Pilates is one method of strengthening the stabilising muscles of the body.
In general terms there are two types of muscles within the body; the mobilising muscles and the stabilising muscles. You are most likely already familiar with the mobilising muscles, for example the biceps and hamstring muscles. These muscles produce big, powerful movements and enable us to move. They are designed to work at a high intensity but for short periods. Conventional exercise such as running and gym work is designed to work these muscles. Underneath these muscles, are muscles which work to stabilise the body.
In Pilates, muscles targeted include deep core muscles, the gluteal muscles and the muscles which stabilise the shoulder blade and neck. They are designed to work at a low intensity all of the time in order to hold us up against gravity and maintain the joints in a stable position to prevent injury as we move. These muscles should work in harmony to enable us to move efficiently and not cause injury. However for many of us this is not the case…
There are many reasons these muscles cease to function as they should and this leads to muscle imbalance. It is now common for people to sit at desks for large periods of the day, often with poor posture. To counter-balance this, many people who seek to live healthier and more active lives go to the gym or exercise regularly. As a result the mobilising muscles become tight and overactive and the stabilising muscles weak and under active. This in turn can lead to musculoskeletal injury and pain. This has led to physiotherapists and other health professionals seeking ways to activate the stabilising muscles in order to rehabilitate a person following injury. If done correctly and with appropriate technique, Pilates is an excellent way to re-engage these stabilising muscles.
At Newcastle Sports Injury Clinic we believe that expert instruction and close supervision are key to understanding and mastering the principles of Pilates. We strive to ensure that each patient receives the necessary guidance, whether that is in a 1:1 or group format to help them locate and activate the stabilising muscles of the body. Our expert instructors have extensive experience working with a range of clients who are injured and apprehensive about exercise to elite athletes who are looking to enhance performance. Whatever your goals let us empower you with the knowledge, movement and body-awareness you need to be more active.
Pilates can have multiple positive effects on the body including:
- Improving posture
- Increasing flexibility
- Pain reduction
- Improve core strength
- Increased energy levels
- Boosts stamina
- Increases muscle power
- Improves balance, co-ordination and circulation