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Pilates is a system of repetitive exercises performed on a yoga mat or other equipment under a physiotherapist guidance to promote strength, stability, and flexibility.

In physiotherapy pilates exercises are used to develop the body through muscular effort that stems from the core. The technique cultivates awareness of the body to support everyday movements that are efficient and graceful. As such, Pilates has been popular among dancers but it appeals to a wider audience.

Core strength is the foundation of how Pilates works. Strengthening the core develops stability throughout the entire torso. This is one of the ways Pilates helps many people alleviate back pain. In guidance of a physiotherapist trunk stability through core engagement is the most important aspect of Pilates training since it dictates how the body moves, not just in the studio, physiotherapy  rehab centre or gym but in daily life. For Joseph Pilates, the goal was to create a method that would allow the body to move with grace, ease, and efficiency. Such a body has to be both strong and flexible, and it has certain qualities of movement, such as being centered and balanced; fluid yet controlled.

These qualities, or Pilates principles, are applied in every Pilates exercise. By practicing functional movement patterns, muscles are developed evenly, appearing long and lean.

Achieving strength without bulk draws many people to Pilates. According to the method, balanced muscular development is a result of training the body to move with harmony and efficiency. The Pilates Method posits that an imbalanced body can lead to muscular weaknesses, which may potentially cause compensations in the body that inhibit a joint from moving through its full range of motion.

The Pilates technique also prioritizes quality over quantity. Unlike other systems of exercise, Pilates exercises do not include a lot of repetitions for each move. The idea is that by performing each exercise with precision under your physiotherapist and focusing on the breath you can achieve significant results in a shorter amount of time.

The 6 Pilates Principles

There are six principles of Pilates. Physiotherapists summarizes the philosophy of the Pilates method and are essential to getting the most out of every exercise.

  • Centering: This is the practice of bringing your awareness to the center of your body—the area between the lower ribs and pubic bone. This central region of the core powers all Pilates exercises.
  • Concentration: By focusing on each exercise with your full attention, you will yield maximum results from each movement.
  • Control: Complete muscular control requires conscious, deliberate movement and is emphasized in every Pilates exercise.
  • Precision: Sustained awareness ensures that each movement is precise. This means the appropriate placement of each body part, and focusing on proper alignment and core engagement.
  • Breath: Joseph Pilates advocated for using the lungs to strongly pump the air fully in and out of the body. Most Pilates exercises coordinate with the breath since the breath is integral to the method.
  • Flow: Pilates exercises are not meant to be rigid. Fluidity, grace, and ease are applied to every movement. The idea is that the energy of an exercise performed from the central “powerhouse” connects each part of the body to move in a single fluid motion. Pilates equipment such as the reformer is a great indicator of flow since it functions best when a practitioner is performing movements with both precision and fluidity.

Benefits of Pilates

Pilates is a form of exercise which you can learn from a physiotherapist that emphasizes core strength, flexibility, and alignment. It can be beneficial for a wide range of patients, including those with the following conditions:

  1. Back pain: Pilates can help strengthen the muscles that support the spine, which can help alleviate back pain. It also promotes better posture, which can further reduce strain on the back.
  2. Joint pain: Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise, which can be easier on the joints than other forms of exercise. It can also help improve joint mobility and flexibility.
  3. Injury rehabilitation: Pilates can be used as part of a rehabilitation program for patients recovering from injuries. It can help improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
  4. Chronic conditions: Pilates can be helpful for patients with chronic conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis. It can help improve overall strength, flexibility, and mobility, and may also help reduce pain and fatigue.
  5. Stress and anxiety: Pilates can be a form of relaxation and stress relief, which can be beneficial for patients with anxiety or stress-related conditions.

Overall, pilates can be a safe and effective form of exercise for a wide range of patients under the guidance of physiotherapist. However, it’s important for patients to consult with their physiotherapist before starting any new exercise program, especially if they have any underlying medical conditions.

Contact at KURE CLINIC today to arrange a session with a senior physiotherapist to discuss a targeted treatment plan.

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