It’s a question I get asked all the time by people who come into the studio. Why does Pilates work for people at so many different ages, fitness levels and body types? In general, our clients are suburban women and it’s sometimes hard to understand how a workout that works for Hollywood starlets and elite athletes would also help them! Chicago Cubs fans who are familiar with Jake Arietta know that he credits Pilates for his resurgence as a pitcher. More and more elite athletes are starting a Pilates practice to gain all the benefits Pilates has to offer.
We asked our instructors this question – and here’s what we heard! Why does Pilates work for people of so many different age groups, and at so many different fitness levels?
Patti: Pilates can be modified for any fitness level. It improves strength flexibility and balance and helps you focus on your mind and body awareness. Whether you are 20 or 80 sit at a desk or throw an awesome fast ball Pilates is for everyone
Pilates is for everyone, and everyone is for Pilates — The reason or intention that they choose Pilates or start it may be different- Jake may want to stretch his overly used arms and legs, where as the dancer may want to gain more control and balance with her movements and the 65 yo retiree may just want to be able to get out of bed without pain– but they will all benefit from it –the system of Pilates is for every “body” – Pilates to me, helps us move more efficiently and prevents injuries and all that comes with the aging process (not that any of us experience this, lol) SO even though the reasons are different, as a whole everything can improve: posture, flexibility, range of motion , breathing, balance , so far and so on….All those benefits of Pilates that we know – no matter who you are 🙂
There is no one Pilates client. It is a practice that is both attainable and a challenge for any body type or fitness level. The dancer, high-performing athlete, and those “of a certain age” are all dealing with their own limitations and strengths. Pilates can improve weaknesses in anyone while still retaining a sense of challenge and growth in the discipline.
Pilates works for every body that walks through the door, because it is more than just a series of exercises – I don’t think any of us would be teaching it so passionately if it were. The ideas of balance, coordination, breath, centering, precision, flow, and efficiency in the movement practice that makes it not only effective, but also applicable to any body type and any level of physical activity they prescribe to. It also informs clients about the activity they’re training for and how to do it better to increase the longevity of that activity – like getting up out of the chair without fear of falling, being able to sit on the floor with their grandchildren or even picking them up, strengthening their turnout to increase their arabesque line in dance, or balance their bodies from intense physical training.
Every person we see desires a level of physical capability in order to accomplish great aspirations, everyday tasks and activities that keep them involved in their most meaningful relationships. PIlates is in the exercise category of “mind body.” Of course the Method is a system of exercises. Beyond that however, I feel that when anyone, whoever you are, can build greater body awareness, you will discover how to be more effective in the things you want to do. The reason it works for the 30-year old dancer, a 65-year old retiree and Jake Arietta is not just from the physical – it is from the mindset and drive to achieve the simple and complex demands of life with vitality and ease.