Hi! My name is Elesa and I am a Pilates Matwork Personal Trainer & Instructor. I love teaching Pilates, because of the major benefits everyone can gain from it. This page explains what Pilates can do for you, but if you have any questions, I am just an email away at: email@example.com. I hope to see you in class soon!
Pilates is a form of low-impact exercise. It strengthens the muscles of the back, abdominals, gluteal muscles (butt), core, and pelvis in a very balanced way. It also stretches tight hip flexors and improves posture. The combination will powerfully help you to prevent back pain caused by week trunk muscles, and muscle imbalances. It will leave you looking and feeling stronger, and stand taller!
Pilates targets your core - specifically, your abdominals (outer muscles), your obliques (side abdominals) and your transverse abdominals (internal muscles). This will make your abs look tighter and leaner. Most importantly, this enhanced strength will protect your lower back from injury, improve spinal stability, increase balance and coordination and relieve lower back pain.
Pilates also targets your hips, back and inner and outer thighs (your adductors & abductors). It targets tight hip flexors and hamstrings to improve flexibility, address muscular imbalances, and minimise your risk of back injury. Weak glutes will be strengthened, to take stress off your already-tight hip flexors. and help pelvic alignment.
Have you ever lifted something up, or turned around, and felt your back suddenly 'go'? This is usually because of a weak core, over tightened hip flexors, a misaligned pelvis, weak back, glute, abdominal, oblique and core muscles. A perfect storm, in other words, for a back injury or backaches over time. Pilates specifically targets these imbalances and weaknesses to make you stronger and more resistant to injury.
Pilates strengthens the pelvic floor which can be significantly weakened from pregnancy and poor posture (e.g., sedentary job). By targeting the muscles of the pelvis, you can expect increased pelvic stability and strength. Pelvic strength, alongside general muscular strength, is lost as we age, which is why Pilates can really benefit older adults as well as young people.
Too much sitting in an office, driving, or using a computer gives us poor posture. Why? Because it weakens our glutes and core, it really tightens our hip flexors (too much sitting!), and rounds the shoulders. The result is poor posture (see examples to the left) and pain in the back. Pilates will help you to stand tall again by addressing these muscle imbalances. The excess pelvic tilt you see (on the left), for example, is a result of a weak core, weak glutes and poor posture, which Pilates can reverse.
Breathing is central to Pilates. Deep breathing helps you to keep movements controlled. It helps to retain a tight core during exercises, and lowers cortisol, a stress hormone. It helps to stimulate the PNS (Parasympathetic Nervous System) to help you feel calmer and more relaxed. Breathing in a controlled way during Pilates exercises will also help you to keep your abdominals contracted, retaining great posture.