7 Reasons You Should Try Pilates | How It Works, Benefits, & What You Could Be Missing Out On
If you have never set foot in a Pilates studio: you NEED TO.
Before I started going to Pilates of Kansas City, I had never tried Pilates. OMG, crazy right?! I was missing out big time. Before I dive in to the 7 reasons you need to give it a go, first things first: what exactly IS Pilates?
Pilates of Kansas City breaks it down PERFECTLY:
"Pilates exercises encompass over 500 controlled, precise movements performed on a floor mat or special apparatus, designed to lengthen, strengthen, and stretch muscle without adding bulk.
The Pilates Method requires concentration and coordinated breathing – strengthening both the body and the mind. This Method is taught one-on-one or in small groups so our certified trainers can tailor the exercises to each individual’s fitness needs, even in cases of previous injury. Pilates focuses on quality of movement and the individual so it is a system for every age and gender.
Your strength, flexibility, balance and concentration are developed through simple effective exercises designed to lengthen your musculature while increasing muscle definition and endurance."
I feel like sometimes people get a misconception about Pilates and are intimidated by the different pieces of equipment generally used in a workout; like a reformer or the cadillac. But they are NOT scary and they provide a great low impact way to target our smaller stabilizer muscles we may not always reach directly during a weight lifting session.
I lift weights four times a week, so it is important for me to spend my active rest days doing different styles of training to balance out my body and engage different muscles in different ways. During my private session at Pilates of Kansas City on Saturday, I realized that Pilates is an AMAZING way to activate the muscles I may be missing during my regular training sessions. I could really feel the elongating effect the workout had on my muscles not only during the session, but afterwards.
Body awareness, improved flexibility, and a tight core are only a few of the benefits that come along with practicing Pilates regularly. Here are 7 REASONS you need to try Pilates - ASAP!
1. It's KILLER for your core (well, actually your entire body).
And I thought the core exercises I had been doing in my weight lifting sessions were tough. Pilates focuses on making your core the foundation and focus of all movements. When a lot of people hear the word "core" they automatically associate it with your "abs," but your core is actually your entire abdomen - back included! You will feel a huge difference in your ability to perform other exercises when you work on strengthening your core. When you focus on making every exercise a core exercise by consciously engaging your core muscles and rooting all movements back to the center of your body, you are able to build a strong foundation for other types of movements.
2. Say hello to flexibility and long, lean muscle tone.
Stretching is one of my absolute favorite things to do, especially after an intense workout. But your range of flexibility can only go so far with a toe touch for 10 seconds after your daily workout. The movements in Pilates allow you to push your body to its limit (the safe way) and build on your range of motion each time you practice. The reformer was one of my favorite pieces of equipment we used at Pilates of Kansas City because I could really feel the movements we used it for stretching my legs and torso. A flexible body is less likely to become injured, will have better posture, and will have better balance.
3. You will feel extra focused and refreshed.
Pilates encourages you to connect your body with your mind, become aware of how they move together, and focus on your breath. It is similar (but still different) to yoga in the sense that it made me feel SUPER relaxed and refreshed after our session. The movements are small and precise, so they take a lot of focus and you become more aware of your body and how it is responding to each exercise.
4. It's low impact and easy on your joints.
Sometimes over training or strenuous, high intensity exercises can cause joint pain and stiffness. Pilates is a great low intensity, low impact form of training that truly anyone can do (but of course, always consult with your doctor before you start an exercise program). A Pilates workout stretches, strengthens, and aligns the entire body, which can help balance out any posture deviation that may cause pain.
5. You don't have to be an expert to start.
Like I mentioned before, one of the great things about Pilates is that you DO NOT have to be a pro to hop on a reformer and get a good workout in! A lot of Pilates classes are taught in private sessions or small groups, so you will get extra individualized attention to your form and personal needs throughout the session. During my private sessions at Pilates of Kansas City, Courtney and Elisabeth were able to pay close attention to my form and help me properly modify each move to meet my fitness level.
6. You actually don't REALLY need any equipment but a mat (and some motivation).
There are so many variations of Pilates workouts that do not use a reformer or any equipment AT ALL! Pilates is focused on improving flexibility, posture, core strength, and an enhanced sense of mind/body awareness. The reformer and other pieces of equipment are definitely great tools, but you can do Pilates inspired workouts anywhere. Pilates of Kansas City actually offers Core Fitness classes in a studio right next to the room with all of their equipment. They have Pilates Mat, Vault Barre, Vault TRX, Core Cycle, Biker Barre, Ripped Ride, Kettlebell Kickboxing & even Yoga classes.
7. You are building a strong body AND a strong mind.
I have always believed that you should truly enjoy any form of exercise you do. You should exercise because you LOVE your body and celebrate what it can do! Pilates not only builds a strong body, but a strong mind. Both of which are important for achieving a healthy, happy and balanced life!
Have you tried Pilates? If you are in the Kansas City area: Pilates of Kansas City is offering 50% OFF a week of unlimited Core Fitness classes - including cycle, barre, TRX, AND yoga! Guys. This is HUGE. You can get a week of unlimited workouts for just $25 and they are a $50 value. All you have to do is:
2. Go to www.pilatesofkansascity.com
3. Go to Online Scheduler, select "unlimited | excludes pilates apparatus,"
4. Select "weekly unlimited ($50)," and use the code "SAM25" to get 50% off!
Visit Pilates of Kansas City at:
7656 State Line Road, Prairie Village, KS 66208
(913) 385 - 0305
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