Fitness Trainers, You Should Include Pilates in Your Routine and Here’s Why...
For a personal trainer, self-care is an overlooked, but completely necessary, part of the job. It can help you avoid fitness instructor burnout and keep your mind and body in top shape. You might think of self-care as getting eight hours of sleep, drinking enough water, or making time for a massage. However, a complete self-care routine should include Pilates. Even though a Pilates workout may be the last thing you want to do after a long day of training clients, making time for the Pilates reformer can help you become a better fitness trainer. No matter what training modality you teach, Pilates should be part of your self-care routine. Here are the top reasons why:
1. Fitness Instructors will benefit from core strengthening: Athletes are doing Pilates as part of their workout routine in order to improve athletic performance and build strong core muscles. Your core, defined as the muscles of the front, back, and sides of your midsection, are the powerhouse muscles that help your body run faster, lift harder, and throw longer. All movement originates from these muscles, so strengthening them will improve your performance, no matter what your preferred workout is.
2. Fitness Trainers will benefit from the versatility: Training and teaching only one type of exercise method can make your body strong and adaptive to that one particular workout. For example, people who exclusively run as their workout of choice (and don’t do any cross-training) typically have very strong quads and high aerobic fitness levels but may not have especially strong core muscles. In this case, Pilates would help strengthen the abdominals, glutes, abductors, adductors, and lower back muscles that may increase a runner’s ability to move efficiently. A Pilates workout can help round out your fitness routine to make you stronger, no matter what you train for.
3. Personal Trainers can improve flexibility: Strength training has many benefits, but it can also cause your muscles to become short and tight. If you train in/teach a workout that involves weight lifting, you may be in desperate need of stretching to help lengthen these shortened muscle fibers. Pilates focuses on lengthening your muscles by stretching the body in all planes of motion. You might be surprised to find that you feel tight in areas that you didn’t even realize were shortened. Pecs, calves, upper trapezius, and low back muscles are usually the main tightened culprits from weight lifting activities that can benefit immensely from stretching in a Pilates session.
4. Group Fitness Teachers can improve posture: Individuals looking for a group fitness instructor want to find someone who is a physical embodiment of what they teach. In other words, someone who practices what they preach, and looks confident and adept at doing it. Having good posture and presenting yourself confidently will help you gain the interest of these potential fitness clients. Pilates can improve your posture by lengthening your spine and helping with your all-around alignment. For example, Pilates will help ensure that the positioning of your head and ribcage are symmetrical, and that your lower back isn’t overly arched or tucked (what is called a ‘neutral’ position.) Though other fitness workouts may occasionally cue you to ‘stand tall’ or ‘roll your shoulders back,’ Pilates focuses on correct posture as a major part of the workout, with the results being immediately noticeable.
5. Pilates can help you rehab from injuries: Some physical therapists include Pilates as part of their rehabilitation offerings. Pilates can help correct imbalances and strengthen the smaller, overlooked muscles that often contribute to injury. If you’re recovering from an injury or putting stress on your body out while you train clients, Pilates can help you rehab and be able to continue working.
6. Pilates will relax you: With its strong emphasis on breath and alignment, an effective Pilates workout will force you to focus more on your movement, and less about the client emails you need to return. Working as a fitness instructor can be stressful: long days and demanding clients don’t usually contribute to a stress-free environment. Pilates requires precise anatomical positioning, and the way in which you inhale and exhale makes a big difference in how your body executes the movement. Having to focus so intently on the work will force you to clear your mind so you aren’t distracted. You might be surprised at how relaxed you feel after a Pilates session, even though the workout itself can be very physically demanding.
Pilates can help improve the function of both your mind and body. Adding it in as part of your self-care routine can aid you in becoming a successful fitness trainer with a long career.