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5 Reasons Pilates Leg Warmers Are Your Next Must-Have Accessory

Most Pilates practitioners can relate to having those early morning cramps at the start of their Pilates session or the beginning of a more demanding exercise - before the muscles are fully warmed up and ready.

Or yet, when we alternate to extensive arms and core exercises, to feel like our calf and leg muscles are not as warmed up anymore once we get back to focusing on the lower body.

These are just some of the everyday problems yoga & pilates lovers can reduce significantly with leg warmers.

That's right! Leg warmers are not only about looking more stylish and prettier during your class.

In this article, we'll be going through 5 benefits yoga and pilates practitioners can get out of them.

1. Increased Grip, Support & Stability during Pilates Exercises

Now let's say you're mid-sesh, and your instructor leads the class to lay on your back, lift your legs straight up and start the Scissors exercise. As you begin alternating your legs and grabbing them - you might notice that if you're wearing the traditional legging or tights, gripping the covered end of your calf might feel slippery.

The slipperiness gets especially accentuated if your muscles still need to develop flexibility as more experienced Pilates practitioners. The same can also happen when gripping your upper calf and knees when performing a Single Leg Stretch or Rolling Like A Ball - both highly dependant on a firm grip for effective performance.

While leg warmers are not a make-it-or-break factor for more experienced practitioners, they can make a significant difference, particularly for beginners or those less skilled.

2. Keeping Leg Muscles Warm

Depending on where you are in Australia - autumn and winter might get quite chilly! And regardless of external weather, some of us might have a different internal thermostat in our bodies than the rest and not deal with the air-conditioning temperature of Pilates studios too well.

Beyond the mere reduction in concentration that the cold shivers might cause, there's a biological reason the cold might hold Pilates practitioners back from our peak performance.

To keep our muscles and organs working healthily - our body must conserve its internal temperature as much as possible. That means that whenever the external temperature gets colder, the body reduces the amount of blood circulation in the muscles so as not to expose more warm blood to the skin's surface directly in contact with the lower external temperature.

This effect is called vasoconstriction and significantly reduces blood flow in the legs - which means less oxygen and nutrients to these muscles. The consequence is less leg stamina and cramps depending on the low external temperature.

Leg warmers aside from bringing warmth and comfort, leg warmers can help dancers, yoga & pilates practitioners maintain the temperature of their legs throughout exercises, considerably reducing vasoconstriction.

3. Increased Flexibility & Range of Motion

The flexibility of the muscle is yet another factor that relies heavily on how warm or cold the muscle region is. Firstly - the more intuitive point is: how comfortable and in peace you are mentally interferes directly with how relaxed your muscle tissue is.

Unsurprisingly, it's hard to maintain concentration during training when the air-conditioning breeze is causing us to shiver up our spine and the hairs on our body to stand up.

But there's more to it. Physiologically - the muscle fibres in our body, made of tiny proteins called actin and myosin, can move far more actively and energetically when warmed up. That results in better muscle contraction, relaxation, and, therefore, more efficient movement.

And on top of that, the chemical reaction responsible for providing these same muscle cells with energy occurs faster when muscles are at the right temperature - translating to more energy and stamina for the region.

While dancers - due to their natural need for flexibility for performance, seem to have been aware for decades of the benefits leg warmers can provide as an accessory during any rehearsal or exercise, they can also bring massive benefits for yoga and Pilates, where flexibility and muscle resistance are also vital.

4. Protection Against Cold-Induced Injuries

As addressed in our common pilates injuries article, strains and sprains are the most common muscle-related lesions. Both are directly related to the muscle fibres tearing up whenever they're stretched or forced beyond their capacity.

The exact physiological processes responsible for maintaining our muscle fibres' flexibility and strength play a significant role in maximising our muscles' capabilities and avoiding muscle tears.

Simply put, the more efficiently the muscle proteins interact, the more the muscle can handle tension and strain before it becomes damaged.

Similarly, cramps - one of the biggest nightmares of dancers, Pilates and Yoga practitioners are caused by fatigue, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances in the muscle. Yet - keeping your muscles warm increases vasodilation and better nourish the muscles, significantly reducing the chances of cramps from happening.

While other practices, such as proper hydration and regular stretching, can help avoid cramps, leg warmers can also be a helpful accessory.

5. Trendy Fashion Statement

Like everything at Just Flow, we look at our accessories beyond their obvious uses.

And with the wide range of leg warmers in various colours, lengths and styles, the possibilities of combinations you can do with your Pilates and Yoga outfits are endless. Whether you prefer a classic, basic look or something bold and colourful, there's a pair of leg warmers to match your style.

Whether you're using your leg warmers with shoes and casual clothing for streetwear or over your leggings or tights, during your Pilates or yoga practice - when you feel that what you're wearing expresses who you are, that confidence shows in how you move and carry yourself.

So the next time you head to your Pilates or yoga class, consider adding a pair of leg warmers to your workout gear. You might be surprised at the difference they make!

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