Nowadays, pilates, which is a unique form of exercise, has gained a lot of attention due to its beneficial effects on physical and mental well being. The method is a combination of eastern culture which involves mind control during exercise, body centre as the main energy source, increase in elasticity and western culture includes endurance and strength training.
What's so unique about it?
You can simply use your own body’s weight, no need for equipment to create resistance and to tone up. It will help channelise your energy to make you stronger and revives up your metabolism.
What is the working principle behind it?
It uses psychological resources such as concentration, mental control, activation and visualisation which may help increase the efficiency in the development of motor capacity in the fitness program.
It majorly focuses on two main goals, toning the deep core muscles and enhancing the mind control over bodily movements. It brings together the body and mind (Ungaro, 2002).
The Pilates method is based on a set of principles which include:-
Centring (body centre core)
Conscious participation and concentration
Efficiency and Accuracy (Siler, 2000).
Six Major Benefits
Alignment:- It strives to correct your alignment as it directly impacts the effectiveness of your workout. The impact of gravity on the spine and joints reduces with time.
Risk of getting strain and injury is less.
It strengthens the whole body by equally targeting each muscle group.
Flexibility is essential as it allows a great range of movements, as tight muscles hinder mobility and may lead to body aches, and tension in a particular group of muscles.
Shape and Tone
The resistance exercise helps to shape the muscles from the front, back and sides.
Endurance first develops from a strong mindset, determination and persistence. But with consistent practice and focus, enables building physical stamina and mental health.
Pilates focuses on deep breathing, instantly enhances calmness and endorphin release is believed to make you feel more relaxed and positive.
A study showed the effects of pilates in healthy adults and it resulted in enhancing their muscular strength, endurance and balance. (Cruz et al 2011)
There is an increasing number of reports which suggests an application of pilates in post-operation rehabilitation treatment.
How does it complement sports training?
As its primary goals in muscle strain rehabilitation involve flexibility, recovery of muscles, increases strength and also the correction of muscle misbalances, posture and could be used in the treatment of sports injuries. It may be a part of treatment given in sports medicine as it involves exercises which come in physiotherapy.
In conclusion, all the principles of pilates work together to help improve posture, correcting spine alignment, controlling weight and improving the body’s composition. Also, significant progress can be seen in terms of upper body strength, balance, abdominal strength and stamina.
Cruz-Ferreira A, Fernandes J, Laranjo L, Bernardo LM, Silva A. A systematic review of the effects of Pilates method of exercise in healthy people. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2011;92(12):2071-81.
Siler B. The Pilates Body. New York, NY: Broadway Books; 2000.
Pilaes exercise. International Journal of Physiotherapy and Research,
Int J Physiother Res 2013, Vol1(4):196-203.
Doru T et al.( 2013).Pilates Principles - Psychological Resources for Efficiency Increase of Fitness Programs for Adults. WCPCG-2012)