Movement is medicine. No matter what you eat, and how often you work out, the body can only reach its optimum condition of health when it can move and function through its full range of motion. Many sports and activities use the same muscles over and over again causing the unused muscles to tighten which may result in issues later on in life.
Physio-led Pilates targets each part of the body in a safe way. Ensuring that the entire body gets stretched, strengthened and activated to its full potential. Not only will this benefit you as you get older but it will also increase your current performance and abilities.
Stretching should become part of your daily routine. Even if you don’t exercise, the day-to-day wear and tear that your body faces needs addressing and Pilates is the perfect way to do that. In fact, the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy states that Pilates are highly successful in aiding chronic pain (specifically lower back pain), injury and disability.
No, we’re not saying you should do Pilates classes every day but when asked, “how many Pilates classes should I do per week?” We say, one or two should do the trick.
Doing Pilates stretches at home is also recommended when trying to keep an injury or pain point in check. Here are three simple Pilates exercises you can try yourself.
The Child Pose Stretch
The pose: Starting on your hands and knees, simply sit your bum back onto your heels, slide the hands out in front of you, bring the head and chest down to the floor, hold position and breathe deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth. Hold this pose for as long as you need.
The benefits: In addition to providing a moment of mindfulness, the child pose allows you to gently stretch your thighs, spine, hips and feet. An exercise proven to help with blood circulation, stress and anxiety.
Upper Back Extension
The pose: Lying face down on your mat, cup your ears with your fingers, and keep the elbows wide, and from there, gently raise your head and chest off the floor, looking up to the ceiling. Pause at the top for 2 seconds and slowly lower down, repeat this 10 times.
The benefit: This exercise will strengthen your back muscles and increase lower back mobility and coordination providing more endurance and better posture – great for injury prevention.
The pose: Lying on your back with your feet close to your bum, gently press your lower back to the floor. Hold for 1 second then raise your hips up to the ceiling, squeeze your glutes at the top for 1 second, then slowly lower down to the floor. Repeat 12 times.
The benefit: A must-have exercise in any workout. The glute bridge works your hamstrings, lower back, glutes and core muscles without placing any unwanted pressure on your back. It is also a great squat substitute should you be suffering from joint pain.
Once you consistently practise these exercises you will notice a big difference in your mobility. Try taking a picture of your Pilates before and after a certain time period. Having photos to see how far you’ve come will keep you motivated.
The benefits of Pilates move far beyond physical fitness. It is an exercise for the mind and soul as well as the body. All of our classes are led by a qualified physiotherapist, ensuring that the movement prescribed is going to nourish and better your health.
Looking for Pilates classes in Dublin? You’re in the right place!