The Surprising Health Benefits of Pilates

If you’ve ever asked a lean, toned person how they maintain their figure, they’ll likely tell you that they practise Pilates on a regular basis. While the practise offers many aesthetic benefits, there are in fact also many health benefits of Pilates. Not only does this total-body workout aid weight loss, but it can also ease back pain, boost your heart rate, and improve bone density. Here are more surprising health benefits of Pilates.

Pilates Improves Bone Density

Strength training is known to improve bone density, but Pilates also offers incredible bone-building benefits. Pilates expert Elizabeth Ordway states that bone is dynamic tissue, just like muscle, and responds well to resistance and weight-bearing exercises. Resistance exercise involves the pulling of muscles on bone which strengthens the bone and in Pilates this comes from the springs of the apparatus used, as well as resistance bands. We suggest resistance bands for side-leg and rowing series during a mat workout.

Pilates Promotes Weight Loss

If you’re looking to lose 450 grams per week, you’ll need to create a calorie deficit of 500 per day. While cutting back on your calorie intake will certainly help, you should ultimately incorporate exercise to maintain weight loss. Pilates is excellent for weight loss as the caloric burn during a workout ranges from 4-8 calories per minute, depending on the intensity. Michele Olson, Ph.D. of Auburn University suggests doing moderately intense workouts at least 4 times a week for 45-60 minutes, after which you can relax and enjoy some online bingo NZ.

Pilates Eases Back Pain

According a study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, practitioners of a 4-week Pilates programme maintained over 12 months found significant relief from lower back pain. Elizabeth Ordway states that Pilates strengthens the core muscles which support the back, teaches proper alignment, and provides gentle stretching for tense back muscles which results from misalignment and overuse. Pilates also helps to correct underlying imbalances which lead to poor posture and back pain and we suggest the roll up and swan prep for spine strengthening.

Pilates Strengthens the Core

If you’ve been doing crunches in the hopes of strengthening your core, you should simply turn to Pilates instead as the practise strengthens your abdominal muscles – including the obliques – far more effectively. The practise of Pilates in based on efficiently contracting your abdominal muscles with each exercise and is known to target the deeper abdominal muscles such as the transverse abdominis and the rectus abdominis muscles which form the six-pack. For example, when using the reformer for the seated arm series, the abdominal muscles must remain contracted to provide spinal stability and correctly perform the exercise. Pilates also promotes correct alignment and proper form which requires strengthened abdominal muscles.

Pilates Prevents Injury

Not only will Pilates help you lose weight and become toned, but it also improves flexibility, increases strength, and improves balance which all help to reduce the risk of injury. If you’re able to increase your hamstring flexibility by just 10 degrees, you’ll be less likely to hurt your back when bending over.