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Pilates May Be Helping You In More Ways Than You Realize…

by Pilates At PTCare, April 1, 2014

We wanted to share this article from IDEA Health and Fitness Association. It outlines some of the wonderful benefits one obtains from practicing Pilates in easy to understand terms. This is a great one to forward to that friend that keeps asking, “So what exactly is Pilates?”

Pilates And The Case For Functional Training

by Marshall Eklund, MA

“The term functional training has been circulating in the fitness industry for quite a few years now and seems to be surging in popularity as a training concept. The common denominator in functional training is mechanical specificity…It strips down movement and examines what needs to stabilize, move and fire for correct and healthy movement.

The true benefit and functionality of Pilates have been questioned in some fitness circles. This article examines the rationale for choosing Pilates training when functionality is the main priority.

Full-Body Integration

One goal of functional training is to help people perform activities of daily living with ease and without pain. Our most mundane movements are actually quite complex and require the harmonious integration of movement forces, joint stability and firing patterns. The body longs for total integration—posture, joint stability and prime-mover support. All these elements are required for proper biomechanical functionality.

Pilates is brilliant because it teaches exercise as movements, not as bits of movement. The traditional roll-up is a perfect example of full-body integration. In an elementary analysis, the roll-up looks like a simple spinal flexion exercise, but when you apply proper technique, it becomes much more than that. Sure, the roll-up conditions the rectus abdominis and obliques to create spinal flexion. It also lengthens the spinal extensors. But examine the full-body effects as well: It lengthens shortened hamstrings, activates and strengthens the internal/external rotators of the femurs, and challenges scapular stability, which helps create proper humeral and cervical spinal function (when performed correctly).

Can you think of the many ways this full-body integration crosses over into daily life?”

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