“Change happens through movement and movement heals.” - Joseph Pilates
Pilates has changed my life for the better. This is a very strong claim, but what can I say, my journey in discovering, learning, and then finally teaching this discipline has been truly wonderful. Every day brings more challenges that make me proud to have come this far. Pilates has improved many aspects of my life and helped me get to know my body 100%. It made me aware of its limits but also made me realise all its potential. My job allows me to help other people discover Pilates through my PBB Method. I love introducing fitness lovers into this little magical world. Seeing my clients change physically and mentally day after day through my Pilates workouts, led me to appreciate its benefits even more. You know how they say, happiness when shared, is doubled. I like to think that fitness discipline allows everyone to stay healthy and feel young at any age. As Joseph Pilates would say, “If your spine is inflexible and stiff at 30, you are old; if it is completely flexible at 60, you are young”. This is one of my favourite quotes by the method’s creator!
Pilates is MAGIC
Pilates is much more than a fitness discipline, it’s a total game-changer, it is a philosophy, and I like to call it magic. Pilates works like magic because in every conscious movement we manage to coordinate our body, our mind and our spirit.
Pilates & Strength Training
I am convinced that Pilates is a discipline for everyone. Many believe that Pilates is only marginally useful for people with back issues. Many of us know the benefits it brings to the spine and that it strengthens your core and improves your mobility. News Flash - it’s also a lot more than that!
For the gym goers that are into strength training, you probably have never thought of joining a Pilates class because lifting weights simply works for you. Whilst this is completely fine, most of my clients combine strength training with Pilates Barre Fusion. When you combine both training methods, you can improve overall strength, flexibility, and posture. But remember not to combine both training sessions on the same day as that would be considered as “over training.” A good approach would be to alternate your Pilates workout days with your weight-training days, then leave at least one day for rest.
I want to share with you the benefits that Pilates has to offer for those that are aware of their body. I am sure that my words will make you discover new facts about this method. I have a feeling that you might have a sudden desire to book your first Pilates class!
First of all, I want to stress the fact that Pilates workouts are extremely safe and specially designed to restore optimal alignment and movement patterns. As I mentioned before, what makes Pilates “magical” is the focus of each sequence on the mind/body connection which makes it possible to improve our body awareness.
This special form of exercise requires deep levels of concentration in the breathing technique and in the overall performance of each repetition. The Pilates philosophy teaches you that it’s not quantity that matters, but quality in every sequence. The goal is not cranking out endless repetitions to achieve muscle exhaustion. Let’s focus on the concept of control. Control means to rule something or someone and during a Pilates session, we are ruling our minds. We are training our muscles and our mind while stretching, strengthening, and aligning our bodies.
What is body alignment?
Every Pilates session will train your body to be better aligned. In other words, it will prevent imbalances leading to injuries, improve your posture, build core and back strength to help support the spine and improve your coordination. What's more, Pilates will radically improve proprioception skills as well. Proprioception or kinesthesia is the body’s ability to sense its location, movements, and actions.
Pilates & back problems:
Have you ever suffered from back problems or even injuries during or after your strength workouts? Pilates can prevent back problems or at least can teach you to manage them because session after session the space between your vertebrae will be increased and will minimise pressure on discs and nerves.
Pilates & muscle stimulation:
As you get familiar with the moves, your Pilates instructor will be able to show you all the possible variations to build on different muscle areas of your body, there are thousands of variations that can really challenge them. This way, your whole body works in harmony rather than one area becoming overloaded - which in my experience happens in strength training.
Flexibility & Mobility
Let me guess, you wish you were more flexible! Well, Pilates sequences can help you improve your flexibility over time. Flexibility and mobility will allow you to increase your joints’ range of motion, plus you will benefit from stress relief.
Pilates will teach how to breathe in an efficient way. Breathing is crucial during each exercise and movement. We need to make sure that plenty of oxygen reaches every part of the body in order to reduce high blood pressure.
I strongly believe that adding a Pilates session once or twice per week to your workout routine can be life-changing. Adding it into your life will help you lift heavier weights, will make you aware of your posture and will make you discover a deeper meaning of “health and wellness”. It complements every other fitness regimen because it was created for those who wish to move in the safest way whilst respecting their body.
Hope this article inspires you as much as it inspires me.
I hope to see you on the mat soon!