Pilates is only for women… you need special machines and fancy equipment… and it’s an exercise only for your abs. Wrong, wrong, wrong. To celebrate National Pilates Day (it’s today!) Miranda Armenta is here to clear up the myths and tell us what Pilates does do. She’s the owner of Mira Pilates in Scottsdale and she’s been teaching Pilates for over a decade, so she knows her stuff… and you may just be surprised to hear what she has to say…
1. Pilates improves your physical abilities
There’s a reason that Pilates is the exercise of choice for gymnasts and professional dancers. Most conventional workouts tend to create bulky muscle. But if you want a long, lean look without bulk (but with all the strength), Pilates may be just what you’ve been searching for. Pilates doesn’t rely on frequent repetition; it focuses on the whole body.
2. Pilates enhances body awareness
Since Pilates stresses the use of graceful and fluid movements, it can be a great way to get a better sense of the kinesthetics of your body, which can benefit balance, coordination and posture.
3. Pilates engages your mind
Like yoga, tai chi and Asian martial arts, Pilates is not just a workout for your body, but your mind and spirit as well. The smooth, precise and flowing movements paired with focused breathing creates a mind-body connection.
4. Pilates strengthens your core (and stabilizer muscles)
The term “core” refers to the muscles in and around your abdominal muscles and back – and no other exercise works these muscles like Pilates. Proper breathing control is also stressed in Pilates, adding to the numerous lists of benefits that one can attain through regular use of the exercise program.
5. Pilates prevents future injuries
Pilates helps to condition the whole body, not just certain muscles. This helps balance the muscles and strength of the body. And since no set of muscles is ever over or under-trained, there’s less risk of injury.
6. Pilates boosts body efficiency
Very few exercises can help your body become more efficient in its movement. Why is efficiency so important? Being efficient means that your body moves in a way that is smoother, safer and less prone to injury.