Do you have a poor posture, general body aches and pains, have a weak core strength or suffer with non-specific low back pain?...
Pilates exercise can help address and to manage these body imbalances by teaching you, body awareness, creating length and space through your spine, specific targeting of different muscle groups and building general body and core strength.
Working 1:1 or in a smaller group can help to further progress you by working more specifically, and therefore also enhancing the Pilates principles of CONCENTRATION, CONTROL, CENTERING, FLOW, PRECISION and BREATHING.
The Reformer allows an instructor to view a client within its symmetrical framework which identifies alignment imbalances. Reformer exercise offers all the great benefits of Pilates including overall strength, flexibility, coordination and balance.
Building inner core strength through the Pilates powerhouse muscles of the core are paramount. Flat abs, strong backs, toned buttocks and thighs are all results of this emphasis. Other equipment and Pilates mat exercises do that too but the reformer creates a unique and varied exercise environment.
The reformer is large enough to accommodate full-range motion which is wonderful for increasing flexibility while building strength. It invites the length we want to create in the body and it trains the body to sustain that length. Pushing and pulling with legs or arms against the resistance of the springs, carriage, and body weight is generally strength building. When the springs are on a lighter setting however some exercises are more challenging for the core because it has to work harder to control and stabilize the movement.
The exercises provide enough resistance and movement variety to help build strong bones and also with certain exercises providing opportunities for eccentric muscle contraction work, this is when a muscle lengthens as it resists a force. The reformer is a set-up for eccentric contraction which is one of the keys to achieving long, strong muscles without bulk that Pilates is known for.
The stronger core the better the balance, posture, and overall well-being. Exercising with the reformer is possible for anyone, at any level of fitness.
Like the Reformer, the Pilates chair is another of Joseph Pilates' resistance exercise machines. The Pilates chair is basically a box with one side that can be pressed down against the resistance of springs, like a large pedal. Sometimes the pedal portion is divided into two parts that can be worked independently. As with the Reformer the chair can be used in all positions to exercise whether seated, standing, side-lying or lying on your front.
The original chair that Joseph Pilates designed actually did double-duty as furniture converting into a sitting chair.
The Pilates Chair offers a functional, different way to work and is very beneficial for older adults or for those who find lying down painful or uncomfortable. Being upright is very functional as it simulates everyday movements.
We are an increasing ageing population and regular exercise has a great many benefits. It can help our general health, mental well being and also reduce the risk of many diseases.
Regular physical exercise benefits further include: falls prevention, improved muscle strength, improved bone health, reduces the risk of chronic diseases, improves and maintains mental health and cognitive decline, boosts mood, self-confidence and provides social, group activity with others therefore enjoying a healthier, more active lifestyle for a longer period of time. Exercise also has few side effects and can be both inexpensive and enjoyable!
Recent long-term studies of aging show that people who are more active have less risk of chronic disease, disability or depression, and are more likely to keep up their activities of independent daily living. Evidence suggests that exercise may help people with dementia improve their activities of daily living helping to maintain their independence as long as possible for example bathing, dressing, and eating. This is a particularly interesting and important finding since people with cognitive impairment often find it more difficult to perform activities of daily living.
We should therefore all be encouraged to become fit and active. Embracing physical activity will certainly help us to live fuller, more independent lives long into our senior years!
Pilates is a very specific form of exercise that involves stretching and strengthening of specific and overall muscle groups. Particularly for people with neurological conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons and Stroke, the repetitive movements can help to maintain and to open new neurological pathways.
There are a great many benefits that Pilates can specifically offer as a form of exercise for this group of people. Further benefits include: Improving balance, gait (walking) problems, upper and lower limb strengthening, facilitating good breathing, strengthening the core improving trunk stability, creating greater posture awareness, helping to focus the mind and the body, improving mental health and relaxation.