An Introduction to Pilates

Posted on Aug 12 2014 - 9:00am by Tamzon Mcfayden

Pilates is known to have many health benefits and there have been numerous articles and studies in this specialism. Namely, it enhances lung capacity, circulation, nerve function, muscular discomfort and, as it works the deep core muscles, it prepares the body for the degenerative ageing process. In addition to the many anatomical and physiological benefits, it will also tone and strengthen the body.

Pilates requires control and a mind-body connection to improve the body’s mechanics and posture. It helps to maximizes the relative arrangement of the body parts in any position allowing the muscles to function with maximum efficiency. Poor posture actually increases the strain on the body parts and supporting structures. Pilates can help to re-balance the body, altering muscle recruitment, restoring natural and normal movement patterns.

This may be done with static and dynamic muscle contractions using minimum energy for the maintenance of good body alignment.

The Benefits of Pilates

  • Freedom of movement
  • Increased muscle function and circulation
  • Increased range of motion at the joint
  • Pain relief
  • Minimises stress and strain on the joints and connective tissues
  • Increases balance, spatial awareness and coordination
  • Ensures correct muscle balance between anterior /posterior and proximal /distal muscle groups

Pilates will

  • Increase the strength length and flexibility of the muscle
  • Train muscles to stabilise body parts against gravity
  • Train muscles to mobilise body parts against gravity

Fitness feature pilates

The principles of Pilates are as follows 

  • Relax
  • Concentrate
  • Visualise
  • Centre
  • Control
  • Precision
  • Flowing movements
  • Breathing
  • Alignment

There are many conditions which can be helped and benefited by Pilates, but clients must be monitored intensely. Therefore it is essential to inform your practitioner of any existing medical conditions/concerns.

Conditions that could be benefited by Pilates

  • Arthritis – Inflammation of articulating area
  • Osteo Arthritis – Degenerative wear and tear.
  • Chronic fatigue – Energy deficit leading to complete exhaustion
  • Fibromyalgia – Pain in muscles, tendons, ligaments (joints)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament injuries – Trauma
  • Facet Joint Syndrome – Connections between vertebra ( facets ) become inflamed
  • Total Hip Replacement – Change of musculature
  • Osteoporosis – Decreased oestrogen – decreased bone density
  • Peripheral Neuropathy – Numbness, tingling, diminished sensation
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – Auto immune – hyper joint flexibility
  • Adhesive Capulitis – Frozen shoulder – impingement
  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome – Trapped nerve / hand or wrist
  • Rotator Cuff Impingement – Tight rotator cuff muscles – SITTS

Do you currently practice Pilates? Or are you thinking of practicing Pilates? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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