Cross Training with Pilates in Beverly Hills at Sheppard Method Pilates

Integrating Pilates into your other regular workouts is the perfect way to use cross-training in your fitness routine. Cross-training provides variety to your weekly workouts, which prevent boredom, avoid overuse of one muscle or joint group, and increase flexibility and core strength—all of which improve athletic performance of all types.

You don’t have to be a hardcore athlete to reap the benefits of cross-training with Pilates, either. Combining Pilates with your other workouts even informally can improve your overall fitness level as well as how you feel on the Pilates mat, too.

Want to learn more about how to integrate Pilates into your regular fitness activities? Contact Sheppard Method Pilates in Westwood. Contact our office to get started!

Benefits of Pilates in Cross-Training

Cross-training in general, is simply varying your fitness program by combining different types of exercise activities. This can be by alternating a few different exercises, movements, or modalities throughout the week on different days to vary muscle group use. This can also be accomplished by tacking on Pilates before or after an exercise as a warm-up or cool-down strategy. This variance in workouts helps your body for a number of reasons, with several studies demonstrating the positive effects of developing a varied weekly health and fitness routine.

And while cross-training is beneficial regardless of approach or what workouts you are performing, Pilates specifically integrates into a cross-training regimen, due to its focus on core strength, flexibility, and breathwork. A stronger core allows heavier lifting in strength training, better posture in athletics which allows natural flexibility in the limbs, and stronger muscle stabilizers that help to prevent injury. This all leads to performance benefits in all your exercises and athletic activities. But even more impressively, Pilates’ low-impact movements also specifically help muscle recovery and rehabilitation, making it the perfect way to start or end other exercise activities and as an alternate workout to rehabilitate the body with supplemental movement on rest and recovery days.

Benefits of integrating Pilates to cross-train include:

  • Stronger core
  • Increased balance and mobility
  • Improved body awareness
  • Better breathing techniques
  • Increased cardio endurance
  • Overall strength-building
  • Increased flexibility and range of motion
  • Better performance
  • Increased metabolism
  • Overall physical and mental recovery
  • Injury prevention
  • Keeps you from getting bored—therefore, helping you stick to your fitness routine!

How to Combine Pilates With Other Workouts

There are many ways to combine Pilates with other workouts:

  1. Pilates and strength training— Not only does increased core strength help you lift heavier, but increased flexibility and range of motion of the muscles also help to increase performance and build muscle as well as protect the joints and prevent injury. Pilates works well to warm up the body before an intense strength-training workout, and also as a recovery tool for cool down. Use Pilates to alternate between upper body, lower body, and total body strength days for active rest, or as part of your workout routine before or after you lift.
  2. Pilates and yoga— Many people think Pilates and yoga are so similar, that you don’t need Pilates if you are already incorporating yoga into your weekly exercise regimen. However, the two are different in several ways, and Pilates-yoga combination workouts have actually been proven to improve bone density, reduce neck pain, and increase functional movement. You can alternate Pilates and yoga on your active rest and recovery days or use Pilates to warm up and yoga to cool down for other exercises.
  3. Pilates and cardio— Perhaps the most popular of Pilates cross-training combinations, incorporating Pilates into your cardio routine creates a well-rounded workout that boosts heart health, and lean muscle mass, and gets the most bang for your buck with both cardio and Pilates performance. The best way to benefit from this combination is to do both on the same day. Do Pilates after a HIIT workout, run, or other cardio-boosting activity to help recover heart rate and muscle use. There are also Pilates classes and routines that directly combine cardio with the workout!
  4. Pilates and athletics—From rock climbing to cycling, running, and general sports playing, Pilates and athletics are the perfect combination to keep you healthy and active. Because athletics tend to overuse one muscle or joint group, using Pilates as a recovery method or on active rest days between athletic activities can help to rehabilitate your body by promoting blood flow and increasing lung capacity. This prevents injury, increases and maintains flexibility, stability, and mobility, and helps you avoid having to take time off of athletic activity. Pilates also simply makes you a better athlete by increasing your overall VO2 max and performance endurance!

Your Westwood Pilates Cross-Training Plan

At Sheppard Method Pilates in Westwood, we offer a variety of classes to help integrate the benefits of cross-training with Pilates into your regular fitness routine. Not only will you see improvements in your daily movements and other exercises and athletic performances, but you will also notice an increased awareness in your Pilates routine as well. The combination of Pilates with other workouts not only clearly improves your physical and mental well-being, but it’s fun too! That’s what Sheppard Method Pilates is all about, wellness you love to participate in that works for you and compliments your healthy and active lifestyle.

Call the Westwood Pilates instructors at Sheppard Method Pilates to sign up for Pilates classes, today!