The simple answer is Yes!
Pilates can help build muscle strength as long as you practice it regularly. Current guidelines for building muscle strength suggest that you should do exercises that challenge your muscles at least twice per week. Pilates exercises are designed to challenge our muscle system and build strength as well as working on flexibility. Pilates exercises are designed to target specific muscle groups, helping to develop both deep stabilising muscles and larger muscle groups.
What Muscle Groups Will Pilates Target?
Many people attend Pilates classes because they wish to improve their “Core Strength” but what muscles do we actually mean when we refer to the “Core”?
The Core Muscles:
Your core is made up of 4 muscle groups that form a support unit around your trunk. At the top we have the Diaphragm, the bottom is the Pelvic Floor, Abdominals at the front and the Back Extensors at the back. These muscles coordinate trunk movement and provide the link between the upper and lower body.
Pilates exercises focus on controlled movements that engage and challenge these muscles in a balanced and targeted way. This can lead to improved muscle tone, increased strength, and enhanced overall body awareness.
As well as these Core muscles pilates will also target our larger muscle groups that work across the body in muscle slings.
These muscle slings include:
- Anterior Oblique Sling: This muscle sling consists of the internal and external obliques and the contralateral hip adductors.
- Posterior Oblique Sling: This muscle sling consists of the latissimus doors and the contralateral gluteus Maximus.
- Deep Longitudinal Sling: This muscle sling consists of the erector spine, multifidus and hamstrings.
- Lateral Sling: This muscle sling consists of the gluteus medius, tensor fascia latte and the contralateral adductors.
Pilates and Muscle Strength
To get the most out of Pilates for muscle strength development, it’s essential to maintain proper form and technique. As with any exercise program, progression and consistency are key. Gradually increasing the intensity and complexity of the exercises can help continue building strength over time. All our Pilates Classes at ProMOTION Physiotherapy are led by experienced Chartered Physiotherapists. In our classes, we provide you with different options of exercise intensity so you can work at a level you are comfortable with, and progress over time.
Why Should We Strengthen Our Muscles?
As we age our muscle mass naturally decreases but strength training can help reverse this trend. Stronger muscles lower our risk of injury, helps improve bone density, improves our balance and therefore helps reduce the risk of falls. So, it is really important to build regular strengthening into your weekly lives and Pilates is a really enjoyable way to do this!