You might think that Pilates are only for people who are flexible or do not have injuries but, thankfully, they are for everyone. First, a bit of history. Did you know that Pilates were first “on the scene” in the 1920’s? Joseph Pilates developed these exercises for POW’s as a way of dealing with injuries they sustained in combat and muscle weakness from long periods of inactivity. Over time, people discovered that doing Pilates allowed them to gain more flexibility and strength, as well as improve circulation and breathing. It was only in the last several years that Pilates became well known.
Each person is different and each routine using Pilates can be modified for a specific need so that further injury will not occur and it is safe. For people who are using Pilates specifically to build strength, a routine can be developed to challenge them and eliminate the likelihood of any injury.
The basic principle of Pilates is developing core strength. “Core” muscles are located in the abdomen and back. If these internal muscles are strong, the exterior muscles work with them in a much more efficient way to support the spine and how you move. The development of core strength will make your torso more stable and can reduce and eliminate back pain. Pilates allow your body to move in a more “free” manner as the muscles become stronger.
The most common way to do Pilates is with specific machines that have pulleys and springs that work with your own body weight and strength or on a mat on the floor. Working with a certified instructor to get started is important. If the exercises are not done properly, you will not get the results. So, get out there and try Pilates if you haven’t already……I know I will!
As with any form of exercise, it is important to check with your doctor to be sure it is appropriate for you!