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The Benefits Of Pilates For Women

Benefits Of Pilates For Women

Pilates is not a new phenomenon. It was developed around 100 years ago to rehabilitate soldiers who were injured and bedridden during World War 1. It subsequently became popular with dancers, who sought to strengthen their bodies without risking injury. Today, it is one of the safest and most effective forms of exercise available and is practised by nearly 1.25 million Australians, including many women.

This article explains what Pilates is and the benefits it can offer to women. For personalised advice, contact our team at NDPE today.

 What Is Pilates? 

Pilates is a form of exercise that helps to improve strength, stability and posture. That’s especially important in helping to prevent lower back pain, something that afflicts just under 15% of women aged between 16 and 34, and 20% of women aged 35 to 44.

The exercises focus on strengthening the core muscles—particularly the transverse abdominus and pelvic floor muscles—which are important for providing stability for your spine, pelvis and hips, and in allowing movement with much greater control and balance.

More than a million women in Australia currently practice Pilates. It’s great for increasing muscle strength without developing a Schwarzenegger-like physique because Pilates is all about focusing on the smaller muscles that help with balance and core control, rather than those traditionally worked in a gym.


The Benefits Of Pilates For Women 

As a program, Pilates offers many benefits. The low-impact nature of the exercises makes them suitable for all shapes, sizes, and levels of fitness. Additionally, because the techniques are designed to improve strength, flexibility, posture, and mental awareness, Pilates is equally effective as a workout as it is in injury rehabilitation.


  1. Builds Long And Lean Muscles

When you want to increase your strength without increasing your muscle size too much, Pilates is a great option. This is because Pilates exercises focus on your posture and alignment, and help to lengthen these muscles and increase their strength. Pilates won’t give you large biceps or double the size of your behind, but it does build muscles that will have you feeling like you could take on the world.

  1. Prevents Injury And Helps You To Recover

Many people who try Pilates for the first time do so because of an existing injury they’d like to rehabilitate. In some cases, people come to Pilates to work on ways to avoid injury in the first place.

Whether you have a current injury or want to reduce your chances of acquiring one, Pilates helps you to regain or build strength to assist in either case. While a lot of gym exercises focus on muscles you can see such as biceps and abs, Pilates tends to focus on the ‘little’ muscles— those that you can’t see but help with important things like balance and core control.

  1. Helps You Develop Core Strength And Stability

Core strength is about much more than crunches. Your core extends well beyond the ‘six-pack’ appearance many aim for, as it incorporates your entire midsection including your obliques, lower back, diaphragm, and pelvic floor as well as your abdominal muscles.

Keeping your spine in alignment is key to helping your core work as efficiently as possible. Slow movements such as those used in Pilates help to align your spine correctly and aid in increasing your core strength and flexibility. A strong core may include a six-pack for some, but the main aspect of core strength work in Pilates is to improve your posture, help you stand straight, bend over, and pick things up with ease.

  1. Strengthens Your Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that extend like a sling from the public bone to the tailbone, making up the floor of the pelvis. Strengthening the pelvic floor helps with bladder control, an issue that according to the Continence Foundation of Australia will affect one in three mothers.

As Pilates helps with core strength which includes the pelvic floor, this can be beneficial for women with pelvic floor issues such as a weak or overactive pelvic floor. While pelvic floor challenges are usually associated with women during and after pregnancy, they can affect women (and men!) of any age regardless of their parental status. Pilates to help with your pelvic floor aims to reduce bladder leakage and other problems that can arise due to a weak or overactive pelvic floor.

  1. Improves Your Posture

Poor posture is often associated with back pain, headaches, and a host of other problems that may affect your day-to-day life. Improving your posture may also improve your breathing and help you to get more out of your day.

Pilates aims to train the muscles that help you stand up straight and tall. When these muscles have been trained to do so and have been re-programmed from slouching (as many of us do), you’ll see and feel a positive difference in your posture. Having good posture not only looks great, but it can make you feel more confident, too!

  1. Enhances Your Performance

Neutral alignment is the goal, yet most people aren’t able to achieve this without help. Pilates offers that help by teaching you to hold your spine in a neutral position, which reduces pressure on your body. As a result, this reduced pressure means that your body is better prepared for training and can perform at its best. This is especially helpful when good form is of the utmost importance, such as when lifting weights.


Start Your Pilates Journey Today 

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to give Pilates a go. At NDPE we offer small group exercise classes incorporating reformer Pilates; with a maximum of 4 participants in a class. This will allow for an individualised approach so that your technique is correct and you are getting the most benefit from our classes. We have a modern and fully equipped space where you can increase your fitness and strength with the help of our experienced physiotherapists. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us on 02 9874 8410!




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