Want More Energy? – Do Pilates

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Ask anyone if they’d like more energy and I cant think that many would say no!

 

So how can we do that via Pilates? Well simply put – if you exercise you will feel better and have more energy! Pilates is just one form of doing that – but if you do it well you will reduce the amount of effort required to exercise as you will work more efficiently and effectively – thus having better performance with less effort.

What happens in the body when we exercise with Pilates?

We need to expend energy to make energy! Remember how when you’re sitting all nice and comfy on the couch and dont wanna get up and move, but you drag yourself up anyway and get out and DO some exercise. You end up coming back feeling not inly alive, but full of energy an glad you made the effort. You benefit from that release of endorphins that occurs during exercise and gives us that feel good feeling. This is the stuff that runners get addicted to so they actually feel “bad” if they miss their scheduled run!

Endorphins release after we exercise. The process of exercise raises our metabolic rate – the rate which we burn calories, it also means we get that feel good kick. We leave on a high. Depending on what research you read it can also suppress appetite.

Get a better Core

Pilates works to try and stabilise our centre  – it works around having a strng base which comprises our pelvis, lowers pine and stomach area which houses the deep core muscles – the pelvic floor, diaphragm, transversus abdominis and mulfidus. As we work to get these functioning well – not only will our posture improve, but also we become less reliant on our big mover muscles such as the big back extensors and hip flexors so we move more efficiently. If we then layer on the deep gluts and effective recruitment of our mover and stabiliser muscles our performance and energy efficiency again improves!

Move Better and be more flexible

Pilates itself works to lengthen muscles hence why people are after that lean longer look. a lot of the exercises work you into the lengthened position so you get increased range of movement as you ‘reach’ longer. This “reach” is actually aimed at getting you to activate your core and not ‘brace’ so in doing so you can gain greater control of your core and body and gain better flexibility as you can control and stretch better. If you have better flexibility you may be less  likely to sustain injury.  This is something that people who like weights and power style of exercise such as cross fit should be aware of. Incorporating Pilates into their weekly ritual can help not only build up a better core as they will tend to be ‘bracers” but also help guard against injury as they will be less ‘muscle bound”.

Replace lost muscle and prevent weak bones

Use it or lose it. If you are doing nothing then you have no stimulus for the body to work – muscle fatigue and get weaker and that in turn makes you weaker. The body is made to move – it does not take kindly to being still at a deks all day everyday – use your body move your body and stay healthy and strong. Weak muscles means you are more  prone to injury and bodes that are not active cannot function well.  Lost muscle mass can lead to weak bones as we need weight bearing stimulus to maintain strong and health bones and muscle. Pilates is a great way to do that as it uses our own body weight and is non impact on joints. You can work at your own pace and there are plenty of modifications for those less able.

Low to no impact

Pilates is great for those who are new to exercise as it can be done by anyone – so you can benefit by working at your own level. It’s also not intimidating as many people are scared of the big gym set ups and of making a fool of themselves. In pilates you have to spend so much time thinking about what you are doing an dhow you are dong ut there’s no time to worry about what’s going on around you!

Also if you’re a has been sports person, that wast a challenge but is not ready to ‘give up” then Pilates is for you too. you can make it as hard and challenging as you want once you’ve mastered the basics and know you’ re working correctly – so you can work up that sweat! We get plenty of netballers who can no longer play due to knees, ankles and backs but who LURVE Pilates!

Learn to BREATHE!

Yep – that’s right – learn to breathe! many people just don’t know how to do that right! Most of use are ‘bracers” which means we don’t use our core well and we tend to hold our breathe when we need to do something strong like lift a gas bottle. We may bend at the knees but then we brace everything thinking we are using our core.

Pilates is about breathing to enhance how we move  – to enhance not only our range but also the strength of our range. Fir example if we are doing an exercise like a Pilates sit up – we would breathe in to prepare and exhale to perform the sit up. that helps us engage our core better so we get a better movement and strength and also better range. If we just hold our breathe all we do is move no change in our quality of movement occurs – but with that bracing we can also start to cause damage to our pelvic floor muscles and actually weaken our core! That’s why it’s so important to BREATHE! holding your breath means you bear down and brace – which can cause damage to use longer term.

Get a stronger pelvic floor

It;s well known that many want a better core. we hear it all the time, but did you know if you’re activating your core wrong and bearing down and bracing – that you are actually weakening your core AND your pelvic floor. This is mots important for thoe of us who have had babies as we are already at high risk – whatever style of birth you have had! Many are under the mis- conception that if they have has a Ceasarian Section that their “bits” are in tact so they’re fine – but a weak core means a weak pelvic floor. And EITHER delivery can leave you at risk of a RECTUS DIASTASIS which again leads to a weak pelvic floor and core.

Now go – do exercise – in whatever form suits you – BUT MOVE!!!!!

If you can learn to activate your core well then you’re half way there! Not sure if you have a diastasis? get our check at home video here – I want to know how to check for a tummy spilt at home.

New to Pilates? check out our new client specials here – NEW CLIENT SPECIALS

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About Saree Hewlett (134 Articles)
Saree has 20 + years as a physio, training in the UK and completing her Masters in Manual Therapy in Perth, UWA. She has integrated Pilates into her practise having trained in the Polestar method and currently owns and runs two Studios in Perth's Northern Suburbs. A previous international Artistic Skater she understands the needs of sports people and also those suffering from chronic pain and reduced function - we all want the same thing - to be the best we can be! She is married with two active young boys!

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