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How Exactly Does Pilates Work?

February 14, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 163

One of the reasons Pilates is so popular is that it allows the muscles to build strength while becoming leaner and longer, not bulked up like other strength training workouts. Weight training for example generally shortens the muscles while Pilates exercises lengthens them with each exercise. This is a result of the dynamic stretching of the muscles and the muscles working against each other, a process which is also known as dynamic tension. Another difference that Pilates exercises offers is that they don't isolate muscles. So in one workout you can work many more muscles than you would in traditional strength training where you focus on each muscle individually. Pilates teaches each muscle group to work together and soon the very hard exercises become fluid and much easier.

Another difference between Pilates and traditional weight training methods is that in Pilates exercises the position of the spine is dynamic and moves with each movement to help the body stay centered and balanced no matter what position it is in. This also help the spine itself gain strength and flexibility which can be helpful to eliminate back pain and promote good posture. This being said you should not stop traditional weight training if it is something you actually do enjoy doing. In fact, doing Pilates on your off days can actually improve your weight training abilities and give you the ability to do more precise movements and reduce chance of muscle strain.

Perhaps why many people feel that Pilates is such an effective and efficient exercise regimen is that most of the Pilates exercises allow the body to stay in a low weight bearing position which takes a lot of the stress off the body and joints while the muscles work to become stronger and more flexible. As the practice of Pilates work continues the lengthened and strengthened muscles that now work together result in overall increased flexibility and a higher stamina level and more precise movements during other sports and physical activities. Pilates exercises are designed in a way that allows each muscle in the group being worked to become fully engaged from end to end and work in the way it is intended to. This is why the movements are so fluid.

The controlled, deep breathing used in Pilates work also helps the muscles work more efficiently as they lengthen and strengthen. Many Pilates experts believe the breathing, which allows oxygen to get to all of the muscle tissues, actually helps the toned look last longer when activity is stopped than other forms of strength training. The mind-body connection involved with the practice of Pilates helps many practitioners want to continue the exercise and incorporate it in to their lifestyle. Many people find the practice relaxes them and allows them to hold poses for longer periods of time.

Each method of Pilates focuses on different areas and might employ different techniques. Stott Pilates, for example, uses exercises that are designed to enhance the natural curves of the spine and stabilize the scapula. Other forms of Pilates focus on keeping the spine straight and the back flat. While all methods will produce a noticeable difference in your muscles and your figure overall, there might only be one method that works best for you and makes you feel the most comfortable. You might want to try a few different Pilates classes in your area to find one that works best for you.

It is important when beginning a Pilates regimen to do the first few sessions with a certified Pilates instructor to be sure you are doing each exercise correctly. This helps ensure that each muscle is engaging fully and you are getting the most effective and efficient workout. Having a certified Pilates instructor guide you will also help prevent injury, especially if you will be using any of the Pilates apparatus or machines.

Learn more about Stott pilates at these pages of our site: Pilates Classes South Lake Tahoe and tahoe personal fitness.

Source: EzineArticles
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