September 22, 2017

Why Pilates Works by Chanda Fetter

Pilates was created as a way to address injured soldiers in WWI. It was a means to keep the integrity and strength of the muscle while recovering from battle wounds. Yes, it was designed originally for men and as a sense of rehab and ultimately preventative care. Since in America, Pilates has taken on all different forms, but the foundation has always been  a common thread; people function better as a result of training in the Pilates method.

Corrects Muscular Imbalances. Through conscious repetition and attention to detail, any function can be re-learned. When the body is traumatized by an injury or accident its protective mechanism is to “shut down” the injured area. The only problem is the body doesn’t naturally “turn on” that same area once it’s better. Whatever compensation the body has done to work around the injured area is now the new norm of that junction. Over time, this uneven recruitment of muscle tissue creates asymmetries (mismatched sides, imbalances). These asymmetries lead to improper wear and tear on the joints and spine, ultimately causing improper GAIT (how we transfer weight through the body), stress on hips, back and spine.

Repairs and improves Muscle Recruitment Patterns. Once you’ve worked to correct your muscular imbalances the body will naturally grab hold of these learned behaviors and the neurological relationship between brain and body will be repaired. After all your body wants to behave properly, we just need to be conscience in our movements while this process is taking place, then ultimately it will do it on it’s own.

Functional Adaptation. Pilates has many parallels to functional movement patterns. For instance, when working any weight over our heads we teach the clients to draw down into their middle back muscles (Lattisimus Dorsi) as opposed to taking that weight directly into the neck and shoulders. This is functional to life, all movements should translate as such to all activities of daily living.

Everybody can do it. Pilates is based out of a rehabilitative principle and has adapted to the general population over the years to be one of the most safe and effective forms of exercise. It allows you to maximize the potential of each muscle group without compromising the spine or joints. It promotes core strength, balance, flexibility in a way that helps you understand the limits and potential of your body.

By Chanda Fetter
IM=X Pilates Studio, Owner

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