What does this mean when we approach Pilates? It means treating your body with respect by working with the quality of your exercises rather than the quantity.
“In 10 sessions, you will feel the difference. In 20, you will see the difference. And in 30, you’ll be on your way to having a whole new body.” – JOSEPH PILATES
When Joseph Pilates said this, he did not mean that you have to squeeze in a ton of Pilates exercises or repetitions at once to get the results you desire. Yes, consistent practice over time will help but there is no need to overdo it to achieve your goals. We don’t have to move more, we need to learn to move better in our Pilates practice. And then we can take this into our daily life!
Think you have to do 100 reps of something for it to be effective? Think again. Pushing yourself past your limits takes you out of the present moment and into a state of rushing toward the future.
Have you ever pushed yourself over your physical capacity? Just think about it. When you push yourself over your edge, that’s when breakdown and injury can occur. However, we are often told by society to push until we can’t anymore, whether it’s work, a passion project, or your fitness.
Pilates teachers can learn skills to help treat various musculoskeletal conditions through our online continuing education program here, right in the comfort of your home!
Pilates has, since it’s inception, valued the way in which you do a movement versus how many times you do it. As able-bodied humans, we walk every day, day in and day out. It’s one of the most common movements we do. But if you’re walking out of constant alignment, then you are going to put yourself at more risk of future injury. Learn to move with more consciousness through Pilates and give the gift of teaching it to others through classes or private lessons.
The truth is, you don’t have to do more of something in order for it to be effective. If you do something really well the first time, there’s no need to do it a million more times. Your body awareness will be reinforced by the quality of what you do and how you treat it.
Let’s look at how we can apply this to a Pilates exercise. If one simply goes through the motions without utilizing the proper principles, then they will not be effective. One example of this is the concept of the abdominal scooping action performed during many exercises. If this is not done, or the opposite of such action is done (such as puffing the belly out), then the benefits like deep core activation which can improve lower back pain will not occur. In fact, it could even cause more irritation to occur if one already has an injury!
The Lower Lift is a Pilates exercise where people often think more is better. In this exercise, you lower and lift the legs with control while maintaining imprint of the spine (a subtle imprint of the spine creating lengthening through the lumbar curve) . This is a great exercise to strengthen the lower abdominals. However, if done incorrectly, one can strain the lower back if it comes off the floor. This often happens if someone is rushing through the movement and trying to do more than is necessary. Make sure you and your students use the right muscles during each and every exercise in a mindful manner.
As a Pilates instructor, you can help your clients prevent overused and tired muscles right from the get-go by instilling this quality. Whether your clients are patients rehabbing an injury or not, it is important to keep all of this in mind. Learn this and more when you sign up for our Pilates for Orthpaedic Conditions course today