You probably know that Pilates has many benefits, from posture improvement to weight loss, and even stress reduction.
It is excellent for everyone, from young and healthy athletes to those who struggle to recover from injuries, or even elderly people.
Is Pilates low impact and is it good for those who must take care of their sensitive joints? The answer is mostly yes, although some exceptions exist. Pilates comes in many forms and your instructor will create the perfect exercise plan for you, if you need it to be low impact.
You can exercise on a mat, or even machines like reformer. Those who want to increase their fitness level and reduce weight can enrol in a power Pilates class.
This excellent activity can be done as your main way of exercising, or in addition to some other sport, like running or playing soccer. Even body builders can benefit from it.
Of course, you will choose according to your needs and physical abilities. Here I will tell you more about low impact exercise.
What is Low Impact Exercise? [Meaning]
Answering is Pilates low impact can be done after defining what exactly is a low impact exercise.
By definition, it is a form of physical activity suitable for everyone, where motion is done slowly and in a controlled manner. There are no fast movements, jumping, or anything that applies pressure on your joints. One of the well-known examples of low-impact exercise is swimming. Your body is supported by the water that creates resistance, and you can adjust the speed of your motion.
On the other hand, activities like running are not low impact. Your joints, especially your knees, have to support a lot of weight and impacts.
From this you can conclude that Pilates falls into the first category, and it is low impact. Fluidity of motion and controlled movement make it ideal for those with sensitive joints.
Is Pilates Low or High Impact Exercise?
As already mentioned, Pilates is low impact exercise. Most often, it is done on a mat, with or without props, or on a reformer and similar machines.
Pilates focuses a lot on muscle strengthening, especially the core. There are no sudden movements that could result in injuries. Motion is done slowly with control. That is one of the best ways to strengthen even the deepest and smallest groups of muscles, to increase flexibility, and improve your balance.
All of that is great for those who are prone to injuries because strong and flexible bodies are less likely to get injured while exercising. Pilates increases your range of motion. Being able to fully utilize your joints and move them in any direction is one of the best way to prevent injuries and pain.
There are even medical Pilates classes where certified instructors will supervise you and make exercise plans for those who are recovering from injuries.
However, as Pilates becomes more and more popular, various forms of Pilates exist. There are modern versions like power Pilates, which often incorporates aerobic exercises, and it is not completely low impact. People who are healthy and want to lose weight or increase fitness level often chose this exercise. It has many benefits of traditional Pilates, as Joseph Pilates intended it to be, but it lacks the low impact component.
What About the Pilates Reformer? Is High or Low Impact?
Pilates reformer is a special machine that is excellent for those who whish to perform low impact exercises. Carriage/platform is lifted from the ground, so you don’t even have to lay down on the floor and struggle to get up.
It has springs with handles which add resistance to your motion but can also be used to stabilize your body. There are dozens of low impact exercise you can perform on it.
But, if you wish to use it to strengthen your muscles and become fit, you can do that too. It is more efficient than mat Pilates, some exercises are hard, and can be consider advanced.
That is the beauty of Pilates, it can be whatever you need it to be.
Another way to describe reformer exercises is high-intensity and low-impact. Many people mistakenly think that these to definitions are the same, but they are not.
High intensity means that it will elevate your hart rate and engage your muscles a lot. Reformer may seem simple, but it defiantly isn’t.
If Low Impact: Why is Pilates Good for You? [Benefits]
Being a low impact, Pilates is good for joint protection. Possibility of workout-related injuries is extremely low, which is important for people who have sensitive joints.
Pilates has other excellent benefits for your body like strengthening your muscles, increasing flexibility, and improving balance, as well as improving your circulation and cardiovascular system. Healthy blood flow has an enormous impact or your internal organs.
In addition to that, it can increase your lung capacity and improve distribution of oxygen within your body. Motion is related to breath, and Pilates focuses on that a lot.
After a few months of regular exercise, you will literally have a new body, that is stronger and healthier.
But not all benefits are physical. Some are related to the mind too. Pilates will help you relax, reduce stress levels, and make you feel better in general.
Hopefully this answered your is Pilates low impact question. This form of exercise is one of the best for those who have problems with their joints, because it has unique ability to strengthen muscles and improve range of motion, without stress to the joints.
Of course, you should always practice under supervision of licenses instructors if you have any conditions that affect your health.
No matter what form of Pilates you choose, benefits are excellent. Just make sure that you practice regularly and don’t give up!