Why you need Pilates to complement your strength training

Posted on 28 April 2015

We were recently lucky enough to try out KX Pilates at their new studio in Bondi and we loved it. But what was even more surprising is the burn we felt the next day. It felt like we'd done a serious strength training session.

So we asked some of the Pilates experts we knew and they gave us the run down on why Pilates can be just as hard as your strength session and why it is the perfect complement to strength training.

  • 1. Don't forget about bodyweight! Have you ever done the bodyweight push up challenge? No? We urge you to give it a try, get a set of scales and put your hands on it, holding a plank position. You should see that about 30-45kg of your body weight is on the scale. That means that everytime you do a push up on your toes you are effectively bench pressing 30-45kg! Drop to your knees and you only lose about 8kg so it will still be a seriously tough work.
  • 2. You start to train your muscles more symmetrically, and it shows you where you’ve been making mistakes. One of the first things a PT generally takes you through is a squat analysis to see how well you squat. What they are also looking for is imbalances in the body. By training your muscles in isolation left vs. right you can help even up imbalances and correct mistakes in form.
  • 3. Pilates teaches you better body positioning, so instead of having to focus on simply holding your posture, your body can concentrate on working the muscles that you’re trying to target with a particular exercise. For instance, better posture will help you squat deeper, reach higher and perform better reps.
  • 4. Symmetry also means a pain-free frame — when your body is misaligned, stronger muscles are compensating for the weaker ones, which puts you at risk for injury. Pilates is a great way to protect your body against injury so you need less breaks in training.
  • 5. It is a holistic form of training. We all have exercises we don't enjoy and leave out of our strength program, but this can mean that we are missing crucial movement patterns from our routine. Every Pilates session includes flexion, extension, rotation and side work and each one is working multiple body parts simultaneously which gives you a holistic workout.

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