Why Everyone Should Do Pilates

by pilates32 on September 7, 2010

[dropcap1]P[/dropcap1]ilates32.com launched and went live this week and although there is a lot still to do and I have big vision of where I want to take it and what I want it to achieve, the response in such a short time is excellent. People are beginning to download the workouts and subscribe to the feed and the word is spreading.

For those of you who are new visitors to the site , I’m sure you are thinking; Why should I need Pilates? It is a common misconception to believe that pilates is just another type or form of abdominal training with smarter packaging. But I discovered from working with many clients in fitness that Pilates is much more than this, and should be used far more than when a physiotherapist tells us to do it. Pilates has began to be a key foundation of exercise when working with many clients, to achieve numerous goals. For some exercises, these methods cross borders with corrective exercise techniques, physiotherapy and stability training and much more. Here are 5 reasons why I believe Pilates is an important, if not essential component to any training program.

1. Pilates is Core Training at its best.

Pilates involves controlled movements that strengthen and mobilise the core as a whole. It doesn’t single out the abs, as many fitness movements have in the past and cause long term back pain and posture problems. Training abs through many crunches and sit ups can cause the abdominals to separate from the rest of the core (the TAs, obliques and Multifidus) and cause kyphotic characteristics in your posture; tight abs, tight hips and weak lower back muscles. Also the muscles in the core should not always be treated as a hinge, doing thousands of crunches or sit-ups, but rather they are activated more effectively when trained with stability in mind. Pilates will activate all muscles in the core, and create muscle balance and correct muscle tension and flexibility between them.

2. Pilates is corrective

Pilates identifies muscle imbalances and seeks to correct them. Through maintaining neutral spine and by working all core muscles as well as those of the upper and lower body, Pilates can correct bad posture and eradicate back pain. Excessive anterior (forward) tilt of the pelvis can lead to other issues throughout the body’s kinetic chain, such as internally rotated shoulders and hips. This can lead to injuries further on when training. Pilates encourages the pelvis to remain in neutral and eliminates muscle imbalances and the likelihood of injury.

3. Pilates requires control

Many core training programs or abdominal training programs are performed tediously without concern for control. Crunches and leg raises are performed with no activation of the pelvic floor or transverse abdominus, causing the pelvis to be unstable, tilt forward and the back to pull from the floor (out of alignment). This causes pain short term and injury long term. Pilates controls and maintains neutral spine during all movement. The core will then work as a whole, rather than separate entities and greater effect is seen as a result.

4. Pilates allows you to progress correctly.

In attempt to see results (especially in the abdominal region), people will copy a move from the TV or a picture and find it far too difficult to perform and so will perform it wrong. I have even seen many trainers give clients exercises that are far beyond their capacity of strength and mobility. For those who enjoy strength training, or weight training; it’s the same as the guy who is new to weight training, who attempts to squat without adequate hip mobility and thoracic spine mobility; it looks painful and it’s just dangerous! Pilates 32 workouts offer progressions correctly and allow for strength to build in the right time. Plus, when performed correctly, the simple moves are normally more effective than you think.

5. Pilates refreshes and de-stresses

That simple. You can feel tired and stressed before a Pilates session, but after your feel refreshed, vibrant, full of energy, mobile and awake. This has a lot to do with the control and focus of the exercises and breathing, that activates your nervous system and increases blood flow.

There you have it. Whether you run, cycle, lift heavy or kick the air in some gym class, Pilates will extend your performance and compliment your workout. It will increase your progress and maximise your results. If you don’t believe me try it your self……………

All the best

Ian

Author: Ian Harris

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