What do celebrities, athletes, dancers, and other successful performers have in common? For one, they are all fit and youthful no matter what their real ages are. They get this through the form of exercise known as Pilates, done as the main workout routine, or incorporated in the physical fitness regimen.
Developed by Joseph Pilates in the early parts of the twentieth century, this fitness system has now branched out into several distinct forms emphasizing different aspects or methodology. Yet, no matter the form, this set of exercises is proven to help in several areas of physical fitness such as flexibility, balance, muscle tone, and strength.
Pilates movements are helpful as a complement to an athlete’s main exercises for strength, power, and endurance. By improving balance and flexibility, an athlete maximizes the gains in all other aspects of his training. For example, it increases the range of motion of an athlete, allowing him to perform the movements of his particular sport in a stronger or faster manner. Moreover, Pilates movements play an important role in preventing training related injuries since it ensures that the muscles and joints are primed and ready for the often-extreme physical demands of some sports.
For dancers and other performers
Pilates is a proven way to enhance one’s posture and balance, allowing him or her to perform complex movements on stage and on film. In addition, the long, lean, and powerful muscles developed through Pilates movements are more pleasing to look at than the shapeless, rigid bulk attained through many bodybuilding workouts.
For women who have undergone pregnancy
The Pilates system of exercises is safe and effective for women who want to get back in shape after giving birth. Because it targets the so-called core area (the abdomen, hips, thighs, and waist), Pilates works great at reducing extra fat and strengthening and toning muscles in body parts mostly affected by pregnancy.
For senior citizens
Pilates is also ideal for senior citizens. The movements in this exercise routine are relatively low impact, reducing stress on the joints and muscles while promoting mobility, joint flexibility, and coordination.
For all men and women
There is a notion that Pilates exercises are only good for women, or that they are too simple and easy to be taken seriously by men. This misconception is largely brought about by the many Pilates clubs and gyms targeted toward a female clientele that have sprung up everywhere in recent years. However, the truth is that Pilates exercises can be as easy or as difficult as the individual prefers it to be, regardless of gender, and depending on the current level of fitness and the exercise goals.
Aside from specific benefits, Pilates exercises as done by any individual results in reduced levels of stress, general wellbeing, and even a resultant positive view in life.