Pilates: 3 sins to avoid
We typically do Pilates to help get/maintain/improve control of our body and its movements, or to help with pain.
So let’s run through some areas which could possibly be improved to make for a better and safer experience.
Sin 1: Concentrating on a single body area and not allowing enough recovery time are two forgotten principles of exercising.
In our classes, sure you will notice we have concentration areas i.e. scapula control, hip disassociation and spinal segmentation, but you’ll never see us repeat that focus every week. The muscles we are trying to activate are not ones which need hypertrophy, they are smaller, single joint muscle groups which are involved in control rather than movement. Concentration of a single body area i.e. clams, we can find ourselves using other muscles to complete the task – which leads us into Forcing Positions, Rushing Movements and Trying Advanced Movements.
Remember that old saying ‘if it don’t fit, don’t force it?’ It can be applied to Pilates, if it don’t feel right, DON’T force it.
The body is very intelligently designed, and acute pain shows us that it wants our attention – especially if the task is Pilates!
Typically if you’re are experiencing discomfort with a movement it is either not being executed properly or you are trying something a little to advanced.
We often say that Pilates is 90% internal with a 10% external challenge. We often progress from a basic foundation movement into further choreography which increases arm and leg leverage, gradually increasing the weight and challenge for internal control. At any point it is important for a client to know their limit and regress or progress to the appropriate challenge for their body.
Sin 2: Pilates is not about how ‘fast’, how ‘far’ or how ‘many’ repetitions you can perform but how much control you are able to maintain throughout the movements, and as I briefly touched on previously, the muscle we are trying to activate are responsible for control.
So you should be able to comfortably maintain your core control, throughout each movement, each repetition with additional challenges along the way.
Sin 3: Now, how about your nutritional intake?
It is important to fuel the body prior and after exercise and Pilates is not different.
Don’t skip lunch during the day if you have a night class, and if your class is in the morning try to get a little something into you.
We want the body to be able to utilise consumed energy and some energy storage.
A simple piece of fruit, piece of toast with peanut butter, or another little snack which may entice you will certainly do.
Foods such as chocolate, sugary cakes, or dense/heavy foods i.e. pasta, meat, near exercise can make you feel uncomfortable. BUT, don’t forget your water intake!
As adults we should be consuming around 2-3L of water daily, this however has not taken into consideration exercise.
I suggest having around 700ml bottle by which you can finish within a 2 hour period spanning over Pilates.
- Don’t force any movement!
- Take your time and Don’t Rush
- Eat something before Class
- Hydrate During and After Class
If you find you may be guilty of any of these SINS then best book and appointment with a Pilates Physiotherapist to have a quick assessment to get you back on track.
Liam Hehir, myPhysioSA Phyiostherapist Mount Barker