Pilates has been around since the 1920s and it was created by the German physical trainer Joseph Pilates for the purpose of rehabilitation. Some of the first people treated by Pilates were soldiers returning from war and dancers to strengthen their bodies and heal their aches and pains. Nowadays, Pilates is for everybody looking to improve their mobility and physical condition without any negative impact on their joints.
This kind of workout focuses on strengthening abdominal and trunk muscles (called the “core”) through hundreds of very specific movements. That is probably the reason why so many dancers were drawn into this practice, to improve their posture, balance, and control of the movements.
But no worries, the fact that there are hundreds of movements doesn’t mean Pilates is a complicated practice!
These days almost every physiotherapist around will give homework to their patients, and most of that homework may be based on Pilates exercises to help restore proper functionally within the affected area.
Pilates is not the kind of exercise that you do to sweat, burn calories, or gain muscle mass. However, it reinforces the connection between mind and muscles helping people engage the right muscles in the core. According to Times , Cherie Wells’s research, a senior lecturer in physical therapy at Australia’s Griffith University, has found that the core-strengthening perks of Pilates may also ease pain and improve daily life for people suffering from chronic low-back pain.
One of the things that really caught my attention once I began my Pilates and Mobility studies was how much physical pain humans are living with these days thanks to a lack of movement, or maybe due to the excess of badly executed movements when training in a gym or in sports.
As some of you might know, I was one of those athletes that suffered from chronic pain. After finishing my elite career, I became sedentary and that didn’t improve my condition. Here is the thing, when you feel pain, you don’t want to move, but this is probably the biggest mistake we can make if we want to heal our bodies.
So, what can you do? Easy. Move. Move in a way that can help you build the foundation and confidence so you can get back into your daily life feeling strong and safe, like most of my regular students are feeling now. Yes, Pilates does that for you. Consistency and discipline too.
Here is the hurtful truth, a weak body is more susceptible to injuries and pain, period. And although Pilates looks quite easy from the outside, when you perform the exercises correctly the proper muscles start to switch on and the activation and the connection between your software and hardware start to occur, therefore a more stable and strong body starts to develop.
What I see in Pilates is stability, the foundation that will allow you to build a strong structure. That’s the reason why one of the first things I teach is how to activate your core, your centre, what holds you. Once you have created that stable force, it will start to move throughout your whole body making you feel strong and mobile.
As modern life gets into us, and the busyness and tiredness never look to end, it is more important than ever that we make time for ourselves every day, and work on getting stronger from the inside out.
Relaxing the rounded shoulders, lengthening the spine, moving the hips, engaging the glutes; those are the things that you will hear me say in every class to help you reconnect with your body and bring back the correct posture and balance that will allow you walk through life with a strong and safe foundation.
Have you practised Pilates before?
There is no better time than right now to move to feel good!