We all have different transformation goals. For our desired ends, we have different workout preferences that we would find fitting. But what if I tell you that you can actually merge two different workouts and get more benefits from it -- just like doing strength training and Pilates simultaneously?
You heard me. Combining strength training and pilates, though it may sound unusual, can actually bring superb and rewarding results for every individual in terms of improving their overall health!
Strength Training and its Benefits
By definition, “strength training is a physical exercise that specializes in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction to build strength, endurance and sizes of skeletal muscles.” This is usually done by people who would want to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass. To name some choices of strength training, we have body weights, resistance tubing, free weights such as barbells and dumbbells, and weight machines.
Listed below are some of the benefits of strength training:
More Muscles, Fewer Fats.
Whether or not our body is moving, our body is in a constant state of change through a process called metabolism where it uses our energy to break down molecules. Our metabolic processes also provide the amount of energy that is actually required to support the body’s main functions. It is common to hear the phrase stating, “building more muscles can help us burn more calories and fat” and this is absolutely true!
FYI, scientific research proves that 1 pound of muscle for a body at rest has the ability to burn 6 calories per day. In other words, if you are able to gain 5 pounds of muscle, your RMT (Resting Metabolic Rate) will increase by about 30 calories per day. On one hand, 1 pound of body fat burns only around 2 calories per day for a body at rest.
For one to do strength training exercises, you are able to build more muscles and burn fat and thus likely to contribute to an increase in the body’s resting metabolic rate.
Increased Bone Density.
Studies suggested that high impact exercises such as strength training, are better at increasing the bone mineral density of individuals. Thus, those who are at risk of osteoporosis and even those with osteoporosis should be encouraged to do some form of exercise, along with an improved lifestyle. In addition, lifting weights overtime not only improves one’s bone mass but also builds new bones!
Reduced Risk of Injuries.
Sometimes, exercising can get you to feel sore but by doing constant strength training, you are able to build stronger muscles to surround and support your joints and thus, preventing you from getting injured.
Fleck and Flakel expressed that strength or resistance training should be part of an athlete’s conditioning program because it has the ability to strengthen ligaments, tendons, and tissues within the muscle that would help improve performance, correct imbalances in muscle groups and reduce the incidence of injuries.
Pilates and its Benefits
Pilates are low-impact exercises that strengthen our muscles, especially our core muscles while improving our posture and flexibility. For years, these exercises were recognized as exercises good for rehabilitation. More so, these exercises improve the fluidity of our body’s movements, muscle contraction as well as our breathing such that our bodies are able to relax.
Pilates can be classified into two: mat and reformer classes. Pilates mat is the basis for your entire pilates exercise. This pertains to working on your legs, core, and back muscles. This requires full control of your body while using your body weight to resist gravity. On one hand, reformer classes use a traditional piece of equipment designed by Joseph Pilates to help soldiers back in World War I. Meanwhile, the modern reformer pertains to a narrow bed with straps, pulleys and sliding carriages used together with springs.
The benefits of Pilates? Check this list!
As the exercise hits mainly on your core, it is definitely expected to become a natural ab trimmer with proper execution. In fact, after about 36 weeks of Pilates training, women are expected to have more strengthened abs while eliminating muscle imbalances.
Eases Back Pains
Studies show significant growth in the number of reports evidencing the benefits of Pilates for low-back pain. As stated above, Pilates was used for rehabilitation. In addition, these types of exercises also stabilize the core’s lumbar-pelvic region or the lower-back such that it would equal a better back.
Improved Breathing and Focus
Similar to Yoga, these Pilates exercises help in clearing the minds of individuals such that they are able to gain more focus and peace. Significantly, it also improves one’s breathing through better posture. It also allows one to focus on their bodies and how their bodies would move together to properly execute the routines. The concentration it requires would contribute to a healthier mind.
Strength Training and Pilates Combo
Most people who hear about Pilates would think that it is very feminine. But it’s not. On one hand, those who are not so familiar with strength training might also think that these are very masculine. And combining both exercises then is actually impossible - but again, it’s not!
In fact, these two would greatly complement each other, especially when done in proper timing or scheduling. With this I mean, you may want to schedule the exercises with rest intervals. For example, Mondays can be for Leg and Hip strength training, Tuesdays can be for Pilates, Wednesdays can be for upper body strength and so on.
Doing both alternately would give your muscles some time to rest and rebuild so as not to cause fatigue and overtraining.
What are the benefits of combining Strength Training and Pilates?
Because both exercises hit one’s muscles, there are significant mutual benefits listed when combining strength training and pilates together.
Core Strength & Stability
While Strength training usually focuses on your leg, arms, lower and upper back, and a lot more muscles, Pilates emphasizes the other areas that other workouts won’t such as your abdominal muscles. With this type of improved strength, you become more stable and balance.
Others who are already in strength training might not want to see a huge bulk of muscles on their bodies. Doing Pilates simultaneously will aid in controlling the growth of bulk muscles and thus helping you realize a leaner you.
Solid Foundation & Balanced Body
Doing combination exercises through strength training and Pilates enables you to focus on a lot of muscles daily. This way, you are able to establish not only a solid body foundation but also improve your flexibility. In addition, your body is able to have a balance of physical and mental wellness through alternately doing a strenuous activity with a quiet and relaxing one.Share: