Most of us have restrictions somewhere in our body that affect our alignment or performance.
Tight muscles crossing joints that don’t know when to fire and when to switch off and just stay wide awake and hanging on, all day and all night.
This can cause a joint to “grip” and restrict movement so that when you do move a limb, a lot more of you follows it than should!
The body is an amazing series of levers and pulleys that when they work in harmony, the muscles switch on and off to create fluid performance while stabilising the joints, allowing you to isolate and control. But when a muscle “grips” it means that your body is more fixed and restricted.
To get the optimum out of our bodies we need to strike a balance between strength and flexibility – and it is possible to have both!
Pilates is a wonderful way of making a difference and can be used for correcting posture issues in spine, shoulders, pelvis and hips, and creating strong long, lean, flexible muscles.
I know what you’re thinking, but in response –
Its not just about stretching…
And its not just for girls.
A mind bending thought for you – Pilates was created for men by a man!
Here’s why it works….
When you are in a gym using machines, the machine helps you by stabilising you. When using free weights you have to stabilise more, but you have to keep changing weights and plates and unless you are lifting heavy its a long road to results. Its important also to know that if you are only lifting 5 or 10lb dumbells, you will not drastically change shape! Its a start – but in the same way walking the same 5 miles every day will maintain a degree of cardiovascular fitness, you will not get any fitter unless you create overload.
Pilates on the other hand is about lengthening and strengthening. While one muscle is engaged, its opposite is actively lengthening and in the process uses your own body weight to strengthen you. It could be the weight of your legs or upper body while balancing or dynamically controlling your position. For example stabilising through quads and glutes and actively lengthening through the hamstrings – all the while stabilising your core, shoulder blades and probably balancing on one hand! Tell me that isn’t about strength!
If you are supporting or controlling part or most of your body weight, its different to using free weights and it is more about functional fitness. Its possible to change the weight without needing to change a plate – all you have to do is just lengthen or shorten a lever and shift your centre of gravity.
The more people in the session, the more its about the group in general – the smaller the group, its more it is about you.
Better still – 1-1 and its ALL about you!
The real beauty of pilates is you can bring your “gym” with you no matter where you are. Although you may raise some eyebrows performing the Open Leg Rocker in the aisle of a plane! (I’d give it a go……)
However the possibilities are endless and depending on what level you work at it can be made easier or a whole lot harder, but you would need to be guided to the right level for you – so get the right advice for you as to how to do this, as one size does not fit all in any form of training.
If you did not know what pilates is about – check out this link for images and video of where it can take you – all exercises can be modified or progressed.
My gym – any time, any place, no restrictions.