Doctors and physical therapists often recommend Pilates as a rehabilitation measure for people recovering from injury. “It can serve as a bridge to return to normal activity,” says Bryant. Pilates can also help reduce the risk of injury because it improves core stability, balance, flexibility, and posture. “We know that neglecting these factors increases the risk of a number of musculoskeletal and joint injuries.”
Pilates can also be beneficial for pregnant women and mothers just after giving birth, as it strengthens the core muscles and trains the pelvis. “It’s a great way to strengthen your pelvic floor without doing hundreds of Kegel exercises,” says Sarah Clampett, a physical therapist and clinical director at Origin, a Los Angeles-based health care company. According to her, “anyone with pelvic floor problems or dysfunctions can benefit from Pilates.”
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What can’t Pilates do?
Traditional Pilates is not cardio training. It’s true that “the more advanced a person is, the more it resembles cardio,” says Berkowitz, who now trains instructors through his online studio, The Vertical Workshop. »But you will never get to the point where you really put your cardiovascular system to the test.« Pilates training is also not comparable to lifting heavy weights. “There are limits to how much strength you can develop,” says Carrie Samper. “It’s not the same as lifting weights or bench pressing. You don’t build the same muscle mass because you never do the Pilates moves to exhaustion.”
It’s also not really suitable for chatting with a friend or watching TV while you’re at it. “You have to be really present and pay attention to where the body is in space and what it’s doing, and not everyone wants that,” says Samper. Without that level of focus, you are likely to perform worse and even risk injury.
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How often should you practice it?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services for disease control and prevention, recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise and two sessions of strength training per week for adults Pilates falls into the latter category.
Although you’ll benefit from one or two Pilates sessions a week, experts say three times a week is ideal. This is the »sweet spot«, says Samper, that is, the area where the best effect is achieved. But there really is no such thing as too much Pilates. “If you find it fun, there’s nothing wrong with doing it five or more times a week,” says Bryant. You should always vary the exercises a bit.