There are just as many health benefits for men, as women
Reformer Pilates has been a training vehicle for elite athletes, both men, and women, for more than 70 years. The practice focuses on core strength, the powerhouse that stabilises our center and protects our back, but also trains the body as a whole. It builds strength and promote balanced muscle development, as well as general flexibility and increased range of movement.
Whether you’re prepping for a marathon, lifting weights or brand new to fitness, Pilates can fine-tune your performance. The reformers target often-neglected muscle groups and the focus on stretching and lengthening in Pilates means you’ll prevent muscle injuries and strains.
It’s easy on the joints and made for all levels
Reformer Pilates is amazing in its ability to provide a challenging, full body workout without putting stress on our joints and bones.
It’s low impact with small, targeted movements that train you to draw your core in so you’re in alignment.
The movements in Pilates may look simple, but they take a lot of precision and control. Technique is everything. At BodyMindLife you can learn the basics in Align classes and move into our Flow and Dynamic sessions when you’re ready to explore your limits, and our teachers will always offer modifications.
It’s perfect for body rehab
More and more physiotherapists are turning to Pilates as part of treatment plans for sports injuries, and new mums.
As we know, the practice is about considering the body as a whole rather than a specific area, and this has many benefits: it helps regain strength and control in the injured area but also addresses muscle imbalances, weakness or changed movement patterns, which may be related to the injury.
Let your teacher know about any conditions when you arrive to class and they’ll be able to offer modifications or suggestions to improve strength or mobility with your body in mind.
The breath and mind count, too
“The Pilates method of body conditioning is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit”. – Joseph Pilates
There’s more to reformer Pilates than you might think. It’s a mind/body practice where, like yoga, the movements require us to be present and connected.
For the exercises to work, it’s important to slow down and get the technique right before rushing through the instructed routine. There’s a lot to think about in class; breathing, alignment, switching on the right muscles and relaxing others, tuning into the instructor and so on… This can seem a little intimidating at first – especially when you’re learning how the reformer even works – but the more you practice, the more you’ll get lost in the moment. Physical benefits aside, when you walk out of the studio you will feel energised and calm.
There’s a lot of talk about the integration of breath in Pilates, and for good reason. Using the breathing method as taught in class will activate your muscles and help you move with more control and mindfulness, and studies show it also increases relaxation and lowers anxiety.
Ready to try pilates?
There are more than 150 reformer Pilates class on each week at BodyMindLife – See our pilates timetable
Image supplied from one of our favourite activewear brands in studio, Contrology.