Strength Training and the Role of Pilates
Resistance (or strength) training is exercise that uses resistance to induce muscular contraction. It provides well established benefits for your health and well-being whatever your age, gender or goal - be it weight loss, fitness or strength focused.
Key benefits include:
Increasing muscle mass and strength which results in better muscle strength, bone density and joint function.
- Burning energy during and after a session and elevating resting metabolism which promotes fat loss. Therefore, it can assist in changing body composition and weight loss.
- Increasing or preventing bone loss which is associated with osteoporosis particularly in women.
- Assists in slowing the natural loss of lean muscle mass that occurs with aging.
- Improves balance, coordination and posture and reducing the risk of falls as we age.
While these benefits are well established, many people find it difficult to know what the role of other forms of exercise is in improving health and fitness. Pilates is one such exercise form which has existed for a long time and gained popularity in recent years. It is also widely available in many forms including mat, reformer and clinical Pilates.
Pilates has many benefits including:
- It's a lower impact exercise using body weight or low levels of resistance.
- Focusses on muscle endurance through higher repetition exercises.
- Results in improved flexibility and often incorporates stretching
- Has a significant focus on effective breathing, abdominal and pelvic floor engagement
- Is suitable for people in recovery from muscular skeletal injuries
These benefits, notably increased flexibility, core engagement and muscle endurance, are all complementary to resistance training.
As Pilates is lower impact, it does not expose the muscles to enough stress to significantly improve strength or increase muscle mass. If your goal is weight loss, Pilates will have little effect on body composition as the increase in lean muscle mass is minor and ability to burn energy remains the same. Further, the number of calories burned during Pilates is lower than that of resistance training or cardio exercise.
Pilates also focuses more on isolated movements rather than compound movements (multi-joint movement which work several muscle groups at the same time) which form the foundation of strength work.
The role of resistance training and Pilates in improving health and fitness are different and complementary. Overall, Pilates is considered a suitable cross training exercise which can be integrated into an overall training programme and supports regular strength training.
At Vision we help you plan out your weekly exercise schedule to ensure you reach your health and fitness goals.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.