How is Pilates different to traditional weights or exercise programs?
In Pilates it is not all about the weight lifted or moved. It focuses on the core muscles of the body. It is not necessarily a case of the stronger the better – muscle control and activation are the aim. Sometimes lighter resistance can make exercises more difficult. This is a different concept to weights based training e.g. a bicep curl – you are training the strength of the bicep using a more intense or maximal contraction. In Pilates it is a case of time under load and resistance that is often the key.
Pilates movements are usually more flowing and there is an emphasis on correct posture throughout the movements. With Pilates the resistance is either body weight (matwork) or spring resisted (reformer). It works on toning both the larger and smaller muscles of the body including the stabilising muscles, which can be hard to target with weights. Pilates exercises can rebalance muscles around the joints and balance strength with flexibility.
Peter “Pilates” Ledwidge