We all want to achieve a strong body, but there must be a balance between strength and flexibility, and Pilates is the perfect exercise regime to achieve this. Tight muscles hinder your mobility and can lead to tension, aches, and pain. Flexibility is essential for your overall fitness and vitality. It ensures a greater range of movement in your joints, and will in turn mean your joints remain healthy and fare better against normal wear and tear as they age.
Pilates makes most use of dynamic, rather than static, stretching: this involves taking your body into and out of a stretch repeatedly, in a choreographed movement. It warms up the muscles so that they respond more effectively. As you progress through the exercises in this book, you should find your range of movement increasing and your flexibility improving.
•Your muscles are free from tension, and your movement is unrestricted, when you achieve good flexibility.
•Your posture will improve, because you will be able to hold your muscles correctly.
•Better blood circulation results from improved flexibility, because it helps the muscles to align more effectively. Improved circulation also gives you a boost of energy.
•Joints stay healthy as you age: they resist wear and tear better if they are flexible and move freely.