Is Pilates Strength Training?

In Pilates the quality of movement is more important than the exact amount
of repetitions. Proper breathing is essential, and helps you execute
movements while working towards proper muscle memory starting at the core.
With each muscle contraction you exhale and target the deep inner core
muscles. The foundation of exercise is to develop a strong core. The core
consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to
the spine. Control of the core is achieved by integrating the trunk,
pelvis and shoulder girdle. The stronger your core, the easier weight
lifting should be. Strength training will increase muscle mass, but it
does shorten the muscles as they contract. Pilates elongates while
strengthening, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with
balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured. Doing only
conventional strength training workouts tend to work the same muscles
through your traditional movement pattern. This creates a pattern of weak
muscles getting underutilized and strong muscles getting stronger. The
result is muscular imbalance – a primary cause of injury and chronic back
pain. If you integrate high repetition moves using your body weight and
with a strong focus on core, like you see in Pilates workouts, along with
traditional strength-oriented exercises, your entire musculature is more
evenly balanced and conditioned, helping you enjoy daily activities with
greater ease, better performance and less chance of injury.

Contributed by

Bethany Reynolds
Health & Fitness Professional

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