Despite being a popular form of exercise worldwide, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding Pilates. As such, many individuals do not know what to expect in a Pilates class and are too intimidated to try it out.
In this article, we will be discussing and debunking a few common Pilates misconceptions.
Pilates Is Just Yoga
Isn’t Pilates just another name for Yoga?
At first glance, Yoga and Pilates appear similar: both exercises involve stretching and focus on breath control. However, the essence of each practice is vastly different.
Yoga is primarily a spiritual practice; some, therefore, consider it as movement meditation that specialises in connecting with the spirit.
On the other hand, Pilates exercises focus more on physicality. They are designed to strengthen your body and increase flexibility and mobility, improving your posture and preventing future injuries.
Pilates Is Just Stretching
While stretching plays a significant role in Pilates exercises, it would be a disservice to equate one to the other.
Many different elements go into Pilates; in particular, exercises combine stretching with strength and resistance training. You would need a great sense of control and focus so your entire body is in full motion.
Pilates Is Only For Women
Over the years, it seems that Pilates has gained a reputation for being a women’s exercise.
However, Pilates was never meant to exclude men. In fact, it was invented by a man (Joseph Pilates) for male prisoners of war. Even today, many male athletes participate in exercise—for example, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lebron James are among many who practise Pilates.
Therefore, modern Pilates suits individuals of all genders, ages, and fitness levels.
Pilates Is Easy
Although Pilates is a gentle, low-impact exercise, it can be challenging.
While movements are slow, the entire body is involved in each exercise; Pilates requires you to work out dominant and non-dominant muscle groups. You will need to exert a high level of control to precisely carry out each exercise, hold challenging positions, and coordinate the movements of your limbs. You may also need to control the moving parts of the Pilates machine.
If you find Pilates easy, you may not be doing the exercises the way they are meant to be done.
Pilates Always Requires Special Equipment
Machines like the Reformer may be used to enhance your workout. However, they are not mandatory, with most basic exercises requiring only a Pilates or Yoga mat because your body weight provides the necessary resistance.
Pilates Only Enhances Your Abdominal Muscles
Pilates is known to strengthen the core, but that’s not all—as a full-body exercise, it works out all your major muscle groups. As such, it helps to improve posture, build strength, and increase flexibility. After several sessions, you may find that your arms, hips, back, and legs are toned.
Moreover, Pilates can help strengthen the mind-body connection.
Pilates Requires Flexibility
Flexibility is one of the benefits, not requirements, of Pilates. By committing to regular Pilates practice, you can push your body beyond its physical limits, helping it become more flexible and lithe.
Due to the numerous misconceptions surrounding Pilates, many are wary of trying out the exercise. Hopefully, this article has deepened your understanding of Pilates and its benefits.