PhysioAdvisor.com has published an article which promotes Clinical Pilates as a form of exercise which focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility and breathing. The Pilates Method, developed in Germany in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, is now being used along physiotherapy to treat a number injuries including those of the neck and back.
A paper recently published by PLoS One involved a systematic review of the effectiveness of Pilates exercises in people with chronic low back pain. The review concluded that Pilates exercise offers equivalent improvements to massage therapy and other forms of exercise. It highlighted the need for research which explores optimal Pilates exercise designs.
Benefits of Pilates
These include improved posture and core stability, increased muscular strength and flexibility, aiding rehabilitation, preventing injuries, improved overall body tone and fitness, enhanced breathing control and the restoration of normal movement patterns.
Principles of Pilates
These 6 basic Pilates principles have to be applied to all the exercises so that maximum benefit can be obtained.
- Concentration: Ensuring correct performance of each exercise as it relates to the muscles involved
- Centering: The focus here is on achieving neutral spine and activating the core muscles that support lower back and the pelvic region
- Control: Maintaining the optimal posture and control
- Flowing Movement: Movements which are smooth and efficient
- Precision: To ensure the correct technique, each Pilates exercise should be performed with attention to detail
- Breathing: The focus should be on maintaining normal breathing throughout the exercise regime without holding the breath.