Forget Crossfit, Pilates is not only great on its own, but is a great complimentary workout for athletes. In between intense training days, Pilates can be used to keep your muscles loose and flexible which is important for staying injury-free, and allows your body to recuperate while still working to increase your fitness.
Other benefits of the reformer include:
- Body awareness: Pilates practice helps you become more aware of your body both in and out of the studio. Pilates teaches you how to breathe — useful when you’re out on your daily run — and how to stand correctly — useful for making your belly look that much flatter. It’s not all deep breathing and better posture.
- A Killer Core: The instability created by the rolling carriage of the reformer, with the springs set at different levels of resistance, helps you develop serious core strength—and the stronger your core is, the better your posture, balance and overall fitness becomes. With the reformer, as with all Pilates equipment, your abs are activated more than with any crunches or other traditional ab exercises, helping you achieve a killer core.
- Increased Flexibility: Reformers are large enough to accommodate full-range motion on even the tallest, most flexible clients. This is excellent for boosting flexibility while simultaneously building strength. Having greater flexibility improves your performance in sports and other physical activities while helping to prevent injuries. The exercises condition the whole body—even the ankles and feet, which are an absolute necessity for healthy, balanced muscles.
- A Long and Lean Body: More conventional or traditional workouts are weight bearing and tend to build short, bulky muscles – the type most prone to injury. Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured.
- Pilates is Low Impact, but Challenging: Pilates is so low impact and safe that it is often used in Physical Therapy for clients with current or past injuries, as well as Pre-Natal and Post-Natal Fitness. But, don’t let it fool you! Modifications to the exercises allow for a range of difficulty ranging from beginning to advanced, and classes such as Pilates Jump Board classes give you an intense cardio workout.
So if you are looking for a strength program to complement your sport that will increase your body awareness, build a killer core, boost flexibility and cinch your waistline all while staying injury free, look no further than the Pilates reformer.