Pilates is a great workout for both mind and body. Anyone who's tried this combination of dynamic core-focused exercises and long yoga poses knows just how beneficial it can be. It's also very accessible: all you need is one of the best yoga mats and a set of the best workout clothes for men or best workout clothes for women to get you started.
Below, we've got a great example of a workout from top fitness influencer channels, Pilates and Yoga with Jade, broadcast exclusively on our Instagram. Jade takes you through a series of moves including bicycle crunches and movements to tone your core, along with a selection of soothing stretching exercises. Check out the workout in full below:
Follow along with the full pilates workout below:
Why do this pilates workout?
This workout is effectively anti-aging 101. Core strength is absolutely vital in all walks of life, whether you're a hardcore sportsperson or you're just looking to grow old gracefully. We use our core when walking, running, bending down to pick something off the floor... even getting up out of a chair uses our body's "trunk".
Pilates also works to lengthen and strengthen muscles through the use of stretching and isometric holds. Over time, performing regular stretching routines will increase our range of motion, allowing you to exercise more safely and guarding against aches and pains. It also feels super satisfying.
Meanwhile, isometric holds, such as the plank position, works to develop our muscles. One study (opens in new tab) found isometric exercise in which the muscle contracts and shortens, such as this pilates workouts, develops muscles as well as any equivalent dynamic movement.
It's well-known we get weaker, and our range of motion decreases, as we age. This is due to a process known as atrophy, in which our muscles naturally waste away and get shorter as a result. Keeping your musculature strong and supple will keep you healthy and active in later life, providing many more years of enjoying your body.
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Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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