People do Pilates for so many different reasons; general fitness, prevention and treatment of back pain, to keep themselves agile and strong, the list goes on.
But there is definitely one benefit that everyone will get from doing Pilates, and that’s a strong core. Here’s why.
1. Core muscles are used in EVERY Pilates exercise.
Yes, EVERY Pilates exercise...even the stretching ones. It’s either the main focus of the exercise, or they’re used for support when moving and working other areas of the body.
Obviously, however, it would be impossible to have these muscles 100% engaged for an entire 1-hour class, so it is suggested that they should be about 30% engaged throughout the class. Some exercises require a little more, some a little less, but always something.
2. Pilates targets all the muscles associated with the core.
Most people do sit-ups and other variations thinking they are training their core. In actual fact, they are only using the outer layers of their abdominals, and often the hip flexors (therefore ‘cheating’ their way through the set).
The true core muscles are much deeper and also include some lower back muscles. Pilates teaches you how to use these muscles as well as the outer layers of the abdominals to ensure you’re not faking or cheating your way through, therefore getting the most out of every repetition.
3. It offers a large variety of exercises for the core.
There are so many exercises in Pilates that specifically target the core. Each one is designed to challenge the core in different ways. It could be through challenging stamina, being in a different position, changing the breath pattern or integrating a support challenge. It’s another way of how Pilates trains all of the muscles associated with the core.
4. It's core training for all levels and ages.
Pilates exercises can be tailored to suit all levels from absolute beginners to professional athletes. As there is less of a focus on how many repetitions can be done, and more focus on improving technique, there is no exercise too easy.
The program can also be personalized to suit needs or desires. It can be more gentle for those who prefer that, but can also be a tough challenge even for men, especially when done with the right technique.
5. Pilates offers more than just strength and a flat tummy.
Of course everyone appreciates having a nice trim waist, and feeling strong in their core. But Pilates exercises give you more benefits than just what is aesthetically pleasing.
Using the techniques taught in Pilates, core training also helps to relieve back pain and improve posture and balance, making daily activities easier and less strenuous on the back.
If you are wanting to find out first-hand how Pilates works to improve your core, sign-up for the 7 Day Pilates Challenge now. Learn the techniques and get a little taste of the different ways Pilates can be beneficial to you.