Pilates is a style of exercise that focuses on flexibility and balancing the body through core strength, which is focused in the superficial muscles that align and stabilize the trunk of the human body. This discipline stresses the importance of modification rather than repetition of each exercise, making this type of workout appealing, successful and safe for people in a wide range of ages. Power Pilates takes the basic Pilates exercises and steps them up a level by incorporating the use of props to create a more effective workout.
The practice of power Pilates offers a variety of health benefits including improved muscle strength, balance and coordination. This style of Pilates also increases an individual's flexibility and improves posture with simple core-strengthening techniques. Power Pilates focuses on exercise moderation, allowing a person to perform the exercises at his or her own pace and level, reducing the risk of injury and stress to joints. It is considered a healthy form of exercise for senior citizens and physical therapy patients due to the wide variety of muscles conditioned with a small amount of stress to the body. By incorporating focused breathing techniques with specific movements, power Pilates also improves mental concentration and increases control of the body.
The use of specific equipment and exercise props distinguishes power Pilates from the basic Pilates workout. For example, incorporating a stability ball with Pilates mat exercises raises the level of difficulty while increasing stamina and muscle tone. The addition of small hand weights to leg lifts and leg kicks can also increase difficulty and strengthen muscles. Dumb bells or hand weights also provide resistance and create diversity for the muscles.
As with any exercise routine, achieving the desired results with power Pilates depends on the consistency and frequency of the workout. On average, an individual who sticks to a 30 minute balanced routine practiced twice a week usually reaches or exceeds the exercise goals he has set. A balanced routine includes exercises for target areas in the core including legs, upper back, lower back and abdominal muscles. Adding approximately 10 to 15 minutes to the end of each routine for stretching helps to avoid injuries.