What is Pilates? It is a discipline that originated in Germany at the beginning of the 1900s thanks to Joseph Hubertus Pilates, who began experimenting with the effect of certain exercises to strengthen the back and improve posture. A technique based on harmonized movements and mental rest. Pilates machines are rather impressive, especially designed to encourage gentle, even complex movements. The use of these tools allows movements more similar to dancing than to a pure gymnastic exercise.
Over time, more and more people have begun to practice Pilates, which is now universally recommended for its benefits on the body and mind.
Each individual exercise is performed synergistically, with minimal energy expenditure.
Pilates primarily involves the abdominal muscles, the lumbar area and the buttocks and leads to mental well-being. Already after about 10 sessions you can notice the first results, provided that the canons of the discipline are respected, namely:
it is fundamental that each exercise is performed carefully, freeing the head from all kinds of thoughts
the movements must be harmonious, with absolutely no rigidity or tension
each gesture must be performed in a conscious manner, so as to have full control of the body
Pilates, more than any other discipline, is closely linked with breathing, so that it is necessary that every movement is synchronized with it
For Pilates, one of the basic concepts is the powerhouse, a muscular apparatus that includes the abdomen, chest and lower back, which acts as a control point for the entire body.
What are the benefits of Pilates?
Pilates is a discipline suitable for everyone, ideal for toning and strengthening muscle groups, keeping the body fresh and flexible. If associated with a proper diet, it is also very effective for weight loss.
But not only: it is an excellent ally against back pain: by strengthening the muscles of the abdomen, in fact, Pilates improves posture and alleviates pain in the lumbar and cervical areas.
Pilates: a discipline for all ages
Pilates can be practiced at all ages. Thanks to a wide variety of exercises, it is possible to create personalized training programs to suit every need. Let’s have a look at them in detail.
Pilates for children and teens
In order to bring children closer to sports, many gyms offer personalized programs that use Pilates as a method of getting in touch with their bodies, improving the growth process of the osteo-muscular system. Mobility exercises also reinforce the ability to concentrate and control the body. In adolescence, however, Pilates is used to correct problems related to posture and promote concentration.
Pilates for seniors
Pilates is a discipline that goes well with the needs of older people. Recommended for all those who want to stay toned and active, thanks to its characteristics, it relieves – and sometimes eliminates – chronic bone and muscle pain.
A discipline that can perfectly combine physical and mental well-being. It is definitely recommended, provided that there are no specific medical contraindications and that you rely on qualified instructors.