We've been singing the praises of our Reformer Pilates classes a lot lately, because they're just so good, but we wanted to shine a light back on our mat Pilates classes too. Led by our team of passionate and expert teachers, these are a great complement to the Reformer, as well as being a great place to start if you're unsure of the movements and exercises and want to build control and technique before moving on to the machine. But don't be fooled, mat pilates is a tad harder because you don't have the machine to assist and resist your movements.
Want a few more reasons to get on the mat? We've gathered six of the best reasons to try this intense and demanding full body-workout that sculpts your body, builds lean, toned muscle, and leaves you buzzing!
It's kind to your joints
The slow and controlled movements in a Pilates class are low impact and only partially weight bearing, and most are performed in a reclined or seated position on the mat, which there is little to no impact on your joints. These controlled, precise movements help improve joint mobility too, which is why these classes are a great choice for injury prevention and rehabilitation. It will also help you to become aware of your body, so you have full control during exercises, which makes them more effective.
Build the abs and the ass you want
Pilates is all about the core, working deep into your abdominal muscles and muscles closest to your spine. By integrating and evenly conditioning the torso, pelvis and shoulder girdle, you'll see and feel the strength in your centrein no time. Not only that, but it will also target the large muscles in your lower body, toning your thighs and butt.
Keep your Spine Healthy
A stronger centre also equals a stronger and healthier back. By stabilising and strengthening through your centre, Pilates relieves the stress and increases the mobility in your lower back, meaning less pain and more freedom of movement. In fact, many doctors recommend Pilates for certain back pains and injuries.
Move for your mind
During a class, you're forced to stay present by having to focus on a number of things at once, your breath, your body and how they move together in the optimal way to create proper alignment and to make sure your muscles are working correctly. Not only does this mean that you can let go of external stresses and worries for an hour, but by learning that control and connection with your body and mind, you can transfer it to life outside of the class as well, finding a sense of mastery over your body and mood in order to feel more balanced.
Improve your game
More and more sports teams and elite athletes are making Pilates a fundamental part of their training regime. This is because it strengthens and stabilises your hips and core, correcting postural and muscle imbalances, meaning your power output will be greater, even from your 'weak' side. You'll run faster, your yoga practice will become stronger, and you'll be able to push it that little bit harder in your HIIT and small group training sessions too.
Bend so you don't break
It's not only Yoga that will improve your flexibility, as Joseph Pilates said: “True flexibility can be achieved only when all muscles are uniformly developed.” When your body feels tight, your muscles are shortened, increasing the risk of injury and limiting your body's range of movement. Through functional movement and efficient body training, your muscles will be lengthened without overstretching, so not only do you become more flexible, you also create a long lean silhouette.
23 May 2017