Life is a balancing act- it’s something we take for granted every day. The act of walking and even the ability to carry our heads upright all requires a good sense of balance and coordination.
Balance is often an underdeveloped skill, yet we use it so much. Our development from babies to toddlers to walking is all dependent on our balance skills- lifting the head, crawling, etc. Being able to hold our bodies in certain positions to complete our daily activities is crucial. Even sitting in a chair requires balance. Not to mention, sports require a high degree of balance and flexibility training to maintain optimum form.
Another area that is often overlooked is flexibility. When an area of the body is tight or weak, it can affect the entire body as a whole. For example, if the front of the shoulders is tight, it can cause the upper back to round and the neck to tilt forward. This condition restricts mobility and decreases motor skills because the head is not completely upright, causing stress in the neck and shoulders.
The same can be said for other areas of the body. The lower back and hamstrings are two other common places where lack of flexibility can cause issues such as pelvic tilt disorders and back pain. In order for one part of the body to lift, contract, or stabilise, the other side must elongate and stretch.
Both athletes and the everyday person can benefit from Pilates-based balance and flexibility training. It will improve daily performance in everyday activities, optimise performance for sports and other exercise, decrease the risk of injuries, and improve poor postural habits. As the body ages, it is important to stay fit and flexible to avoid things like falls and other accidents, which exercise has been shown to decrease.
Many Pilates exercises are done seated or reclined and target the core. As our centre of gravity, it is vital to promote strength in the trunk of the body to allow for a range of movement, from explosive to gentle, with control. The addition of props such as the magic circle, foam rollers, resistance bands and mini balls are also great ways to challenge stability during traditional Pilates exercises and beyond.
Pilates exercises are performed in a slow, precise manner that lengthens the muscle fibres. The sequences developed for classes are progressive and done in a way to prepare the body for optimum function by accessing deeper muscles not normally used in other workouts. Full range of motion in multiple directions is also used so that the joints are used to their full capacity in a safe way. Instead of holding static stretches, the body learns how to stretch through dynamic movement. When the muscles are stretched effectively, it puts less pressure on the joints and we can move through life with more grace and ease.
Improving people’s lives is a gift you can give by becoming a qualified Pilates instructor with Future Fit Training. You can help elderly prevent falls, athletes improve their game, and inspire those who are sedentary to become more active. You can fit the programs in around your life and we will help you get your career started. Start your Pilates training today.