You’re a bodybuilder. You’re big, strong, and love to move heavy iron around.
While many see the gym as this dark and scary place, you love it. Working out feels like active meditation, and you cherish every minute of the process.
Like most bodybuilders, you’re probably interested in nothing but weight training. But what if there were an activity that could benefit your gym performance, allowing you to achieve much better results?
Pilates is a form of exercise typically done on an exercise mat to promote balance, strength, and mobility. Pilates activities require significant core engagement, which is also great for learning how to brace effectively and work multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
The primary objective of Pilates is to improve our functional fitness. Meaning, Pilates is designed to make us more capable and independent in our daily lives. This exercise modality achieves that by training crucial muscle groups in the body, including our glutes, erector spinae, hip flexors, and pelvic floor muscles.
Aside from that, Pilates is an excellent form of exercise that reduces the risk of injuries. It improves our posture, teaches body awareness, and allows us to remain balanced, even during intense activities.
How Is Pilates Beneficial For Weight Training
The most notable benefit of Pilates for weight training is the improved core stability, and this doesn’t mean a stronger set of abs. Pilates trains the lower back, transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, obliques, hip flexors, pelvic floor muscles, and glutes that collectively make up the core. As a result, you establish a solid foundation to build strength, perform better, and reduce your risk of injuries.
Another benefit of Pilates for bodybuilders is that the training style teaches you how to engage multiple muscle groups together. Doing so is beneficial for compound exercises like the bench press, squat, deadlift, and overhead press. Working multiple muscle group comes more naturally, and you’re able to train more effectively.
Pilates is also beneficial because it ingrains a new way of thinking. Instead of focusing on the number of repetitions, you learn to make each repetition count. You learn to engage the right muscles, focus on your breathing, and brace effectively. At first, that might lead to slightly fewer reps across most exercises. But approaching your training that way is profoundly beneficial for your long-term progress and longevity.
As a practice, Pilates also emphasizes proper core engagement, centering, and body alignment. Each of these is essential for your training performance. For example, adequate core engagement is vital for creating stability for maximum force output. Centering is vital for keeping the weight over the center of gravity, which puts you in the strongest position. Finally, proper body alignment is also essential, especially for compound lifts. Maintaining a proper body position during each activity reduces the risk of undue joint stress and allows you to activate each muscle effectively.
As a whole, Pilates is profoundly beneficial for weight training. Despite the differences, Pilates teaches you many valuable lessons that translate into strength, balance, and longevity.