Busting 10 Common Misconceptions About Pilates
For fitness regimen that has been around for several years and has gained notoriety, Pilates still comes with a handful of misconceptions. This is also to blame for why a lot of people are missing out on the benefits. So, if you are looking to add variety and efficiency to your fitness regimen, it helps that you get to know your options better.
If you are keen to know more about Pilates, we straightened out some of the most common misconceptions.
1. Pilates can help you lose weight
Pilates comes with several benefits, but weight loss is not its strongest point. It is a low-impact exercise that is more focused on building lean muscles, toning up, and improving your posture than shedding the excess pounds.
If you are aiming to lose weight fast, Pilates will not be the best workout. However, its ability to help you look toned and slimmer is not dismissible.
With regular workout, Pilates can shape up your midsection giving you a leaner appearance. Studies have shown that Pilates is a reliable core stabilizing program that repeatedly stretches and strengthens your core muscles.
If your goal is weight loss, it is better if you combine Pilates with a healthy diet and other forms of exercises.
2. It’s a very simple exercise program
To say that Pilates is very simple that it runs on the verge of being boring is a conclusion that stems from misinformation or inexperience.
While it may not be as intense as cardio exercises, Pilates is no walk in the park either – especially for beginners. When taught properly, Pilates it is not easy. It involves a sequencing of exercises that can range from the simple to something more complex depending on the needs of the individual. On top of that, it also calls on you to focus on deep abdominal muscles, transitions, and flow.
Every movement requires guidance and practice because it involves control and balance. It must be done slowly and smoothly, which may look easy to the casual observer. However, maintaining proper body mechanics can be a real challenge.
With regular practice, your body will eventually learn to adapt natural alignments and proper support. This also explains why Pilates sessions are done in small groups. It allows the instructor to pay close attention to each student so that they are properly guided on how to execute movements or use machines.
3. It is designed for women
This common misconception has something to do with how Pilates is marketed. More often this exercise is associated with images showing women with their arms or legs extended either doing matwork or on the Reformer. Some guys get turned off thinking that the exercise routine is too feminine. Furthermore, the mentality that they should be lifting something heavy is what drives them away.
However, Joseph Pilates, who was a male gymnast founded this exercise system for recovering soldiers during the war. Pilates is not an emasculating exercise simply because it is popular among females. Superstar athletes like Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James even found it beneficial in conditioning their body for the game.
Several studios today offer a less traditional way of teaching by focusing on opening the chest and hips, strengthening the abs, or working the back – something most men prefer. It is designed to help the body recover from injuries, prevent them, and improve overall biomechanics. These are concerns that are not unique to women.
4. It is enough to build body strength
Strength exercise is a type of training which works with your muscles by using resistance equipment or your own body weight. By doing it regularly, you are likely to increase weight as you increase in strength. Pilates will also likely lead to the same results.
The reformer, for instance, can provide varying degrees of resistance with the different spring levels. However, Pilates alone will not be enough to get you significant results. If you want to build your muscles, strengthen your joints and bones. These should be exposed to stressful demand. This means going for exercises like overhead weight lifting or pushing weights with your legs.
Maximum results can be achieved when you combine Pilates with muscle-building exercises. In fact, it can even help you perform better because it allows you to develop better control, balance, and endurance. This synergistic effect allows you to maximise your exercise regimen and end up with remarkable results.
5. It focuses only on core strength
While it may be true that Pilates primarily focus on developing core strength, it also provides a comprehensive list of benefits that go beyond the belly. It also helps develop the following:
- better flexibility
- bone strength
- movement control
- muscle endurance
- proper breathing
It is important that people start to see Pilates as a way to lead a healthier lifestyle. It is not just about your abdominal muscles and how you should be tensing it throughout to achieve a stronger core. Overdoing it by simply focusing on one area can impair your muscles and cause pain. Instead of just bearing down on the center, Pilates integrates the entire body to create a fluid movement from head to toe.
6. You need to be fit and flexible to do Pilates
You really don’t need to have the flexibility of a gymnast to do Pilates. Anybody can sign-up for it, whether you have a non-existent fitness routine or you are a superstar athlete. Unless specified by your doctor to do otherwise, it can be a good addition to your fitness routine.
There are no stringent criteria on how limber or thin you are. What this exercise focuses on is the fact that our bodies are designed to be dynamic and responsive. It is through training and consistent practice that you can improve your flexibility.
Furthermore, the different exercises in a Pilates routine can also be adjusted to suit your fitness level. With a good and experienced instructor, you can master the right body conditioning which will even help you improve symmetry and alignment – the foundations of physical wellness.
7. Pilates is only for the abs
The primary focus behind Pilates may be your center as it aims to recruit and engage your deep core muscles, but as mentioned earlier it has a lot more to offer. More than flat abs there are over 300 Pilates exercises that can help you work any body part. In addition to mat classes, there are also several devices specific to Pilates that can exercise the rest of your body.
8. Pilates is a difficult exercise program
Pilates is not too easy, and neither is it too difficult. A good Pilates program is one that is customised to suit your fitness level and your physical condition. It should challenge you enough but not to a point that it should strain you. Through the proper guidance from an experienced instructor you can get the movements right and with fluidity.
9. Pilates must be done on specialised exercise machines
Joseph Pilates designed the different devices with the goal to enhance mat-based programs. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need all these to do Pilates. Mat exercises provide another dimension to Pilates which still provides you with the same benefits with dedication and practice.
10. It doesn’t make you sweat
Pilates is not just about assuming certain positions and maintaining them. It is a set of carefully designed movements that can challenge individuals of all fitness levels. It pushes you to master control, balance, and flexibility. It also involves resistance training to develop better strength to your bones and muscles. All these can surely make you sweat, although not as much if you were pounding pavement or doing high-intensity interval training. While it may not be as tedious, but it has the capacity to challenge your body.