For me, the importance of Pilates is a given. I love Pilates and I do it every day. To someone unfamiliar with Pilates it could sound like any other work out, but it's definitely a special fitness regimen with many unique benefits. One common misconception about Pilates is that Pilates is easy. If it looks easy to you then you are watching a STRONG person. Pilates is tough. Another misconception is that Pilates is just like Yoga. This is not true. There's a long list of many more common Pilates myths, but instead of going through what Pilates isn't I made a list of what Pilates is.
Why Try Pilates?
1. Pilates strengthens your core
Your core is so much more than your 6 pack abs (rectus abdominus). Your core is your diaphragm, back muscles (multifidus), deep core muscles (transverse abdominus), pelvic floor, and waist (internal and external obliques). Pilates is building you a powerful core that can withstand fire! Well, no....but Pilates is designed to build strength in your core which improves your balance and stability! Not as cool sounding as fire, but really similar, right?
2. Pilates is for everyone
Pilates is for dancers. Pilates is for women. Pilates won't help me. No. No. No. Pilates is for EVERYONE. You don't think you can benefit from Pilates? You are so wrong. Multiple scientific studies have found that Pilates can be more effective for those who have certain types of back injuries than spine surgery. Other studies have found benefits for runners and knee health. Additional studies have found benefits for pre-natal and post-natal women.
In fact, at the very end of this post is a PDF document full of scientific research citations studying and reporting on the benefits of Pilates. If you are interested, definitely read through them!
3. Pilates moves you
A lot of people tend to assume Pilates is slow and boring. Therefore, Pilates is easy. These two beliefs are simply untrue. When you are in Pilates you move with your breath. You breathe deeply to engage your deep core muscles. This breath can enable to move slowly, but you are working deeper smaller muscles. This takes strength! There's a lot of planking in Pilates. This is not easy! Planks are a total body work out. Not every move is slow. Here's a short list of moves that can move quickly: Hundreds, Single leg stretch, Leg Circles, Rolling like a Ball, Seal, Teaser, Rollover, and Push-ups. These moves are all about counterbalance and losing a little control and then gaining it back. Your legs can move all over the place but your core stays stable! Your arms will make big pumping movements and your core stays stable!
4. Pilates is fun!
Lastly, I hear how Pilates is not fun. It's slow and boring (not true; see above). At Green Bird Fitness we move to fun music! We have new music every time to keep your energy lifted. We laugh. We play. Pilates is not so serious. We do different moves every class and we build on basic exercises to keep your body guessing. You can challenge yourself in so many ways all while enjoying Pilates.
Just try it.
Come try out a class at Green Bird Fitness and see what Pilates is like firsthand! I recommend giving a new exercise 3-4 tries before completely writing it off. This is enough time for you to try out a few different classes and variations. By your 3rd or 4th class you have a decent understanding of how to set-up for each exercise, what the exercises are like, and how your body feels doing the exercises. So, what are you waiting for? Get some Pilates in your life.