Pilates is a fairly modern fitness system prevalent in the western countries that uses controlled movements and postures to develop core strength and an overall leaner physique. Believed to be an exact science by some of its ardent followers, this system that was first developed in the 20th century has also been known to alleviate lower back pain and correct posture among the elderly.
What Are The Guiding Principles Of The System?
The founder of the system had suggested some core principles that guide any pilates workout. These principles have been studied and modified by modern practitioners and health scientists. Some major principles stressed upon, are-
As seen in most cardio exercises, breathing is stressed upon as a way to infuse the body with clean new oxygen to help gain energy and keep the blood flowing in a healthy way. This also keeps the working muscles away from any cramping hazards.
The term preferred by the founder of this system was ‘Contrology’. According to his principles making controlled movements with precision is what makes any pilates workout successful. Controlling parts of your body against gravity for specified periods of time is what the system is all about.
The modern workouts are all designed in a way to give strength and importance to the central part of your body. The central muscles, also referred to as the powerhouse get enhanced core strength from these workouts as any workout in this system starts from your core and moves outwards to your limbs.
4. Postural Alignment
The controlled movements of this workout demand a certain postural balance and alignment. Without maintaining correct postures and controlled movements, the full potential of benefits of a workout under this system can’t be achieved.
These are only a few among the many principles that guide modern-day pilates.
Benefits of this system
According to the advocates of this system, including many A-list celebrities and thousands of practitioners and professionals, a regular pilates workout offers the following advantages-
1. Enhances core strength and is effective for ab workouts.
2. Regular pilates has proven beneficial in curing lower back pain for many patients.
3. Improves posture, balance and stamina.
4. Because of its slow and controlled movements, pilates workouts don’t result in knee or joint pains.
5. It can be used as a great rehabilitative workout or even to focus on specific areas such as flexibility and movement to enhance performance in sports.
Arguments against the system
This system has faced a lot of flak from medical professionals and fitness experts. Most official studies have found that this workout has low effectiveness rate. While it is better than no physical exercise at all, it doesn’t do much when compared to other established forms of activity. It has also not been proven to be 100 % effective in all cases, with the Australian and American Governments repeatedly rejecting pleas to include it as an insured treatment procedure. It is also deemed to be very derivative of Yoga while not being nearly as effective.
Popularity of the seemingly upcoming way of fitness
The system has been adopted and accepted by many high profile celebrities of the West. They also promote various fitness studios that work towards promoting good health and posture through this system. Although facing more than its fair share of distrust among people, pilates is a trusted workout for thousands of people in the world. Its benefits have outweighed the criticisms that are trained by experts in this field. These experts give classes that range from full-fledged fitness studios to serving to high end customers to free workout videos on the internet for those who wish to get healthier in a pocket friendly way.
All in all, pilates may prove to be the right step for you to get that fitness goal accomplished.