Strengthening your core is one of the best things you can do for your overall fitness—and there are tons of Pilates exercises to add to your routine that can help you get there.
So why is a strong core so important, anyway? First of all, your core doesn’t only include your rectus abdominis muscles (the muscles that run vertically along the front of your abdomen) or your obliques (the muscles along the sides).
Your core also includes your deep stabilizing muscles called the transverse abdominis, your hips, lower back, and pelvic floor. Building strength in all these muscles is important because it helps keep your body balanced and stable, lets you maintain proper posture and exercise form, and keep your spine stable and safe.
It simply helps you move in a more controlled and efficient way. A strong core can also help prevent lower back pain, which is super important both while working out and in everyday life.
Strengthening your core
There are tons of great core exercises out there, and strength training in general, especially when you challenge yourself with heavyweights and consciously activate your core during the moves, also works those muscles too.
But Pilates exercises really hone in on strengthing your core area, making them great choices for specific core work.
Besides, if you haven’t really been doing lots of Pilates moves, adding them into your routine can challenge your muscles in new ways—always a win!
Deep stabilizing muscles
“Pilates is a mind-body workout that targets your core muscles with every exercise,” Manuela Suso, a private Pilates instructor at Club Pilates from London.
Whether you’re doing a core-focused move or something that targets other muscle groups, your core is always engaging during a Pilates session.
Additionally, the workout method strengthens all different areas of your core. “It works the abdominal [area] on both a deep and superficial level to achieve true core strength,” Sanchez says—meaning that the moves engage a wide range of muscles, from your deep internal transverse abdominis to that rectus abdominis on top.