Top 10 Reasons Why Everyone Needs To Do Pilates

If you already know me, you know I’m a huge advocate for Pilates. As a physical therapist, I truly believe that Pilates is the best way to strengthen your core, recover from an injury, and to prevent them from ever happening in the first place. It is an essential component to any training program. As a PT, I was constantly referring my patients to Pilates when they had finished their rehab or ran out of insurance benefits. That’s when I decided to get certified myself, so I could take my clients all the way through the rehab process myself. And since then and with starting my own practice, I now incorporate Pilates principles and exercises into my rehab and I no longer have to let patients go and hope that they follow through with my recommendations. I am with them all the way through the rehab process and beyond, helping them truly accomplish their goals and gain the strength and body awareness they need to excel at all other activities they love to do.

But enough about why I love Pilates, I wanted to share with you the top 10 reasons why you should take up regular Pilates today! There are so many more than 10 reasons, but these are my favorites.

Benefit #1: It’s the best way to strengthen your core

There are endless amounts of core or ab exercises out there, but most of them are not done correctly. And there are even a handful I see performed all the time in gyms that are actually harmful to your spine. I will have a future blog on these soon. Pilates on the other hand, teaches you how to activate all the correct muscles and work from the inner core out, the part of the core most people don’t think about or know about.

Benefit #2: Improve your Posture

Who doesn’t need to improve their posture? As a whole, our society sits too much and spends way too much time hunched over our on electronic devices. This forward head and rounded shoulders posture can cause several different complications down the road leading to pain or injury. Pilates identifies muscle imbalances and seeks to correct them. Pilates focuses on proper alignment of the spine throughout all exercises, engaging the supportive and stabilizing muscles of our spine. This retrains the brain to begin uses the correct postural muscles again, rather than relying on the big superficial muscles to hold us up.

Benefit #3: Control

Many exercise programs out there lack the focus on control. Unless you’ve been through some sort of physical therapy or rehab, most people do not pay attention to the control of their movement when exercising. Creator of the Pilates method, Joseph Pilates, believed that utilizing mental concentration during your workout was essential. So much so, that it was originally called “Contrology”. By paying full attention to your movements, you can maximize the results of each exercise – even outside of Pilates. Pilates makes everything else you do more efficient, whether it is running, weight lifting, or just squatting down and picking up your kids.

Benefit #4: Reduce or alleviate back pain

Research has shown that regular practice of Pilates is very effective at reducing back pain. And #1 and #2 have a lot to do with why. In Pilates we always have our inner core (which consists of your transverse abdominus, diaphragm, pelvic floor, and multifidus muscles) engaged, which is helping to support and stability of spine, especially our lumbar spine. We also focus on that good spinal alignment, where we maintain the natural curvatures of the spine. This is where our bodies function most efficiently and can absorb the most shock (reducing the stress put through your joints and spine). Suffering from back pain? Click here.

Benefit #5: Increases body awareness

Lack of body awareness can be the cause of many injuries. We become unaware of our bodies because when we develop abnormal movement patterns for whatever reason, our brain begins to tell our body that this is our new normal, so why would you think anything is off? Often times, this will lead to compensation of other muscles and inhibition of the correct muscles. Pilates focuses you to re-engage with those correct muscles and re-establishing proper movement.

Benefit #6: It’s whole body fitness

Unlike some forms of exercise, Pilates does not over-develop some parts of the body and neglect others. While Pilates training focuses on core strength, it trains the body as an integrated whole and how to move together in harmony. Pilates promote strength and balanced muscle development as well as flexibility and increased range of motion for all the joints in the body.

Benefit #7: Promote weight loss and long, lean muscle appearance

Joseph Pilates said, “In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body.” Pilates is known for creating long, strong and leaner muscles. It also will improve muscle tone, balance musculature, support beautiful posture, and teach you to move with ease and grace. All of these things will make you look and feel very fit.

Benefit #8: Forget about your day

Because Pilates focuses so much on control, body awareness, and alignment it’s very tough to think about much else. One of the reasons I love Pilates so much is that it’s a break from my busy day, my to-do list, and anything else running around in my head. You are present in the moment and establish a mindful connection with your body.

Benefit #9: Pilates is for everyone

No matter you age, sex, injury, activity level or skill set, Pilates can be tailored to you to provide you the challenge you need. It is practiced by professional athletes, pregnant moms, and seniors and all can get just as good of a workout as the next. Pilates is practiced in a safe and low impact environment, making it safe for everyone.

Benefit #10: Become better at what you do

Whatever form of exercise or activity you prefer, Pilates will set the foundation you need to perform at your best. This comes from a combination of all the things I’ve talked about so far. Pilates is the most essential component to any training program and should be apart of everyone’s weekly exercise routine.

That sums up my top 10 favorite benefits of Pilates. Whether you run, cycle, lift heavy or are a mom trying to keep up with her kids, Pilates is essential to what you do. It will enhance your performance, maximise your results, as well as keep you injury free.

If you have not concerned trying Pilates yet, but are now thinking you probably should…I highly recommend you do. And even if you only benefit from 2 of the above reasons (which you won’t, it will be many more) what kind of changes would that make in your life?

Have no idea what you are doing or where to start? Try out my Free Pilates 101 class. This class is meant for just that, to teach you all the basic principles of Pilates so you won’t feel lost in other classes. Taught by a Pilates certified physical therapist, you can be sure you’ll be performing all exercises correctly and safely. So come check it out.

Already know a little bit about Pilates, skip ahead to our Pilates for Beginners classes…the first one is on me. Click here to sign up and use code FIRST-FREE to get your first class free. Have questions before starting? Click here to contact me…I’d love to answer them for you.

About The Author

Casey Murphy

Dr. Casey Murphy is the Founder of Wheat Ridge’s Leading Specialist Physical Therapy Practice for People in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s+, who want to keep healthy and active. You may know of Casey for her ability to keep people free from painkillers, injections, and surgery. Her mission is to keep people from being sidelined from life and get them back to doing the things they love. Dr. Murphy is also certified in Pilates and teaches rehab Pilates classes as well as utilizes her training to assist in recovery and regaining motor control and stability.