Pilates aims to create balance, flowing coordinated movements and flexibility in the body by stabilising, stretching and conditioning your body with exercise.
At first glance, the Pilates equipment looks like a regular gym but the equipment which includes a series of pulleys and springs have been designed for Yoga like, deliberate muscle-isolating movements rather than the standard all out aerobic exercise.
In a typical session with a Physiotherapist you will be put through various routines. You continue through a progression of exercises starting with the ‘Reformer’ a moving carriage with springs, pulleys and ropes. Next you will move to the ‘Trap Table’ which enables mobilisation of your spine and isolates movements from all your joints.
The key to this method, whether performing exercise on the Reformer or Trap Table is a strong abdominal core, from the deep inner layer of muscles to those on the surface. Core strength combined with pelvic stability are the bases upon which to create a strong mid section of the spine, both front and back, thus stabilising the torso. From this stable and firm centre all movements can flow, creating a more centred and agile athlete.
Pilates has become an important tool for improving sports performance. As the body extends its range of movement and attains strength in these extended ranges, injuries become less frequent and sports performance can improve.