The studio has an interesting collection of all ages and genders, with the oldest into their 80’s. All are positive thinking individuals who come ready to learn, progress, and in many cases heal. They bring their challenges with optimism and continue to challenge my years of expertise.
Pilates in White Rock:
Pilates is being recommended more and more by doctors and physiotherapists. Pilates training focuses on learning how to isolate muscles and use them in the correct form.
Many muscle and tendon strains happen while working out. When muscles are weak, and especially when core muscles are weak, exercises are often performed incorrectly because the body is straining and pulling. Actually, the body is cheating by using it’s stronger muscles to get the task completed. For example: if you try to do a sit-up by slowly rolling up off the floor without lifting your feet off the ground, you may find that your neck and shoulders are straining, when in fact, they should be relaxed. Your abdominal muscles should be doing the job. I have had students even get a cramp in their foot. We all know a sit-up is not a foot or neck exercise, so why do these muscles cramp?
Another problem a person may have with a sit-up is that they slightly lean to their stronger side. The majority of us have unbalanced bodies – one side is stronger than the other. So in Pilates training we are always trying to strengthen both sides equally.
When rehabilitating a person who has been injuried, had surgery, has arthritis or other debilitating diseases, the Pilates exercises practiced need to be modified or sometimes omitted altogether. Special attention needs to be paid to the student so they are completely balanced while practicing each exercise.
Students need to inform their doctors or physiotherapists when they plan to start Pilates or any other forms of exercise and they need to ask exactly what movements they should either avoid or do very carefully. The answer may be, “Do only what doesn’t give you pain.” It is important that they do this and not try to push too hard or there can be a painful set-back.
It is difficult and sometimes discouraging returning to an exercise program when you have physical limitations. The exercises at that point need to be very basic. Frustration often sets in with the fear that they will never improve especially by doing an exercise that is so simple. This thinking changes after a few weeks and the improvement with the student’s mobility is noticeable and encourages them to continue.
The Pilates Reformer is an amazing exercise machine that was designed for rehabilitation work. Exercises can be very easy movements to start with, and then by increasing tension cords and working with more resistance, the body starts to strengthen the muscles being used. I am always amazed how quickly most students do improve. The joy of teaching rehab Pilates is in watching the students experience their own improvement. Their smiles say it all.
For more information about the coming Pilates Rehabilitation Classes at Synergy, please call and speak to Julie who is the head instructor. 604 809-9463 in Ocean Park / South Surrey B.C.