Doing a regular pilates workout is one of the best ways to change the shape of your body. Incorporated with a healthy diet and regular cardio exercise, doing pilates several days a week will help to tone your body and make your muscles longer and leaner over time.
Pilates uses controlled movements, primarily focused in your “core” (a term for your torso) to build body strength, flexibility and endurance. It’s a body conditioning routine that won’t result in bulky muscles. Instead, the movements serve to lengthen your muscles as it strengthens them. The most popular form of pilates is mat-based, where you do a series of movements using a mat on the floor. Other forms of pilates require the use of large expensive pieces of equipment commonly found in pilates studios.
Whatever the form, pilates has the power to dramatically transform the way your body looks. It will give you a sleek, toned body with a flat abdomen and and slender thighs in addition to better posture.
Check out the uniquely awesome power of Pilates:
- It Leans You Out
One of the best things to know about how pilates can change your body is how it leans you out and doesn’t bulk you up. The exercises don’t actually feel like you’re doing much, but they help to lengthen your body and tone tiny muscles that help lean you out, while it lessens the bulk other methods bring. You also aren’t only targeting single muscles used in conventional forms of weight training, which creates less targeted stress or over-training of single muscle groups.
It’s Amazing for Your Abs
Pilates hits your core (or, in Pilates speak, your “powerhouse”) unlike any other workout. In fact, after completing 36 weeks of Pilates training, women strengthened their rectus abdominis (the muscle responsible for six-packs) by an average of 21 percent, while eliminating muscle imbalances between the right and left sides of their cores, according to a Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study.
- It Helps Repair Muscles
Pilates is possibly one of the gentlest forms of exercise you can do that still brings results. Pilates helps repair muscles through the gentle, fluid movements it provides. Instead of taking a day off your exercise regimen and not doing anything, try 20 minutes of beginner pilates exercises on the floor instead. You’ll still get some toning benefits in, as well as keep your muscles active through gentle, fluid movements. This helps to reduce inflammation and stress to the muscles, as well as prevent cramps.
It Improves Your Sports Performance
When you start focusing on your core, you realize that all of your muscles are connected through your core. Try doing lunges without your abdominals. You’ll crumble over. With a stronger core, you can run faster, your yoga is on point, and overall, the rest of your workouts improve. Plus, by working in small groups or one-on-one with a Pilates instructor, you can learn moves that mimic and improve performance in your sport of choice.