Pilates: An Exercise In Balance
Pilates is one of the most popular forms of exercise around, mainly because it produces real fitness results without much of the 'strain and burn' involved in more typical workouts. Pilates is one of the few forms of 'real' exercise that can be performed by those with prior back, muscle, and joint injuries (as long as it done under the supervision of an expert instructor).The regular use of Pilates has been found to be successful in preventing recurrent back pain episodes. Recent research from the Physiotherapy Department at Queensland University by Richardson and Jull, has demonstrated that by increasing the co-ordination and strength in the deep abdominal muscles, i.e. transverse abdominals, that the lumbar spine is stabilised and protected.
Pilates exercise relies on a variety of special body movements, which stretch, strengthen, and tone the various muscle groups of the body. The well-defined, controlled movements are combined with a yoga-like mental focus that many people find extremely refreshing. Pilates exercises are gentle, progressive, and performed slowly with good postural alignment at all times.
Pilates can be performed both, with and without equipment designed for this type of exercise. Spring tension, straps to hold feet or hands, supports for back (Cadillac, Wunda Chair), neck and shoulder are some important equipments.
Help in achieving flatter abs and more slender thighs
Provide faster injury rehabilitation
Lead to a clearer, more refreshed mind
One who practices Pilates regularly experiences increased overall body strength and flexibility
The highest benefit is improved posture, balance, and coordination
Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep, healthy breathing is a primary focus.
Bone density and joint health improve, and many experience positive body awareness for the first time.