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Embracing Pilates for a Long, Lean Body Without Adding Bulk

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Embracing Pilates for a Long, Lean Body Without Adding Bulk

As we age, our body’s mobility naturally declines. Regular exercise, including strength and flexibility training can help reduce the loss of functional mobility.

For many people, the thought of getting into the gym for a strength training or weight lifting workout is unappealing because building muscle is often associated with increasing bulk—something most women and even many men wish to avoid.

How can you strengthen your body without adding bulk? One word: Pilates. Cooper Fitness Center Pilates Instructor Sarah Paxton has been teaching Pilates since 1991. She explains the benefits of Pilates for creating a strong, lean body.

Benefits of Pilates
Pilates is truly different than any other form of exercise. When you first set foot in a Pilates studio and see the various pieces of apparatus, you may be easily intimidated. To really understand this unique form of exercise and the benefits of Pilates, you need to try it for yourself, says Paxton.

When compared to other forms of exercise, Pilates offers a number of benefits, including:

Low bulk. A traditional strength-training workout in the weight room primarily consists of concentric muscle loading, which is responsible for short, bulky muscles. Conversely, Pilates incorporates more eccentric muscle loading, which creates strong, lean muscles. Research shows that a combination of eccentric and concentric movements creates stronger muscles faster.

Corrective. Similarly to yoga, Pilates has numerous corrective benefits. Working from the inside out, Pilates will correct posture, alignment and balance issues while teaching correct muscle activation, thus improving functional mobility.

Low risk of injury. Pilates is a low-impact exercise, which reduces risk of injury to the joints.

Transferable. What you learn in Pilates can be applied to other forms of exercise as well as everyday life. Pilates retrains your body to move the way it was intended to move.

Variety. A Pilates workout can take place on the mat or on Pilates equipment. Each piece of Pilates equipment in the studio (the Reformer, the Cadillac/Trapeze Table, the Chair and the Ladder Barrel) are designed to provide a full-body strength and flexibility workout. A Pilates mat workout consists of a series of about 32 exercises. In a mat class, you will start flat on your back, working up to a standing position. In addition to strengthening the muscles and improving flexibility, Pilates also offers the benefits of a cardiovascular workout.

Relaxing. If you are looking for a relaxing, restorative workout, Pilates can do the trick. Pilates won’t leave your muscles as sore as they might be following a traditional weight room exercise. Pilates works all the muscles in the body from the inside out. Additionally, Pilates will reduce tension and lower your stress level.

How Often Should You Do Pilates?
The number of Pilates workouts you should get in each week depends on a few factors.
First, you must consider your other activities. If you wish to simply complement your other forms of exercise with Pilates, one Pilates workout each week is sufficient. However, if Pilates will be your primary form of exercise, two to five workouts per week is recommended. 

Pilates at Cooper Fitness Center
Cooper Fitness Center’s certified Pilates Instructors in Dallas offer Pilates training to fit your needs and fitness goals. Pilates sessions include:

  • Private and semi-private sessions—customized training programs for one or two people that incorporate exercises on the mat and Pilates apparatus (reformer, cadillac, wunda chair and more). Offered in 55-minute sessions.
  • Pre-natal and postnatal sessions—for moms-to-be, Pilates is recognized as one of the best exercise programs for the pregnant body. Not only does it improve postural alignment—thus alleviating back pain—but it will also assist during labor, delivery and recovery. Sessions for one or two people focus on proper breathing, stretching and strengthening, lengthening the spine and strengthening the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. Offered in 55-minute sessions.

New Cooper Fitness Center members receive one free Pilates training session with membership. If you are looking to add variety to your workout, give Pilates a try. “It’s always fun and never boring,” says Paxton. Watch a video demonstration.

For more information about Private Pilates at Cooper Fitness Center, click here or call 972.233.4832, ext. 4357.

Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.