How Pilates Can Benefit Your Weightlifting

How Pilates Can Benefit Your Weightlifting

Pilates classes are a full-body workout and the micro-movements involved complement heavy lifting. Although giving up one of your traditional strength training sessions for a Pilates class may sound counterproductive, your improved core, flexibility, and posture will thank you for it. It’s important to remember that Pilates does not equal a rest dayDon’t underestimate how demanding Pilates is on your muscles (especially when using a reformer). 

Our main compound exercises are linear movements meaning you are only working in one direction i.e., moving the bar up and down, no twisting or turning. This certainly develops strength and power but deviation from these movements identifies a lack in strength and potential reduced stability.

Pilates refers to the body’s core as a powerhouse, and this includes the abdomen, lower back, hips, and buttocks. Each exercise begins from the powerhouse to coordinate all movements and strengthen the body’s core. You need to really focus on your muscles and each movement. Concentration on the entire body’s movements and absolute muscle control needs to be taught. 

Pilates teaches us to move from our central core region. Insufficient strength in your core muscles has been identified as a risk for muscle strains. Weak core muscles cause a poor biomechanical translation of loads through the body, as the core cannot sustain or distribute the loads applied. You need your core when you lift heavy weights. If you buckle under that weight your back suffers. Strong core = protected back.

Pilates exercises target specific muscle groups therefore allowing greater recruitment of smaller deeper muscles. This provides extra stability to our joints and allows the bigger, superficial muscles to then work efficiently through more global strength work. By activating these deeper muscles around the joints, it creates joint stability, and balance. 

Also, the supporting muscles keep your body balanced and less prone to straining and injuring yourself. It may take several sessions before you really figure out how to engage your deeper stabilizing muscles

Finally, by achieving the core activation and muscle isolation, combined with the Pilates breathing and concentration you will develop a greater focus. Focusing the mind on the movement provides better exercise execution overall. Pilates is designed to combine your breathing rhythm with your body movements. the main goal of Pilates is to unite your mind and body, which relieves stress. 

Increase strength, flexibility, and balance.
Tone and build long, lean muscles.
Strengthen deep abdominal muscles to support the core.
Connect with your mind and improve body awareness.
Decrease back pain, joint stress, and injury.
Lessen stress and relieve tension.
Reinstate postural alignment.
Develop a stronger, more flexible spine.
Increase joint range of motion.
Improve blood circulation.
Improve neuromuscular coordination.
Eliminate over-training.
Improve mobility, agility, and stamina.

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