Pilates isn't just for the athletically fit and it especially isn't just for women. Here's some articles we'd like to share with you that show the different benefits and effects of Pilates.
PILATES FOR EVERYONE
Stress is universal. Whether male or female stress is part of our lives. Exercise is a great stress reliever and Pilates specifically is the best stress reliever. Stress can be responsible for many health issues including digestive problems. If you have not assimilated your food properly this can lead to many other health issues. It will compromise your health as well as your physical well being, making you feel fatigued. Finding a balance in your life is the key to a stress free existence.
Pilates traditionally focuses on your mind, body and soul. Much like Yoga where whole body awareness is the goal. The mind is where stress originates and the body and soul are what react to our stress levels. There are two ways to address this common problem, one is with slow massage like movements and the other is with cardio vascular training. Pilates can have a massage type effect on your body. The movements can be designed to move slowly and methodically, stimulating your lymphatic tissue and organ function, releasing toxins. Stress can have a stifling effect on your internal organs, stopping the normal flow of bodily fluids.
The Pilates method of exercise is based on stretching. Whether stretching through an eccentric contraction (a lengthening of a muscle as it contracts) or elongating the muscle to increase flexibility, it is primarily a stretching activity. When our stress levels increase, our physical body reacts by muscle tightness, which can make us feel stiff and lethargic.
Stress is a normal part of our daily life, but learning to keep it under control is the key. I believe Pilates is the answer to stress reduction and the mind, body, soul connection.
Pilates now has a new type of workout that it has incorporated into it’s reperitoire. It is a cardio or fat burning workout called “Circuit Training”. It is a common fact that when you raise your heart rate there are many benefits; You exercise the heart muscle, burn calories and raise you endorphine levels, all of which have a positive effect on your stress levels. I have implemented this training in my studios and it is very successful. So, now for people who are looking for that safe aerobic workout, Pilates is the answer.
When we hear the word pilates we think of a workout that has been designed for women. This is not true. If we go back to the history of pilates we learn that the pilates method was designed in 1926 by Joseph Pilates, a man. As a gymnast, a boxer and a martial artist Joseph Pilates was a very fine athlete. He also was a nurse in the internment camps in World War I. Teaching the armed forces his method of exercise, Joseph Pilates gathered statistics that supported his ideas about health and fitness. The workout style was much like calisthenics. It was and still is an abdominal based workout that develops postural muscles or back stability and also increases flexibility. This information alone supports the fact that pilates was designed by a man for men, as well as for women.
Increasing the strength of the abdominals will not only improve our appearance but is a large part of correct posture. Without the help of our abdominals to support our spine, the muscles and the skeletal structure of the back and hip became overused, creating imbalance. Thus, there are a countless number of different spinal pathologies that can and will occur. At the same time you strengthen the abdominals, you need to increase the strength and flexibility of the back and hip muscles.
If you were building a house you would certainly include the supports to the main structure. This would help with balancing the load so the main structure does not have to bear the entire weight of the house. Your body is very similar in it’s structural design and should be approached in a similar manner when building muscle strength. Increasing flexibilty of the muscles in the entire body is very important. Flexibility is the component to our physical wellness that keeps us from toppling over. We have to be able to bend to and fro with ease in order to catch ourselves from falling.
There is no better exercise to address the above issues than pilates. In my pilates business about 15% of my clients are male, including attorneys, doctors, real estate brokers, and professional athletes. So….. Why not you too?
The shoulder is the most vulnerable joint with only one bony attachment to the body, at the sternoclavicular joint. We all are familiar with the biceps, triceps, the deltoids and the latissumus muscles. These muscles are primary movers and provide gross motor skill movement. But, we need to have a stabilized joint before we do gross motor skill movement, making sure that the long bone of the arm (humerus) is securely held in the shoulder socket. Pilates works those muscles, which stabilize the shoulder, more commonly known as the rotator cuff muscles. This enables safer workouts and a lessened chance of a dislocated shoulder.
The knee is also another vulnerable joint suffering from many instability problems. This can indirectly affect the health of the spine, the hip, and the ankle. Pilates can be the answer for many common knee dysfunctions, acl problems, misaligned patella, and medial and lateral instabilities. Because Pilate’s equipment does not use weights, Pilates does not create a load or tension on the joint. It is designed to adjust the pull of gravity through spring resistance. This is a non- stressful method for strengthening major joints and can bring relief and healing to those suffering with knee alignment problems.
The ankle, like the knee joint, if misaligned or weak can transfer instabilities sequentially up the leg to the spine. The ankle is also a main source of balance for the body. The muscles of the ankle are smaller muscles and are usually neglected in our standard workout programs. In Pilates the feet are one of the focal points. Working the feet in several different positions builds a bi-lateral well rounded strength in the foot, which helps to stabilize the ankle, which in turn affects the entire body alignment.
Keeping every joint strong and supple should be a goal for our health. Pilates can give you both the strength needed for stability and the flexibility required for a supple agile body
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