Pilates is an incredible workout system that works from within the body towards the exterior surfaces. Unlike the gym where the work is from the outside in, hence the saying you are only as strong as your weakest muscle. Gym routines work on the muscle groups that are already strong, therefore the weaker ones remain weak or marginally stronger at best. By working from the inside out you develop a greater understanding of the body, smaller muscle groups come into use and you begin to discover muscles that you never thought you had or you once thought were fat. Pilates gives you a lean, toned, flexible & functional body also improving fitness, strength, core stability and posture. All of which will make you less prone to injuries and more body aware. As your skills develop in Pilates it will become more than a workout system, it will become a way of life.
“Joseph Pilates was a cigar-smoking boxer, acrobat, and gymnast, who developed his exercise program from that background for men first.” For years the mention of a Pilates workout has made many men recoil in horror.
However with a growing desire to look and feel your best and with us being more aware of the importance of core strength, it has now become the norm for men to incorporate some form of pilates style training to their workouts. By building a cast-iron core of well defined abs, in turn enables you to lift significantly more weight in big exercises. By learning to engage the strongest parts of our bodies, or the ‘powerhouse’ (Joseph Pilates’s term for the abdominals, hips, lower back muscles, and buttocks), you can achieve strong, lean, masculine physiques. Many top athletes now use pilates for prehab (preventative exercises, as opposed to rehab after an injury), as well as rehab. England rugby union star Ugo Monya, used the method to get over a crippling back injury.
It is believed that if your body is functioning correctly you will be stronger and have good balance which in turn could see you getting fewer injuries.
Pilates during pregnancy:
It is very important to exercise correctly during pregnancy to prevent injury and to help boost your blood circulation, lymph flow and keep your muscles toned. By strengthening your pelvic floor muscles this will help support everything that is above them and a toned pelvic floor will help you during labor. Pilates is ideal as you work the muscles in a gentle way combining strength with flexibility. Pelvic floor disorders do not exclusively trouble women who have given birth, they often start during pregnancy due to the weight and pressure of the baby. Add that to the hormonal and anatomical changes that result from birthing, a woman’s pelvic floor certainly suffers.
It has been advised that new mothers commence exercise at six weeks, after a routine postnatal check up with their midwife or doctor. This will give the mothers body time to recover from the birth. By six weeks, the placental hormones like relaxing are at lower levels in her body, making exercising safer. Pilates will help to correct overstretched abdominal muscles, bring together split tummy muscles, regain your pre pregnant shape and give you a better overall muscle tone.