Pilates is a form of exercise that combines over 500 exercises that work to activate a vast amount of our body’s large and small muscle groups. Originally, inspired by Joseph Pilates the exercises were developed as a healing method for dancers and their frequent injuries. Pilates has become a whole body method for improving flexibility, strength, balance and body awareness.
Pilates can be taught in a variety of ways and has both aerobic and non-aerobic components. In addition to building physical lprowess Pilates requires concentration and focus, because the body is moved through precise ranges of motion and this challenges the brain as well to improve its control of the whole body. It is wise to speak with your chiropractor or family doctor before beginning Pilates as their examination of your spine and overall health may clue you in to areas of potential focus and/or caution with movements.
Benefits of Pilates Reformer Sessions
Some benefits that will be noticed with doing Pilates on a regular basis include:
- Improved flexibility.
- Increased muscle strength especially of the abdominal muscles, lower back, hips, buttocks and postural muscles.
- Improved balance of muscular strength on each side of the body.
- Greater muscular control of the large and small joints ie. shoulders, hips, and spine .
- Added postural awareness and muscle endurance with activities of daily living.
- Increased physical coordination and balance.
- Relaxation areas of the body that are often overactive (shoulders, neck and upper back) due to other area in back that are weak not assisting in habitual postures.
- Low impact exercise will allow for successful rehabilitation at all ages.
- Helps prevent re-injury of many joint and muscle complaints.
Pilates for ALL!
One of the great things about Pilates is that it may be catered to everyone. Whether one need to rehabilitate from hip/ shoulder or back surgery, wants to hone core strength related to a specific sport, has an interest in doing exercise to avoid effects of aging or has been told to exercise by doctor Pilates will benefit all. There are many exercises that will help the whole body and can be modified to meet each person’s need. When Pilates is done on a reformer (Pilates equipment) spring and various other elements can be custom set so that a class or private session can work well for someone who is 22 or 82.
A Pilates session includes several exercises and stretches lasting typically 45 to 60 minutes. Each exercise is taught by an instructor who is performed with attention to proper breathing techniques and abdominal muscle control. To gain the maximum benefit, you should do Pilates at least two or three times per week. You may notice postural improvements after 10 to 20 sessions.
Pilates is taught often by moving the body through a slow, sustained series of exercises using abdominal control and proper breathing. The Mastering the quality of each posture is important, not the number of repetitions or how energetically you can move.
Books and videotapes are available, but seek instruction from a qualified Pilates instructor with plenty of experience to get the best results. It is the instructor who will be able to point out where you are not doing correct form and these subtle yet important points along with motivation and safety awareness will take your training from beginner level to advanced.
Although Pilates is a low impact form of exercise, certain people ie. pregnant, recent surgery, obese and/or non-active should work in tandem with a doctor such as a chiropractor or orthopedist ensure proper communication of goals and risks to the instructor.
Pre-exercise screening is used to identify people with medical conditions that may put them at a higher risk of experiencing a health problem during physical activity. It is a filter or ‘safety net’ to help decide if the potential benefits of exercise outweigh the risks for you.
Live Well Chiropractic and Pilates Center
Whether you are new to Pilates or have done it for years our instructors are ready to assist you in reaching higher levels of health and awareness. Classes are offered 7 days a week with a maximum of 5 people in a class at one time and private one-on-one sessions are available as well. For those who have not done Pilates it is recommended that you begin with at least 3 private sessions to learn the fundamentals of Pilates with respect to exercises commonly performed, how to operate the equipment and to learn your own physical strengths and weaknesses. Understanding what to feel during an exercise is important to know that the intended muscle is being activated and challenged. Call us at 323-930-9355 or visit us online www.livewell-la.com at anytime to schedule a chiropractic evaluation or treatment with Dr. Gloin, D.C. and/or with one our Pilates instructors (for biographical information on each instructor please visit website)