Pilates is being hailed as "the fastest growing exercise technique worldwide". Once a well kept secret by celebrities such as Madonna and Courtney Cox, people worldwide are committing to what is being termed a more "mindful" and "intelligent" exercise approach.
Invest in your body today - start Pilates
The American Council on Exercise recently predicted that Pilates will further increase in popularity for its ability to develop strength and balance for a large spectrum of health and fitness levels.
How does it work?
Pilates is a mind body conditioning exercise program that targets the deep postural muscles of the abdomen and spine to improve overall central core stability and posture.
The medical world is now realising the benefits of the Pilates method for the prevention and rehabilitation of back injuries. In order to prevent a recurrence of back pain, it is essential to retrain the deep abdominal and spinal muscles. Pilates focuses on building an efficient 'central core'. In Pilates, 'central core' refers to the Transversus Abdominus (TrA) muscle, multifidus, pelvic floor and diaphragm.
In Pilates, abdominal hollowing techniques are utilised to activate this central core. The 'Modified Pilates Rehabilitation Program© also focuses on contraction of the pelvic floor to facilitate the TrA and multifidus muscles to contract, thus activating this central core. Pilates then challenges this central core by introducing graduated arm and leg movements and stretches.
Pilates and back pain
Medical experts have provided substantial evidence on the importance of Pilates based exercise in the role of lumbar instability and the techniques used have been advocated to reduce the recurrence of low back pain and lumbar instability. Pilates provides patients with a method of exercise unique amongst other forms of exercise that focuses on correct movement: quality not quantity, core stabilisation and postural correction.
Who can benefit from Pilates techniques?
Pilates suits all ages and fitness levels and is particularly beneficially for those with back pain, poor postures, neurological conditions, mental health conditions, sports injuries, arthritis, stress related illness and before and after pregnancy.