by Jeremy Jaramillo, Certified Personal Trainer
If you’ve never participated in a Pilates program, you might wonder how this practice will help you to achieve a toned and trim summer body. Here are just a few of the physical benefits that Pilates can provide:
:: Increased endurance
:: Improved balance
:: Gains in strength
The techniques used in Pilates combine low-impact exercise with mild resistance.There are classes available for the beginner through the veteran participant. The typical Pilates routine, whether done on the mat or on specialized equipment, focuses on breathing, core stabilization and fluid motion. These techniques can help improve muscle tone and burn calories to get that summer body we all crave.
Muscle endurance is improved with Pilates through the use of continuous motion. Because of the slow continuous motion of Pilates, the body uses concentric and eccentric contraction. In concentric contraction, the muscle is shortening as it works. Think of flexing your bicep to show someone your muscle. If someone was to pull your arm down while you were flexing your bicep, the muscle would be working and lengthening at the same time. This is an example of eccentric contraction. This constant workload on the muscle improves muscle endurance.
One of the first things we lose as we age is our balance. Balance requires the use of our stabilizer muscles and tightening of the core. In Pilates, stabilization of the core is required in order to maintain proper alignment of the spine. This focus helps improve posture. Improved coordination is another benefit from strengthening the core and other stabilizer muscles. Movements that focus on balance help tone up those hard to reach areas.
The benefits of strength training are limitless. Through a consistent Pilates resistance training program, you are helping improve your body’s joint health, bone density and circulation. Strength training helps with any physical movement that we might encounter in our daily activities.
Summer is in session and there is no better time than now to show off your hot body with confidence. Pilates is one of the most effective methods for toning the abs, hips, waist and thighs. As Joseph Pilates himself said, “in 10 sessions you’ll feel better, in 20 sessions you’ll look better, and after 30 sessions you’ll have a completely new body.”