Pilates is one of the most popular fitness method used to help people improve their posture. One of the most common misconception though, is that Pilates addresses only the “core” muscles, and that only by strengthening those, your posture will improve. This belief is very common among gym goers, that attend large group classes, where the focus is more on planking and toning the “abs”.
So I wanted to clarify, how real Pilates works, and the difference between the Pilates practice in large group classes, and the more tailored one to one or small groups approach.
It assesses the whole body. Pilates is a fitness method that will asses the whole body, not only the core. Muscles and joints in our body work together in a harmonious unit and sometimes something that goes out of balance in one part of the body can cause malfunctions in one other that does not seem to be correlated. A typical case are knees issues, that are often caused by foot and hip mis-alignment.
Create spinal flexibility. The spine needs a certain degree of flexibility to accommodate every day movement. We need to able to flex, extend, laterally flex, and rotate the spine to have a healthy back. In today’s world this is often difficult due to long time spent sitting and use of technology. Pilates will aim to restore that spinal flexibility in order to support the body natural movement functions.
Thoracic mobility. The thoracic portion of the spine, is the part tha
t functionally and physiologically needs more “mobility” or movement while the lower part of the spine (the lumbar spine) is bigger and requires a bit more stability. What is happening nowadays is that due to the constant sitting and use of computers and phones, more and more people get stiff and inflexible in the thoracic portion of the spine, often giving ways to the body to “compensate” along the spine and the kinetic chain. Pilates brings balance into that, helping to restore the natural movement in the upper portion of the spine.
Strentghen postural your muscles. Pilates trains and strengthen all the postural muscles of the front and the back of the body, which coupled with the flexibility mentioned above, means you will be able to move in a more fluid ad effortless way.