Injuries are inevitable to the athletic lifestyle, but certain factors influence their inevitability. Muscular imbalances, quality of movement, tension and loss of concentration make the difference between a minor strain and a sidelining injury. The principles of the Pilates system of exercise have a direct carry over into the fundamentals of injury prevention.
About Joseph Pilates
The fact that Joseph Pilates was not a natural athlete makes his system of exercise even more valuable to the injury-prone client. Natural athletes do not require in-depth knowledge of movement mechanics. They just do what comes naturally. Joseph Pilates was not a natural athlete. Plagued by a long list of physical ailments, he was determined to overcome his limitations. He set out on a detailed study of anatomy books, along with eastern and western exercise methods. The result was a system of exercise that transformed this weak and sickly child into an all-round athlete. Pilates called his system “Contrology.”
What Is Pilates?
Pilates is a system of mat and equipment exercise that targets all of your body’s major muscle groups. Whilst that could be said about any form of exercise, in Pilates, it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. Every Pilates exercise requires a specific breathing pattern, along with deep core muscle engagement. In this regard, Joseph Pilates was way ahead of his time. What we now call the core, Pilates referred to as the powerhouse. He believed that these muscles were the source of all movement patterns. Decades latter, numerous research studies back the idea that your muscles prevent back injuries.
The Principles of Pilates
Without adherence to the basic principles, Pilates is just another exercise system. On the other hand, following these principles enhances your postural alignment, as well as you entire movement style. These changes might make you less susceptible to injury.
- Centering requires you to hold your stabilizing muscles in a static position while performing the exercises. Your Clinical Pilates instructor will cue correct alignment, and help you identify the bony landmarks that put you in the proper position. Pilates instructors have a keen eye for any discrepancies in less than perfect alignment. As correct alignment becomes habitual, your muscles maintain their proper strength/length rations. This minimizes your vulnerability to injury, whilst improving athletic performance.
- Breathing is essential to the Pilates technique. The breathing method used in Pilates differs from yogic breathing, in that you never pod your belly out to create a big Buddha Belly. The exhalations engage your transverse abdominal muscle, which plays a key role in spinal stability. Coordinating breath with movement might also enhance athletic performance.
- Precision in Pilates exercise means that you follow instructions down to the last minute detail. Accuracy is crucial to successful sport performance, as well as injury prevention.
- Control in Pilates implies that technique trumps intensity. Your Clinical Pilates instructor will discourage the jerky, out of control movements, which take you out of correct alignment and interfere with overall functionality. Control is a key element of agility, which implies an ability to respond to external stimuli without losing balance, movement control or postural alignment.
- Concentration in Pilates is what makes it a mind-body technique. In Pilates, you have direct focus on every single movement. Much has been written about the role of concentration in sports. Those who concentrate, win the game. Snooze and you lose, or worse, suffer an injury.
Sounds intriguing? Try a Clinical Pilates session today!Call us on (08) 9272 7359 now 🙂