If you can’t do the splits, you might be thinking, “What’s the big deal?” when it comes to flexibility. However, flexibility is much more than just the splits! We need to have a certain level of mobility in all our muscles in order to carry out everyday tasks. Simply getting out of bed, scooping up your child, or even just sweeping the floor requires flexibility. As time goes on, we create body habits and postures that limit our range of motion. In order to keep your range of motion, you need to stay active and stretch regularly. So why not do both at one time with Pilates?
Purpose of Flexibility Training
Flexibility training has the ability to increase your performance in both aerobic training and strength training. Good thing Pilates includes all three! It’s been shown that those who include flexibility training in their routines are much less likely to get injured. The exception to this is only when someone has an unstable range of motion or flexibility that isn’t well-controlled. In order to prevent this, engage in strength building exercise before going straight to stretching.
How often should you be working on your flexibility? When the workout itself does not incorporate flexibility training, you should be stretching afterward every time. If you are working out four or more times a week, that is a good number of times to focus on stretching each week.
The major benefits of flexibility training include:
- Reducing stress in your muscles and releasing any built-up tension created during the workout.
- Assisting with posture by balancing the pressure on the joints. The proper posture will lessen the stress on your joints and make them stronger.
- Minimizing your risk of injury while you exercise and even while performing daily activities.
- Improving how easily you execute daily activities, as well as your performance in any athletic activity.
Static Versus Dynamic Stretching
Obviously, there are quite a few ways to properly stretch your body. However, they all come down to two different types: static and dynamic. So what is the difference?
Static: Static stretching involves taking a specific joint or set of joints through a range of movement where you settle in and hold that stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. For example, sitting in a pike position and reaching towards your toes for 20 seconds would be considered a static stretch.
Dynamic: This stretching demands that your muscles move as you stretch. When done properly, this process can warm up your joints, maintain your current flexibility, and reduce your muscle tension. Of course, this needs to be done slowly in order to avoid injury.
So, which one is better? They both have their benefits! We recommend doing both on your own as long as you are comfortable doing them. Stretching may be challenging, but it should never be painful.
How Can Pilates Help?
Pilates classes demand that you perform slow and deliberate stretches as the class goes on. These are designed in a logical sequence that will help you both build strength and stretch out even the smallest of muscle groups. These groups often get ignored during weight lifting, and many people do not know how to stretch them either. Pilates can help! These classes include a workout that is slow and controlled in order to build strength and increase the length of our muscles. All Pilates students have to work in order to stay balanced, keep proper posture, and control their bodies as they move from their current position to the next. To do so well, they require both strength and flexibility.
Contact Sculpt + Sweat
We are your premier choice when it comes to sweating it out in Pilates. If you are looking for a challenging and rewarding workout that will also allow you to increase your flexibility, you have come to the right place. Contact us today to learn more and sign up for your chosen class! Whether you would benefit from Pilates reformer class or our Reform Technique + Stretch class, we know you will be able to challenge your body and grow stronger every time you visit us. Call now and ask about our different pilates courses, or click here to learn more.