New Year, Stronger Me

New Year, Stronger Me

January 7, 2022

New Year, Stronger Me


Skinny is out, strong is in! At Breathe, we believe that strength is an important component of our day-to-day lives and allows us to move without pain and live a long and enjoyable life. Imagine not being able to have the ability to play your favourite sport, carry your child, or even perform in your job because you didn’t have the ‘strength’ to do it. The strength you have in your body is vital for all these types of activities.

There is an old saying that goes, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” This is especially true as we get older when our bodies go through the inevitable aging process. As we get older, underusing muscles often results in patterns of poor posture, loss of muscle and bone mass, coordination, cognitive skills etc. Sounds terrible doesn’t it but fear not – many medical experts swear by physical exercise as a tonic for many ailments plaguing an aging body and Pilates is high on that list to build strength.

Breathe Pilates

So What Is Strength?

Hypertrophy is a term given to the process where the muscles in our body become stronger. When we exercise, we seek to induce hypertrophy in our muscles. Resistance exercise is seen as the best way to stress the muscles enough to elicit hypertrophy and Pilates is one type of resistance training that has many benefits over other forms of resistance-based exercise.

With its vast repertoire of exercises, Pilates excels at isolating specific muscles. Some of the muscles which are targeted in Pilates are the smaller, more stabilisation-based muscles. 

Improving the strength of these muscles have two major benefits – one being muscular balance, and the other improving joint stabilisation. By using the specific Pilates repertoire, muscles that are often neglected receive enough stimulation to grow, and this provides not only an aesthetic result but also an excellent base for the larger, more movement-based muscles to apply force on the body. The more forces that the musculoskeletal system can handle, the stronger it will be.

Not only is Pilates great at targeting the smaller stabilising muscles, but there are also exercises that can be used to target many muscles and joints at the same time. These ‘multi-joint’ exercises not only teach correct movement patterns (important for those who are trying to rehabilitate themselves from injury) but also force the body to go into ‘hypertrophy’ mode by stressing several muscles in one movement. From a time management perspective, this is great as individuals will achieve better results over a shorter period of time.

The combination of stabilisation-specific exercises along with the multi-joint muscle movements creates a well-balanced programme for muscular hypertrophy that is both time-efficient and sustainable for a lifetime. Pilates can be performed well into the later stages of life, leading to greater strength levels for the entirety of the person’s life span. 

Building Strength With Pilates

Whole Body Work-Out

Pilates trains the body as an integrated whole, focusing on core, lower body, and upper body strength as well as flexibility and posture. Pilates workouts promote strength, balanced muscle development, flexibility, and increased range of motion for the joints. 

Attention to core support and full-body fitness, including the breath and the mind, provide a level of integrative fitness that is hard to find anyway else!

Pilates Creates Long, Lean Muscles 

In Pilates, you are building toned muscles that work well both with your body as a whole and your functional fitness as you move through life. 

One way Pilates creates long, strong muscles is by using eccentric contraction. This type of muscle contraction occurs when the muscle elongates under tension. In Pilates, moves often call for you to resist gravity and move in a controlled way—like when doing a tricep pushup or during the controlled release of tension on a Pilates magic circle.

Pilates Develops Core Strength 

The core muscles of the body are the deep muscles of the back, abdomen, and pelvic floor. These muscles support a strong, supple back, good posture, and efficient movement patterns.

When the core is strong, the frame of the body is supported. The neck and shoulders can relax, and the rest of the muscles and joints are free to do their jobs (but don’t have to do more). 

A tight core can also help you learn how to pull your abs in to get the most out of many exercises. Pilates involves a variety of abdominal exercises, which help to improve not only the strength of the core muscles but also their endurance. 

Pilates Can Promote Weight Loss 

If you practice Pilates regularly, it will change your body. Known for creating long, strong muscles, Pilates improves your muscle tone, balances musculature, supports beautiful posture, and teaches you to move with ease and grace. All of these things can make you look and feel very fit.

The formula for weight loss requires burning more calories than you take in. As a full-body fitness method, Pilates can help you do that together with a healthy diet, sufficient sleep and lower stress levels.

Pilates Boosts Metabolism

Having more muscle turns your body into a fat-burning machine. Building muscle mass helps your body burn fat more efficiently at rest. You do not develop muscle through cardio the way you do when you are doing strength training.

In other words, the more muscle mass you develop through using weights the more calories and fat you are blasting up to 38 hours after you’ve worked out. Even when you’re just sitting at your desk chair or watching Netflix!

Pilates Zaps Stress = Stronger In Mind 

Many people find weight training quite therapeutic. They channel their stress into the weights, and the powerful movements and exertion really allows them to release something both physically and emotionally. Getting a fantastic endorphin high keeps Pilates go-ers coming back for more.

 

If you’re looking to build strength in Pilates, we have a whole suite of strength & cardio based classes that help you strengthen, lengthen and tone. It’s time to step it up! For more information, email us info@breathepilates.com.sg


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