Pilates for everybody was Joseph Pilates’ dream, who unfortunately didn’t have the chance to see that now is a reality. A lot of things have changed since the ’50s, today the Pilates method is practiced by a multitude of different people.
It’s established that people need to exercise to maintain a good mind-body balance. Swim, dance, crossfit, gym, Pilates..all is good.
So, why choose Pilates?
First, Pilates is a great complimentary discipline, it is an efficient and complete workout, that can be adapted based on age and level.
It comprehends all those exercises that help you to balance mind and body.
Of course, if you practice whatever sport everyday, or professionally, that sport becomes complete. But in reality, athletes from different disciplines (like dance, football americano, golf etc..) practice complementary functional fitness exercises or they go to the physical therapists or they do Pilates, based on their needs. I honestly see Pilates like a workout you should do, regardless your primary sport because one thing doesn’t exclude the other, in reality, Pilates will improve your performance.
Pilates is good for kids and seniors.
It’s been discussed whatever teaching kids might be a right thing to do or not. Having personally taught ballet to kids, I see a challenge teaching some principle of the Pilates method and I don’t really think is right to have the kids to control their movement. It’s nice that there is an age in which you move with freedom, joy and discovery, especially because unless there is the presence of diseases, pathologies or serious injuries, the body of a kid is a perfect machine with good range of motion and harmony. Awareness, concentration, breathing might be difficult concepts to teach to a very young population.
Said this, I believe you can teach some guide lines, in terms of proprioception, center and aligment. For example children who practice martial arts or ballet, they know exactly where to be with their body and they learn the concept of control. Also young professional athletes have a mind predisposition that can be good to start to practice Pilates, especially if they want to extend their career.
So, I definitely see Pilates for children a challenge, but not impossible, and classes can be adapted to the kid’s need.
Pilates is absolutely recommended for seniors or active age population.
There are only positive results from people that have been practicing Pilates and that are over 60 years age old.
Pilates improve posture, decelerate the aging process of the vertebra, of the bones, and practicing Pilates at older age help the senior population to fight against certain signs of aging like the loss of balance and agility.
In conclusion, I believe Pilates should be seen as a physical activity good for everybody, for all ages and to try necessarily after an injury or for common pathologies like stenosis, sciatica and in general all the spine’s deviation, after receiving the ok from your physician or physical therapy.