Have you heard of Pilates? Or even been recommended to try it? Not sure if it’s for you?
See what it could do for you and your body.
Most of the time we do exactly the same things day in, day out, and it is rare that we move our joints and our muscles through their full range of motion. Pilates focuses on training your entire body as an integrated system. The workouts include exercises that will improve your strength and balance muscle development, increase your muscle flexibility and can increase your joint range of motion if you have become restricted anywhere.
Pilates is for everyone, including elite athletes, those with injuries, older people, pregnant women and everyone in-between. All exercises can be all be modified for each client. That means easier and harder!
This sounds a bit odd but in modern life due to the repetition of various tasks and postures that we adopt we get lazy at breathing. We also get tense and rigid due to work and family (especially if you have kids!). Pilates encourages your ribs and diaphragm to move more freely and get rid of that tension.
Pilates uses stretching flowing movements to help keep your muscles supple and flexible. A flexible, strong muscle is a healthy muscle, making it better able to handle everything you throw at it. With increased flexibility you can do some of your favourite activities like golf, playing tennis, bowling, or playing with your kids without the risk of seizing up. Think of it like a good oiling for your joints and muscles.
Pilates conditions your body so that all of the core muscles work together to support and stabilize your back. A healthy spine can curve forward and backward, twist, and move side to side. Part of developing effective strength is to train the body to know when to relax, as well as activate. So while core strength is the catch-all term, we might say that Pilates gets your core stronger and importantly also teaches you to how to switch your muscles off. Your body should work in harmony, as this is essential for your back and general body health.
The mind and body focus in Pilates helps you to sharpen your mind by always being conscious of how you are moving. The aim is to use the least amount of effort in doing something. Concentration in Pilates is key in enabling you to perform the movements with ease and grace. Without conscious effort you may look a bit robotic at first! We want you focus and exercise and reap the rewards. Very quickly you will learn to flow and move with ease. Remember motion is lotion!
Pilates exercises help us to stand taller and more relaxed. Pilates exercises actually help to both strengthen and unwind the spine and major joints of the body through exercise. This conscious movement practice helps to give new habits and awareness which can help correct poor posture habits and unwanted muscular tension. Posture is not the be all and end all, but it helps!
By improving your muscle tone, posture and body awareness you will, in turn gain better balance. Balance comes from 3 things: vision (eyes), the inner ear and proprioceptive feedback. Proprioception is the information that the receptors around your body, in joints and muscles give your brain about what is going on. The more you use your body in good ways, the better it gets at it. This should in turn lead to to a less wobbly you!
Pilates exercises help to tone your muscles and strengthen your bones by using your own body weight. We are not saying you are going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger but you will gain tone! That means more firmness and less wobble! Overuse of the same muscles can create imbalance, Pilates exercises work to restore the muscular balance in your body.
Look at how happy children are to move their body in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways without fear or pain and what do they do…laugh about it! Our classes aim to be enjoyable and fun. Through Pilates you can learn to to pull, stretch, roll, push, climb, and breathe like you did as a child. Happily!
Click for your FREE taster class at Hogan & Mitchell Physiotherapy. Give it a go. You never know, you might just enjoy it! To book your Pilates class please find more details on our Pilates class page here.
Please share this with anyone you know who you think should give it a go!