There are several great reasons to add Pilates to your cross training routine. A few:
Pilates exercises are oriented toward FUNCTIONAL FITNESS, meaning that Pilates teaches you to move more efficiently in general, thereby enhancing performance and reducing risk of injury in other activities.
Cross training adds sustaining VARIETY to your workout routine. Cross training that combines strength training with cardio is the best way to get in TIP TOP SHAPE.
The Pilates method is founded on core strength. Pilates mat and equipment exercises strengthen not just the outer muscles of the torso, but also the deep inner stabilizing muscles of the pelvis, abdomen, and back- the core muscles. Core strength supports the back and neck, giving us healthy posture and freeing the joints to allow a natural flexibility of the limbs. This kind of strength and flexibility training translates well into all kinds cross training activities.
Pilates develops long, lean muscles. Pilates resistance training is enough to give you functional power, help build bone, and burn more calories (because muscle is a calorie burner) AND will help you perform your weight training routine with better alignment, greater range of motion, and integrative focus.
By practicing Pilates, you’ll improve the quality of your fitness, reduce your risk for overuse injuries and improve all of your fitness endeavors. Pilates cross trains well with anything. But because of the extra health benefits of cardio training such as strengthening the heart and lungs, stress reduction, and increased energy levels, we suggest cross training Pilates with cardio exercises. This is especially true if you are interested in weight loss.
Cross training is really just combining exercise types. For beginners, cardio and strength training are best done on different days. That way you won’t wear out and your muscles get a chance to rest and repair, which is how you build strength and endurance. It is also a good idea to alternate the exercise intensity levels in your weekly routine. An every-other-day cardio then strength program with alternating heavy and light workouts is a good choice as people often underestimate the exertion level of Pilates and often find it too much to do a full Pilates class and cardio on the same day. As you begin cross training, stick with alternate days or do a very light Pilates workout on a cardio day.
- 4 Ways Pilates Makes Everything Better (fitsugar.com)
- Men and Pilates (movementsafootblog.com)