Pilates Exercise Method

The Pilates method of exercise increases trunk muscle strength, endurance, flexibility, peripheral mobility, neuromuscular control, and balance and coordination (all of these are combined and commonly referred to as core conditioning). The Pilates philosophy emphasizes training the mind and body to work together toward the goal of overall fitness.

This method of body conditioning was pioneered by Joseph H. Pilates (1880-1967) in the early 1900’s. Pilates originally was used almost exclusively by athletes and dancers, but in recent years has become common in rehabilitation and fitness programs.

Pilates’ principles

When practicing Pilates, the principles that are considered include deep breathing, stabilization of the spine through neutral positioning o the pelvis, rib cage and shoulder blades and mental focus. This exercise technique improves posture, strength, coordination, and balance.

Pilates for the fitness enthusiast

Pilates is a great form of exercise conditioning, as there are many different exercises available for targeting specific muscle groups and movements. For the fitness enthusiast, cross training alone may not be enough to meet specific training needs. Pilates exercises and equipment may be adapted to meet the needs of the fitness enthusiast or the athlete.

Pilates to avoid injury

One of the most beneficial results from Pilates training is more efficient use of the small spinal stabilizing muscles, thus developing overall muscular balance. It is then the larger trunk muscles (abs, extensors and obliques) can more effectively control motion and improve performance. This improved performance reduces the change of repetitive strain injury caused by muscle or biomechanical imbalance, which is very important in functional and athletic activities

Rehabilitation and Pilates

PilatesPilates is an effective therapeutic exercise method used in the rehabilitation of injuries. It is a gentle program that provides a challenging yet safe workout. Modifications to each exercise may accommodate a specific body type or injury or adjust the level of muscular challenge. The muscles can be challenged or assisted further with use of equipment including cushions, foam wedges, theraband, foam roller, exercise balls, or specifically designed Pilates equipment.

Participation in Pilates should never cause increased pain or overstrain. Only the appropriate musculature should experience a muscle burn (from work and not joint or muscle pain that indicates in appropriate stress). With proper instruction the patient/client will be able to make the appropriate adjustment for performing the exercises more effectively and efficiently.

Oakland Physical Therapy, P.C. offers mat Pilates classes and private sessions conducted by a licensed physical therapist and certified Pilates instructor with specialized training in rehabilitative Pilates method.

Group classes and individual sessions are offered that focus on postural control, balance, coordination, strength and endurance exercise with breath control. The instructors are certified in Pilates exercise with special Pilates rehabilitation training.