Many people might have heard of Pilates or seen it practiced on TV or in movies but don’t know why Pilates exercises benefit the body. So what is it good for?
Early thought leaders after Joseph Pilates invented his system shared some key ideas on this.
Joseph’s direct protege, Carola Trier, worked with him and opened a studio in the 1950s in New York City. She said that it helps you do everything else you want to do better.
A former student of Joseph’s named Romana Kryzanowska said, “Pilates is strength with stretch and control.” Romana took over his studio after his and his wife’s passing
According to Pilates expert Dr. Karyn Staples, ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates Studio’s Founder, these statements make the most sense. She asserts that every body needs strength and the ability to move and stretch. And every body needs control over those movements.
Pilates is a great place to start for someone who has not been as active. It enables people to learn their bodies and work on symmetry and alignment. When used as a foundation, a person can progress to other exercise programs and activities—whether that is a new running routine or reaching for laundry detergent and then carrying the basket.
Dr. Staples says that it is great for active people who may be prone to overdoing it. It focuses on giving them balance, not just in their workout, but also in their full body. This is especially important for aging adults who might be fearful of movements. Pilates workouts are safe for every body across their lifespan.
Research shows that the longer we move, the longer we live. Traumas and mini-traumas, like car accidents, giving birth, and having surgery can get in the way of regular movement. Stressors like taking care of aging parents and work situations can also get in the way of regular movement.
If there is a foundation of Pilates, there will be better symmetry, movement that encourages balance and core strength. It enables a person to weather those traumas better.
For a younger person asking “What is Pilates good for?” the answer may be in their sports performance. Training can sometimes cause imbalances in the body. Doing things such as lifting to strengthen one muscle group or overusing another muscle group can create such imbalances.
Pilates will make a young athlete’s performance better. And it allows for better coordination and decreases injuries by increasing flexibility and mobility. ProHealth’s Pilates teachers and physical therapists have worked with many young athletes to improve their game.
Even elementary school children can benefit from Pilates class. It improves posture, alignment, and helps kids to understand that movement is fun, but can still be challenging. The health benefits of Pilates can also include improving mental health. Pilates moves for the young are about setting up building blocks so they can be active humans throughout their lifespan.
What about someone who has recently been injured or has just left physical therapy? Is Pilates good for them? Dr. Staples says that often rehabilitation for an injury will focus on one specific body part.
Pilates as a whole body system can help an injured person regain their symmetry as they recover. And it potentially finds ways in which old patterns can be disrupted, so that re-injury won’t take place.
For those in the Peachtree City area who are actively in pain, you can call ProHealth for a physical therapy appointment. Some types of pain require a knowledgeable trained practitioner. For others, individual sessions or classes at ProHealth are a great way to begin moving with balance, symmetry, and core strength.
We recommend visiting a certified professional in a studio like ProHealth, rather than trying the exercises at home via a YouTube video.
Pilates can be done by any body. However, accommodations are made for a person’s health state and experience. Even though practicing Pilates is safe, it’s not necessarily safe for beginners to do advanced moves before they are ready. That’s where a studio like ProHealth can make such a difference.