Why Practice Pilates? What is the Science behind it?
The regular use of Pilates has been found to be successful in preventing recurrent back pain episodes. It has been proven that by increasing the co-ordination and strength in the deep abdominal muscles, i.e. transverse abdominals, that the lumbar spine is stabilised and protected. These are the same conclusions that Joseph Pilates arrived at in the 1920’s.
Osteopaths and physios and bone neural consultants now see the benefits of Pilates to their clients and recommend that they take up the exercises not as a quick fix but as a lifestyle choice.
Pilates works by re-balancing the body and altering the way in which you recruit muscles to produce movements. It changes the way you use your body to move and restores natural and normal movement.
Pilates works on strengthening the stabilising muscles, which lie close to and support the spine. Transverse abdominus is the deepest of the abdominal muscles, wrapping around the trunk horizontally, acting like a “corset” when engaged. Two other muscles are important in providing good stability in the trunk, the multifidus muscle in the low back, and the pelvic floor. This creates the solid drum or cylinder around the central spine, helping to prevent shearing forces being applied to the vertebrae, ligaments and discs.
Pilates exercises are gentle, progressive, and performed slowly with good postural alignment at all times, these controlled movements are unlikely to lead to re-injury.
Regular Pilates practice typically leads to a stronger, leaner body while developing body awareness and having an overall de-stressing effect on most people.