The benefit of Pilates over other exercises lies not just in the quantity or duration of the workout but the quality of the exercises performed. This is achieved through muscle Symmetry.

What Muscle am I Working?

Clients sometimes ask me while doing a particular exercise, “What muscle am I working?” This way of thinking is a holdover from the “weight room mentality” where we focus on one large muscle or muscle group at a time.

With Pilates, the answer is always, “Many different muscles, including your core.” This may sound evasive to those who want a simple, specific answer. To understand the truth in this response, it’s necessary to grasp the underlying philosophy, and thus the true beauty, of the benefit of Pilates method.

We have two muscles groups – the stabilizing muscles and the movement muscles. The inner, deep or stabilizing muscles hold the body in place, while the much larger superficial muscles move it.

With traditional forms of exercise, we often get tight and strong superficial muscles, while our very important stabilizers weaken as time goes on. This imbalance leaves us aching, our joints overstressed, and our bodies vulnerable to injury.

The benefit of Pilates is to develop the muscles evenly so that the stabilizing muscles hidden below, behind, and between the more well-known (“weight room”) muscles develop as well.

You Don’t Have to Figure it out!

What sets Pilates apart from other exercise methods is that you’ll flex and stretch within every exercise to put symmetry back into your body. You don’t have to figure out how, because thanks to Joseph Pilates the exercises are perfectly arranged to work the muscles evenly.

For instance, you’ll “center” your body during every exercise by focusing on the abdominal muscles as a group to provide a stable base of support.

Developing core strength is the first step to attaining symmetry in your body. It also takes a while to get used to the fact that there are not a lot of repetitions in Pilates. Instead you’ll perform fewer, more precise movements, requiring proper control and form.

Work Smarter not Harder!

It’s also important to keep in mind that the benefit of Pilates is not JUST about strengthening and toning muscles, though it’s very effective at doing that.

With each exercise session you are gaining increased flexibility, improved balance and coordination, and better posture.

As an added bonus, you are rejuvenating your energy level, relieving stress, and reducing fatigue and chronic pain.
The complete connection between body and mind offers a feel-great workout because you don’t have to run yourself ragged to get in shape.

In a nutshell, the benefit of Pilate exercises far outweigh the traditional method of weight training for the general population.

Your body will achieve a total balance and synergy among ALL of your muscles. You can still tighten and tone the most “eye-catching” parts. However, the smaller, often forgotten muscles will get the attention they need, to perfect the way you look and move.

Author's Bio: 

Jennifer Adolfs is an ACE Certified Advanced Fitness Specialist and Certified Mat and Equipment Pilates Instructor. She specializes in working with people who have musculoskeletal issuses, specifically back and joint conditions. Check out the many articles and her ebooks about how Pilates-based exercises can help you at: