Reformer and Mat Pilates classes are an incredible way to lengthen and strengthen your muscles, balance your body, and bring you back into alignment.
There are so many reasons to make Pilates part of your weekly exercise routine. Here are our top five.
1. You can practice for life
Reformer Pilates is sustainable. In your 20s, your body is naturally more nimble and strong. The practice maintains this. If you’re new to working out, it’s an ideal way to start building muscle strength and flexibility, and for women interested to have little ones someday, the exercises have been proven to help with pregnancy and post-natal recovery.
In your 30s, Pilates builds bone density which diminishes as we age. This steers us into our later years with less chance of injury and helps reverse common issues like poor posture and super tight hip flexors, which many of us begin to notice after years behind a screen.
In your 40s, 50s and 60s, reformer Pilates is the perfect low-impact exercise for your joints. It develops your range of movement which reduces pain and stiffness, and there are modifications for every movement to work with limitations.
Joseph Pilates – the man himself – practised until he was 83 years old!
2. If you do three or more classes a week, you will see results
While we hear that the more exercise we do, the more we’ll notice our bodies change, this really is the case with Pilates.
Consistent practice on the reformers can work to increase your metabolism and help burn fan when combined with a healthy diet.
To get the most out of classes and feel an actual difference in your body and mind, aim for at least three sessions a week. You’ll find you start to naturally build up your levels of resistance with this level of commitment and this will challenge the risk of your results plateauing.
3. Injury rehab and prevention
Why do reformer and mat Pilates work so well for injury recovery and prevention? The practice focuses on strengthening the core, which promotes muscular balance throughout the body. It also improves spinal and pelvic alignment, which is important in preventing injuries when we move.
Pilates is a mind-body training technique that’s been proven to improve focus, body awareness and proper posture. This means our day-to-day activities are performed properly and we’re less likely to injure ourselves in other exercises.
If you suffer from back pain, Pilates is an effective, low-impact way to ease symptoms and build spinal health.
4. It’s amazing for mental health
Pilates is all about mindful movement and focus. Concentration and awareness of our body and breath stills the mind so the exercises become a form of moving meditation – where stress, anxiety and overactive thought patterns are left outside the studio walls.
The practice also releases a rush of endorphins. A 45 minute class can transform your mood and the positive effects can be felt for days afterwards.
5. It’s one of the best exercises to advance in yoga
The focus on core awareness and strength in Pilates is the perfect complement to yoga. Reformer practice increases stability, so you’ll find your ability to hold balancing postures improves. It also helps to form lower abs and psoas muscles, which are key to maintaining control in inversions and the ability to float and fly with ease.
If you’re dropping in for regular reformer Pilates classes, and we seriously recommend you do, try adding a mat session or two to the mix too. Fun and focused, each class targets a specific area of the body allowing you to tailor your practice to suit your needs.
Mat Pilates classes are now on the schedule online and at BodyMindLife Potts Point. Our Sydney studios in Surry Hills, Bondi Beach, Redfern, Potts Point and Kirrawee, and our new Byron Bay studio, offer more than 250 reformer Pilates classes each week for all levels, see the timetable.
Looking to really dive deeper into your practice? Check out our full and part-time Reformer Pilates Teacher Training courses.