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The Power of Pilates

Updated: Aug 29, 2022

Why Pilates?

If we think of every body structure (bone, tendon, ligament or muscle) being able to withstand a certain load, injury happens when the load is increased to a point that the structure can no longer support. The body is clever and sends us a warning message (pain) to stop us from doing a particular movement that could cause further damage. So if a muscle is overloaded by repeated stresses, which could be due to poor posture, stiff joints, repetitive movements, a sudden increase in weight, or moving on a different terrain, then we can see how injury occurs.

By reducing the load on the structure and resting from the aggravating factor, the pain will ease and the structure can heal. However, when you develop a pain or injury, it is crucial for a Physio to look at the 'why' - why was this structure overloaded in the first place? Often it's not as simple as one single structure being involved, but more likely a chain of events where several structures are not performing as efficiently as they could (often due to stiffness in muscles and joints).

If we think in terms of injury being a result of overloading of a specific tendon, muscle or joint, or altered movement patterns, then the way we work to change these movement patterns is by restoring and retraining the movement in a safe, controlled way.....cue Pilates! When Joseph Pilates developed his method of exercise he initially called it 'Controlology' and he looked at why we lose certain movements as we age. If you see a baby squat, they can hold this position comfortably as they play for long periods of time, however as we get older, this movement becomes harder to sustain. His practice developed over the years and is widely known as Pilates - but what is it?

Pilates exercises are varied but all focus on integrating movement with; core control, breathing, elongation of the spine and organisation of the body as a whole. If we have a good foundation to work from, then we can achieve even better power and strength through our bigger, bulky muscles to allow us to do other things such as walking, running, playing football, hill walking, weight lifting, rock climbing...and so much more!

By combining Physio and Pilates, we get the best of both by understanding how your body is functioning, as well as using specific exercises to rehabilitate your body after injury. This doesn't mean we want you to give up your usual activities and only do Pilates, not at all! We want you to keep doing the gardening, hill walking, weight-lifting, golf or whatever it is that you love, and allow you to get more out of these things with less risk of injury.

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