance and strength.
A Pilates machine uses your own body weight as resistance. Many pieces of exercise equipment are made this way today, but they’ve taken their cues from the Pilates Reformer, as it was the first with that innovative and effective design.
To help you achieve a balanced body, Pilates doesn’t just provide a workout; it ensures that muscles are worked at every angle and with every inch of movement. You won’t just get the benefit, for example, of a bicep curl that works the bicep muscle alone. In a movement like that, there’s just as much resistance coming out of the “curl” so that the opposite muscle is worked equally.
This method of resistance that targets both the flex and the relax movements makes it possible to get an excellent workout in fewer moves with more benefits, and unlike using free weights or doing other types of exercises, it allows you to achieve a balanced body. Pilates also achieves balance, not just in the size and shape of your muscles by toning them evenly, but it gives you more balance.
Because of the nature of the Pilates movements, people who do it regularly find that their general balance improves. The focus on the core muscles—the muscles in the abdomen and lower back—helps give overall body strength and balance.
This balance isn’t just achieved and used while doing Pilates workouts, either. Most people report that they feel more balance and strength while going about their everyday activities. When the core muscles are strong, they support the spine and back, and can make every movement easier and more balanced.
Along with a balanced body, these exercises can also help you achieve a balanced mind. Like yoga, Pilates seems to work best when it’s done consciously, with awareness. Each movement should be focused on and done with a deliberate intensity. There’s also a focus on breathing, just like in yoga, that helps with the workouts.
These conscious movements and stress on breathing at the right times, deeply and evenly, make it a very meditative exercise. So not only will you get a balanced body, Pilates can help you to achieve a calm and balanced mind, and help to ease stress.