Pilates is more than an exercise regime, it teaches a new way of using your body, increasing postural awareness and the way in which you perform your daily activities.
The focus of Pilates is correct movement, quality not quantity, core stabilisation and postural correction. Strong inner (deep) muscles are important for us to be able to achieve good posture and balance of the whole body. Pilates teaches you to co-ordinate the muscles of the arms and the legs with the body’s centre – those deep tummy muscles! The mind is trained to become more aware of body position while your deep postural and stability muscles are working. This teaches you how correct movement feels. With practice you will regain this as normal movement and regain better posture and body use. Muscle imbalances (that are often a cause of pain) can be corrected through retraining the way in which the muscles work. This leads to overall body alignment.
One of the main benefits of Pilates, from a Physiotherapist’s perspective, is that the technique can be successful in correcting muscle imbalances. These imbalances are caused by us overusing certain muscles whilst others are neglected and become weak. Muscle imbalance is a recognised source of pain and often leads to a reduced performance in a sporting or everyday activity. Pilates will help you to understand where these muscle imbalances are developing and how you can correct them. It is therefore a self management technique for reducing pain and improving the performance of any task. Many people today have poor posture leading to the spine becoming curved. This curvature will throw the spine out of natural alignment; reducing flexibility and causing pain. The Pilates approach will improve flexibility, correct postural dysfunctions and therefore ease pain caused by poor posture. It is a technique that is promoted by Physiotherapists, Osteopaths & GPs and is rapidly gaining recognition within the celebrity and sports world.