You can prevent injury with Pilates. There are a variety of reasons why and I’ll explain each one in this post. I will also explain how you can do Pilates when injured.
Pilates strengthens the whole body.
The exercises move the spine in all directions as well as strengthen the smaller muscles. When you’re putting a house together think of the framework you have and then all of the supporting hardware and joists. The framework is the big muscles in your body and the hardware and joists are the smaller muscles. Together they make a strong house or body and prevent injury.
Pilates is a form of strength conditioning.
You may be used to thinking of weight training as a form of strength conditioning but so is Pilates. Especially when using the apparatus that have springs. The springs create resistance which builds strength!
Pilates moves the spine in all directions.
In order to have a happy and healthy spine it’s important to move your spine in all directions. That includes flexion (forward), extension (back), lateral flexion (side bending), and rotation (twisting). A Pilates lesson will include all of those movements. This is also how Pilates prevents injury. Your spine can become compressed in its daily movement patterns. Whether that’s working at a desk, your daily commute, etc. Pilates decompresses it.
Strengthen your core.
How often have you heard Pilates is an ab workout? Well, that’s half true. You are strengthening your abdominals but your core is more than that. It’s the muscles from your lips down to your hips. Your core includes shoulders, back, abdominals, and hips. And guess what? Pilates strengthens those areas because it works your whole body.
Diaphragmatic breathing prevents injury.
Using diaphragmatic breathing allows you to breathe deeply in your nose and out your mouth. This type of breathing relaxes your nervous system which relieves tension in your body and prevents injury. If you’ve ever seen too much pressure applied to a structure or object you may have seen it strain, snap, or break. The same can happen to your body when it’s tense and under a lot of stress.
Pilates improves blood circulation.
The combination of Pilates exercises and diaphragmatic breathing increases blood circulation. You’ll notice a warmth in your body and muscles. This will send more oxygen throughout the body and to the brain.
Better balance prevents injury.
Unfortunately a lot of injuries happen during the simplest movements. One person bent over to get butter from the fridge and threw out his back. Another person stepped off the curb and rolled their ankle which resulted in a sprain. Pilates gives you a better sense of awareness and balance to prevent injury. It can mean the difference between rolling your ankle and spraining it.
And lastly, can you do Pilates when injured? Absolutely!
When taking Pilates from a qualified professional like me, I know modifications to ensure you are doing Pilates in a safe environment. I have worked with many injuries and body types. This has given me lots of experience to be able to adapt the Pilates lesson to your needs. For example, I taught a sitting and standing class to a client who couldn’t lay on her back due to a cyst removed from her scalp. I also had a client with a fractured foot which meant she wore a boot and we did plenty of mat and tower work.