10 Benefits of doing pilates at home
There are countless reasons to practice Pilates at home. Pilates is low impact and conditions the entire body and thanks to its functional nature, it is effective for people of all ages and fitness levels. There is a type of Pilates to support you at all stages of life, whether you are an athlete, need to rehabilitate or you simply want to keep mobile and improve your wellbeing.
Pilates at home allows you to focus the time you have available entirely on your practise because there is no need to travel to a busy class or fit around the timetable of a gym or studio. If you have a teacher coming your home, you will also receive personal attention which fast forwards the benefits you will see and feel because your technique is being guided by a professional.
We asked the My Method team why they like to practise at home and these were some of their responses.. ‘I can light a candle, play my own music and set the ambience,’ ‘No sweaty people and I don’t need to worry about what I’m wearing..I like rolling straight out of bed onto the mat!’..
Let’s look at some of the benefits of pilates in more detail
1. Pilates is a complete workout for the mind and body
By harmonising the key principles of proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and concentration on smooth, flowing movement, Pilates teaches you to become highly in tune with your body and in control of its movements. Quality of movement is valued over quantity of repetitions as is proper breathing which helps you move with maximum power and efficiency. Proper, full breathing has been proven to reduce stress in the body, making Pilates an excellent practice for the mind and body.
2. Pilates is suitable for all
Pilates is suitable for people of all ages and levels of fitness ranging from pensioners aiming to improve their general well-being, mums to be and new mums hoping to strengthen their pelvic floor, those suffering from injury or ailments and sports enthusiasts and athletes aiming to better their performance. If you fall into any of those categories (or any other for that matter), you will experience the myriad of benefits of a regular Pilates practice.
3. Increases the strength and quality of movement in the entire body
Although Pilates focuses on core strength, (that being the deep abdominal, back and pelvic floor muscles), with a strong stable core, healthy movement patterns become the norm. as muscle development is balanced and the strength of the body is fully integrated.
4. Creates strong and lean muscles
Most weight bearing exercises that build strength also tend to create short, bulky muscle which is the type of muscle that is most prone to injury. Pilates on the other hand, promotes length and strength in the muscle and improves muscle elasticity. This balance of strength and flexibility results in making the body less prone to injury.
5. Increased Flexibility
With the exception of Pilates and yoga, most exercise involves movement in only one plane of motion. Pilates requires motion in several planes, moving the spine from flexion to extension, internal rotation to external rotation and side bending, allowing an increased range of motion throughout the body. Utilising movement on all planes of motion increases and improves flexibility and will decreases the risk of injury.
6. Can help performance in other sporting pursuits
Pilates is hugely popular with athletes as it is a great foundation for all kinds of movement practices. Attention to core support and overall body fitness, provide a level of integrative fitness that is hard to find elsewhere. This is why Pilates is favoured by physios for clients needing rehab from injury.
7. Pilates can help weight loss
Pilates is a muscle-strengthening activity, which can help you maintain a healthy weight. Classes vary in intensity according to ability of the practitioner so can be gentle, or dynamic. When combined with a healthy diet and some cardio exercise such as cycling, walking or swimming, Pilates can help build strength and contribute to weight loss.
8. Improves posture
Modern day lifestyle habits can lead to hunched shoulders and poor posture which, over time, creates muscular imbalances. Pilates helps to counteract the effects of our bad postural habits by creating better balance and muscle symmetry. By isolating specific muscle groups and working the weaker areas, Pilates can re-educate the body to recover lost strength in the weaker muscles. Twinned with a strengthened core, we become more aware and able to correct our posture and stability as movement is more aligned and pain free.
9. Can help ease back pain
Most conventional workouts tend to over work the same muscles causing weak muscles to get weaker and strong muscles to get stronger. The resulting muscular imbalance is a primary cause of poor posture, injury and chronic back pain. Pilates addresses these underlying imbalances and strengthens the deep abdominal muscles and the muscles around the spine and gently stretches tight muscles in the back thus re-balancing the body’s alignment and alleviating back pain. Read more about how to remedy back pain with Pilates here.
10. Improves bone density
The fundamentals of Pilates offer a terrific platform for strengthening bones and preventing fractures if done properly. Bone, like muscle, is dynamic tissue which responds well to resistance and weight-bearing exercises. With much of Pilates being bodyweight resistance training it is an ideal low impact option, when practiced under the guidance of an experienced teacher. Pilates can help increase bone density when body parts move against the force of gravity and by increasing strength and muscle mass, which in turn helps to support the bones.
Our experts can be booked to come to work with you in the comfort of your own home.
There are lots of additional benefits to practicing Pilates at home. Some of which include:
Focused attention entirely on you
When woking with a trusted teacher, practicing in the comfort of your own home allows you to focus more deeply on how the movements feel. This offers the chance to work more deeply into each exercise, in line with your ability, as opposed to following a more general routine in a class environment.
You can go at your own pace
Practicing Pilates at home allows you to go as slowly as you like - a real gift in these fast paced times. A home practice allows you to work on the exercises that you need to work on and feel into the postures more deeply as you aren’t following teachers cue for a whole class . This will really help you hone and develop your practice over time.
Maximises your free time
For many of us it can be hard to fit scheduled studio classes into our day. At home you can roll out your mat at any window of opportunity. When working with a teacher at home, the time you save on having to travel to a studio frees up more time for other commitments.
So whether you are a curious newbie, a seasoned pro or are working with a physical limitation, Pilates could be just the practice for you. Check out our extensive list of specialist teachers who have all areas covered.