Alana Reed’s 5 Benefits of Pilates

alana-reed-pilatesGuest Blogger Alana Reed is the owner of Alana Reed Pilates.  She was given the prestigious certification to teach Pilates in 2001 by Romana Kryzanowska, one of the five living disciples of Joseph Pilates.  Alana works in New York City with clients of all ages and abilities.  She specializes in pre and post natal Pilates and bone health.  To learn more about Alana Reed, visit her website.

1. Learn how to use your Powerhouse! – In Pilates, the core muscles are referred to as “The Powerhouse.”  Every Pilates exercise incorporates the use of the Powerhouse. When the Powerhouse is engaged continuously, the abdominal muscles tighten and the entire abdominal region becomes flatter.

2. Grow with Pilates!! – When the Powerhouse is engaged, the back gets great support.  This takes stress off the back and allows posture to improve without the back working overtime.  Once someone begins studying Pilates, people often ask, “did you grow an inch?” The improved posture gives the illusion of greater height!  Along with looking taller and thinner, people also notice a decrease in back, shoulder and neck discomfort because the back is finally getting the support it needs!

3. Long and Strong!! – For the past 40 years dancers, gymnasts, ice skaters, models and celebrities have flocked to Pilates because it allows muscles to strengthen without getting bulky!  In Pilates there is a strength and stretch combination in every exercise.  Combining stretching with strengthening allows the body to develop long, lean muscles, rather than short, bulky ones.

4. Body Control and Awareness – Pilates exercises teach the student about proper movement and body mechanics.  The exercises train the body of how to breathe, how to align joints and how to move.  This allows Pilates students to incorporate Pilates into their everyday lives.  It gives people great body awareness. A Pilates student can correct his/her gait, posture or stance to make any movement more comfortable or more efficient.

5. Take a “Me Hour” – It is impossible to do a Pilates workout while thinking about anything else.  Pilates exercises use low repetitions, which means exercises are constantly changing, so it’s impossible to have time to think about anything else.  Spending an hour concentrating your breath and movement provides a great way to take your mind off things.  It forces you to concentrate on yourself!

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