Life in a town like Whistler revolves around lifestyle and having fun. At Back in Action Sports Physiotherapy Whistler we want to help all recreational and competetive athletes to improve their performance and stay injury free. Lets face it: we all want to play and we dont want to pay!!….with injury and time out. If the unimaginable sports injury occurs, we can help you recover and get……back in action. Our Physiotherapists are titled experts in Sports Physiotherapy and will accurately diagnose your injury and help create you a rehabilitation program that is directly related to the needs of you and your sport.
Welcome to the Back in Action Whistler, Physio info page on Cycling injuries and bike fit. Our Physiotherapists have the expertise to correctly analyze your biomechanics and apply it to your biking.
The positioning on the bike is critical to comfort, power and optimal efficiency. Many myths exist as to what is the ideal position. Quite simply, the best position is the one that sounds best. When a person is positioned correctly on the bike, the pedalling action will sound very efficient – smooth spinning rather than stroking.
The frame : for women this can be a big issue. Smaller frames tend to have much steeper downtube angles making adjustments more critical. In our experience, bigger people tend to be on frames too big for them. Generally speaking, a frame that is too large results in the cyclist over-reaching and/or floating sideways over the bike. A frame which is too small generally results in anterior knee pain. However, smaller frames can have their seat height adjusted to improve fit. Are they in the correct position?Ideally, the cyclist should be able to place their hands comfortably on all 3 positions of the handle bars. Once they are in those positions, they should be able to easily lift their hands slightly off the handle bars. This is calle the “centre of balance approach”. If they cannot do this, then either they have reduced core strength or their seat is in the incorrect position or both. Remember when moving the seat forward, it rises on the rail and vice versa on the way back. The longer the torso the further back the seat should go. Importantly, lung capacity can be reduced if the back is over-arched. Since 20 muscles are involved with breathing and 18 of these are postural muscles (Steve Hogg), these postural muscles need to be activated as minimally as possible without compromising stability. Additionally, if the cyclist is a toe dipper they tend to pull the body forward and hence the seat should be further back. Conversely, the heel dropper should have the seat further forward. Regardless, the seat positioning should make the arm load insignificant, thereby allowing those muscles to be used for comfortable and effective breathing. Hereby, energy and blood flow are not wasted by going to muscles which are working ‘over-time’. Common areas where bike adjustments are looked at:
The saddle – the less padding the better, wider and flatter seats for females, wear on the seat should be from the sitting bones. Seats which are too high result in posterior knee pain, seats which are too low result in anterior knee pain and sometimes groin pain, seats which are too far back and/or too high can result in lateral knee pain and even cause deep peroneal nerve injury. Ideally, the seat is just behind ‘bottom centre’.
The pedal – a free floating pedals (free play cleat) tend to take away the need for critical adjustments. Generally the foot should be as far forward as the cleats allow. This latter aspect will depend on shoe size. By reducing the distance from the pedal to the ankle, it is thought that the need to stabilize the foot is reduced thereby allowing the muscles to concentrate their force for developing power.
Welcome to ‘Back in action’ Physiotherapy Whistler page on running. Our Whistler based Physios will assist you in analysis of techniqe, strategies for improvement in performance and injury reduction. For a complete analysis of your running techniqe and musculoskeletal alignment book in for a functional assessment.
Gait analysis: How can it help you. The feet are designed to support the weight of our bodies as we move about. The term “foot mechanics” refers to the proper or improper functioning of the feet in the performance of these all-important duties. Foot Mechanics In walking, the feet behave very much as springs, which propel the body forward with every step taken. At its most basic level, there are two components of foot mechanics that everyone experiences to some degree:
Pronation – This is a flattening of the arches of the feet and inward “tipping” of the ankle, with the majority of motion occurring at the subtalar joint (STJ). This all important motion occurs primarily during the mid stance and occurs each time the foot strikes the ground for the purpose of absorbing shock/force attenuation and to accommodate to uneven surfaces. Typical injuries characteristic of over-pronators are nerve compression (mortons neuroma), achilles tendonitis/opathy, shin splints, anterior knee pain (patella femoral syndrome), sacroiliac joint (SIJ) and low back pain.
Supination – This is the polar opposite of pronation, and is characterized by an outward “tipping” of the ankle with the majority of motion also occurring at the STJ in terminal stance/toe off. The purpose of supination is to increase stability through the mid foot by locking or creating rigidity through the arch in order to effectively provide a rigid lever for forward propulsion while walking or running. Typical injuries characteristic excessive supinators are chronic ankle sprains, heal and foot pain (plantar fasciatis/opathy, metatarsalgia), stress fractures, ITband friction syndrome, SIJ and low back strain Every individual’s ankle naturally pronates and supinates to some degree. The question, however, is what is optimal. Moderate pronation and supination are normal and healthy, however excessive pronation or supination due to structural deviation, muscle restriction or weakness, can interrupt the normal timing, excursion, or rate of this sequence leading to running patho-mechanics which negatively impact efficiency and performance, and ultimately can result in acute or chronic injury.
Gait Analysis Is defined as the evaluation of the mechanical factors of joint loading, orientation and neuromuscular function during walking and/or running. Typically a gait analysis is done to look for abnormal function that may be either causing the diagnosis or patient complaint or in helping to select individual footwear. A weight-bearing and non-weight bearing assessment is then preferred to explain the abnormalities seen in the gait analysis at which point management is indicated. At Back in Action Physiotherapy our titles sports physiotherapists specialize in the biomechanical assessment of gait (walking and running) and with an assessment we will help you get to the root of your problem or offer recommendations to improve your efficiency and performance.
Selecting Running Shoes:
The goal of the running shoe is to control the timing, rate, and excursion of STJ motion (where pronation and supination primarily occur) for the purpose of allowing the joints and muscles in the lower extremity to function in a range that is closer to that required for optimal shock absorption and force transmission. Depending on the gait analysis and a weight bearing and non-weight bearing foot mechanics assessment, there are a number of shoe options, which help to improve foot mechanics and reduce overall load/shock to the body. It is important to clarify that abnormal function, alignment and posture are not the primary problem, rather it is the forces behind the function that relate to injury. Although an Individual who has alignment, posture or functional abnormalities will generally break down at a quicker rate when forces are increased (as with running as it puts 3-4 times body weight through each leg), individuals may have what is considered normal foot mechanics, but the forces may be abnormally high depending on sport type, training intensity and volume also leading to injury. This necessitates an appropriate shoe with adequate function for individual foot mechanics and forces.
SUPINATORS: Foot types that under pronate – (supinators) tend to have a C-shaped foot with a high arch, a wide forefoot, and, often, a clawing of the toes which necessitates a high and wide toe box. These foot types lack shock attenuation and accommodation to terrain and thus tend to need shoes with a curved external last, which encourages flexibility, pronation and more cushioning in the midsole. Typical injuries associated with supinators are: chronic ankle sprains, heal and foot pain (plantar fasciatis/opathy, metatarsalagia), stress fractures, ITband irritation, SIJ and low back strain.
Left to Right: cushion shoe with curved last (Asics), ideal for supinators, Curved shoe with semicurved last (Brooks), Motion control shoe with straight last (Brooks), ideal for pronators
example of deformation (flexibility) along the long axis and the sagital plane generally preferred for supinators
PRONATORS: Foot types, which excessively pronate tend to require a shoe with a straight external last, and broader mid-foot shape, which encourages more stability/motion control and less pronation. These shoes often provide a compromise between motion control and cushioning by using materials that assist in shock attenuation but also incorporate motion control features such as a firm heel counter, dual density mid sole and more rigid material imbedded into the mid foot region of the midsole to facilitate greater torsional rigidity. It is also essential to observe the shoe from behind to confirm the heel is vertical and that symmetry is present from side to side. Typical injuries with overpronators are nerve compression (mortons neuroma), achilles tendonitis/opathy, shin splints, anterior knee pain (patella femoral syndrome), SIJ and low back pain.
Left to right: Shoe restricts torsional forces along the long axis and bends at the metatarsal heads but not at the mid foot
In cases where an orthotic is being used, generally a neutral shoe with no excessive stiffness in the mid foot or dual density mid sole is preferred. Additionally timely replacement of running shoes should be stressed to maintain appropriate cushioning and control. The general recommendation has been to replace shoes approximately every 300 miles or 6 months, but it is also dependant on weight, weather conditions, terrain and other factors. At Back In Action Physiotherapy our physiotherapists specialize in helping you select the appropriate foot-wear, in conjunction with Whistler’s new running store ‘Run With It,’ as well as assessing and treating running related injuries and prescribing and customizing othotics if appropriate. Let us help ‘Keep you Playing.’
Running related problems
Topics dealt with on this page are:
Stretching advice for runners
ITB (ilio-tibial band)
SyndromePlantar Fasciopathy (Plantar fasciitis) and heel pain
Stretching for Runners
Stretching is an essential part of successful running. A good stretching routine can help to minimize muscle imbalances, prevent injury, improve your exercise tolerance and running performance. The following stretching program is designed for runners who do not have any current injuries or individual stretching needs. If you have an injury, or a specific mechanical imbalance that may be holding back your running performance, your “client_company” physiotherapist can design a stretching program just for you. When is the Best Time to Stretch? When your muscles are warm and relaxed! Stretching can be done both before and after your run, but some debate continues about whether or not stretching is of benefit before you run. It ultimately depends on the type of running you are doing, whether that be a 400m sprint, a light 3 km jog or a 10km hill training run. Its important to do an active warm up before you run which means performing the type of activity you are about to do, but at a light intensity. Ballistic stretches are dynamic movements that involve swinging or bouncing and help increase your nerve conduction velocity to prepare your muscles for your race or run. Slow static stretches after your run help slow down your nerve firing rate and return your muscle activity back to baseline. If your muscles are warm and the stretching is performed correctly, then there is likely to be no harm in stretching before you run. The stretches shown below will take about 15 minutes to complete. If you can only make time to complete the program once, then the best time for stretching is after your run.
Rules for Stretching:
Ballistic stretches (bouncing stretches)Warm up the muscles first. If you want to stretch before you run, this means you’ll need to walk or jog for about 5 minutes before stretching. Actively take your muscles to end range where you feel gentle resistance but no pain, then release (light bounce).Repeat for 20-30 seconds, 3-4 times to actively stretch the muscle. Bouncing should be gentle, not vigorous to avoid a muscle strain. With each set, you can increase your velocity slightly, working up to the pace of your activity. The stretches below demonstrate the static position but can also be done as a ballistic stretch. Alternately, for muscles such as your quadriceps the ballistic stretch might involve heel kicks to your buttocks, or for hamstrings, kicking you leg up into the air. Static stretchesSlowly take your muscles to the end of their range. You will feel slight resistance in the muscle, but you should never feel pain during a stretch.Hold the stretch in a static or stable position. Do not bounce.Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds. Repeat each stretch 3-4 times.
Pronation or rolling in of the feet is very common and can lead to problems such as plantar fascitis and intrinsic muscle pain. At Back in Action Whistler Physiotherapy our experienced sports Physiotherapists can assess you for problems with over pronation. Often orthotics can greatly help with correction of this. Sometimes custom orthotics are required and sometimes an off the shelf product can be sufficient.Orthotics range from soft, semi rigid and rigid and can be found in threequarter or full length . We generally use Paris Orthotics Lab in Vancouver for our custom products. Our Physiothearpists at the Whistler practice can provide a full biomechanical foot assessment and provide you with information as to the best type of orthotic for you.Slim fit orthotics can be found for more difficult shoes and you can even have them fitted in ladies court shoes. Foot orthotics for children are commonly used to correct biomechanical faults.
ITB Syndrome (runner’s knee)
Ilio-tibial band syndrome or IT Band Syndome is commonly described as “runners knee” This is a painful knee condition which gives discomfort to runners and can interfere with their training progranmme. Located on the lateral (outside) of the knee over the epicondyle of the femur the ITB can become inflamed at its insertion point. Continual long distance running can produce inflammation as the ITB flicks across the epicondyle every time the knee bends. The ITB is a lateral stabiliser of the knee and will play a bigger part in stability when running on uneven ground or running on a continual camber of the road.
Runners knee is often experienced by people who run repeated long distances in their training. It is a repetitive strain injury or overuse injury which manifests itself in inflammation of the Ilio-tibial band insertion point on the outside of the knee. Outside knee pain or side of the knee pain will often lead to diagnosis of this condition. Marathon runners who pronate excessively or overpronate will be prone to experiencing this type of knee pain. Overpronation can cause in internal rotation rotation of the tibia (lower leg bone) which can stress the ITB.
A full biomechanical assessment is important as other causes are excessive pelvic rotation, weak gluteals and core stabilizers and hip stiffness. Continual overworking of the ITB as it attempts to stabilise the knee joint may result in tightening. This can also make the individual prone to a flicking action over the epicondyle, which can cause clicking and discomfort.
Identification and diagnosis should be easy for our experienced Physical Therapists at Back in Action Whistler Physiotherapy. However treatment regimes may differ. Soft tissue stripping out of the ITB in an attempt to lengthen the band of fascia is employed by some, together with attempts to give home stretches. Stretching this area is very difficult and needs to come from the pelvic area as the knee has little lateral movement.
Strenthening exercises may be prescibed to correct biomechanical imbalances in muscle control
Ultrasound and other electrotherapy modalities can be useful alongside a cryotherapy (ice) regime in an attempt to reduce inflammation. IMS and dry needling techniques can also be helpful in lenthening the ITB and relieving symptoms.
Common site of the pain with Plantar FascitisHeel Pain is another common running condition which can be caused by overpronating ankles. Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition affecting the bottom of the foot. It is a common cause of heel pain and is sometimes associated with a heel spur. Plantar fasciitis is the correct term to use when there is active inflammation. Plantar fasciosis is more accurate when there is no inflammation but chronic degeneration instead. can be very painful and debilitating. The pain is usually under the heel on walking/running. Pain is usually worse in the morning in the first few steps. Diagnosis can be confirmed by a sports Physician and Physiothearpist and must be differentiated from other conditions such as heel spurs or stress fractures. The painful heel is caused by the elongation of the medial arch of the foot when the ankle overpronates. Lengthening of the arch puts a stretch on the plantar fascia under the arch which is pulled away from the heel. This causes an inflammatory response resulting in heel pain.Sometimes when ‘warmed up’ running the fascia of the foot is more pliable andduring exercise able to absorb the mechanics of stretching, however when rested the fascia cools down and becomes less pliable and pulls at its insertion on the heel creating the pain. In order to treat the problem a biomechanical analsyis is needed. Our Sports Physiotherapist will assess the foot carefully. Orthotics may be prescirbed if overpronation is a problem. Taping can be used for more temporary relief of symptoms by supporting the medial arch. Other modalities such as electrotherapy may be used alongside soft tissue manipulation in an attempt to treat the fascia. Plantar Fascia stretching may be needed to reduce the stress on the underside of the foot. Strengthening is also often required. As the condition is of an inflammatory nature then icing the area is very important. This condition if left untreated may develop into a heel spur which will take much longer to deal with. Steroid injections are often sometimes prescribed by a Physicianand can be successful in pain relief however the pain often returns if the cause of the condition has not been addressed. Increases in running mileage can be a causative factors for plantar fascitis. Other causes can be excess weight gain and pregancy which puts more weight through the feet. The condition is simple enough to treat for the experienced therapist who can identify the cause of the condition.
Fit for Golf
Welcome to the ‘Back in action ‘ Sports Physiotherapy Whistler page on fit for golf!! Our Physiotherapists have training specifically for golfing injuries and have completed specific training with PGA Physiotherapists in golf screening and analysis and fitforegolf.
Back in Action Physiotherapy is located near to 4 championship golf courses. Whistler Arnold Palmer course, Trent-Jones Chateau Whistler course, Big ski golf and Niclaus North golf course.
Golf performance Screening
By assessing a “total picture” of your body and swing, we will recommend a program that will seamlessly integrate into your existing PGA or LPGA professional’s instruction to help you optimize your performance.The golf swing places the body under considerable amounts of strain that can lead to an injury. Additionally the frequently adopted golf posture leads to muscle imbalances which in turn can cause injury. Muscle imbalances can also be responsible for poor execution of skills which can cause you to slice or hook the ball.Musculo-skeletal screening identifies muscle imbalances, joint restrictions, strength deficits and muscle recruitment insufficiencies, as well as other factors hindering your performance. This enables us to provide specific exercises and treatments to correct these problems
Golf requires good flexibilty and trunk/core control. Imbalance in these factors can be both cause and effect of poor golf technique. Golfers are suceptable to injuries and dysfunction particularly in the wrist, elbow, shoulder, back and neck.Frequently, golfers experience pain on the inside of the elbow which may be due to excessively tight grip and/or poor back swing and follow through. Stretches of the hand-finger flexors may help this. Pain on the outside of the elbow is often associated with incorrect wrist action. Both conditions may also have nerve irritation.Nerve irritation may manifest as pain, pins and needles, or numbness, reduced reflexes and muscle weakness. Poor blood supply to the neural tissue is probably one of the major contributors to nerve irritation. Muscle stretches, good technique, good posture, adequate ‘warm-up’ and ‘cool-down’ may improve blood flow. Poor neural function may result in reduced reflexes which in turn predisposes a person to injury during unexpected movements. Additionally, muscle weakness and poor endurance may contribute to fatigue which can cause further muscle shortening. Regardless of the mechanism, neural irritation will lead to poor performance at golf. Exercises should includeStrengthening: deep abdominal muscles, shoulder muscles and buttock/thigh musclesstretching for the neck, back, shoulders and armsrotation mobility and stability (pref using a bar/ski pole/golf club)in the entire swing
Stretching Guide for Golf
A good stretching routine is a vital part of being a sucessful golfer. Stretching before and after play helps minimize muscle imbalances, prevent injury, improve your exercise tolerance and your performance. The stretching program below is designed for golfers who do not have any current injuries or individual stretching needs. If you have an injury, or a specific mechanical imbalance that may be holding back your golf performance, our Physiotherapists at Whistler Back in Action physiotherapy can design a stretching program just for you. Your physiotherapist at Back in Action can also teach you to train your abdominal muscles to provide the right balance of stability, flexibility, and power for your golf swing. This will help you to golf better and keep your lower back healthy.
The best time to stretch
When your muscles are warm and relaxed! Stretch after your warm-up to improve your game and prevent injuries and stretch after your round or practice session to assist your recovery. Don’t forget to arrive at the golf club well in advance of your scheduled round to allow yourself adequate time to warm up and stretch. The stretching program below will take about 15 minutes to complete. This time also doubles as mental preparation for your game.
* Warm up the muscles first. A warm up of general exercise such as walking followed by range of motion exercises for the whole body. For example arm swings, leg circles, small lunges and light practice swings. This will get the blood circulating to all parts of the body .
* Slowly take your muscles to the end of their range. You will feel light resistance in the muscle, but you should never feel pain during a stretch.* Hold the stretch in a static position. Do not bounce. This will help slow down the nerve impulses and return your muscles to a resting state.* Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds. Repeat each stretch 3-4 times
* Stretch while your muscles are still warm.* Slowly take your muscles to the end of their range. You will feel light resistance in the muscle, but you should never feel pain during a stretch.* Hold the stretch in a static position. Do not bounce. This will help slow down the nerve impulses and return your muscles to a resting state.
Pilates for Sport
At back in action physiotherapy we offer Pilates classes and individual sessions, reformer sessions and sport specific programs for rehabiliation and performance improvement. For more information on our Pilates at Back in Action please call us on (604) 962 0555 or visit our Pilates page under Services. What is Pilates?Pilates is a form of exercise, developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s, which emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility, and awareness in order to support efficient movement.Core strength is the foundation of Pilates exercise. The core muscles are the deep, internal muscles of the abdomen and back. When the core muscles are strong and doing their job, as they are trained to do in Pilates, they work in tandem with the more superficial muscles of the trunk to support the spine and movement.As you develop your core strength you develop stability throughout your entire torso. This is one of the ways Pilates helps people overcome back pain and other injuries. As the trunk is properly stabilized, pressure on the back is relieved and the body is able to move freely and efficiently.One of the best things about the Pilates method is that it works well for a wide range of people. Athletes and dancers love it, as do seniors, women rebounding from pregnancy, and people who are at various stages of physical rehabilitation.The top benefits of doing of Pilates exercise that people report are that they become stronger, longer, leaner, and more able to move with ease.
Pilates for Cycling
The seated position adopted when riding compromises your spinal alignment quite significantly. On top of this, there are common pitfalls like repetitive stress on certain muscle groups and the accompanying uneven development of muscles. Cyclists often have highly-developed legs, but often not the same sort of muscle conditioning of the upper body which can become pronounced when fatigue sets in. Regular pilates sessions will help offset time spent in the saddle while helping to improve the efficiency of your riding technique. If your core is stable, your body can devote most of its energy and power into your legs. Additionally, if your flexibility improves your risk of injury is lower and your body can recruit the proper muscle groups more efficiently.Pilates for cyclist’s focuses on balanced overall strength and flexibility of the rider and development of underused muscles, the perfect cross training! The result is a stronger, more efficient and pain free ride!
Pilates for Skiing and Snowboarding
Not only is skiing and snowboarding physically demanding, the body is often ill prepared (especially at the start of the winter season) for the sudden change in muscles used for both sports. Even if you ski and snowboard all season, your body needs adequate time to prepare for the demands. The biggest physical challenge is to the legs and lower back. If you are a beginner, you may spend a lot of time picking yourself up and work those upper back and arm muscle also. A well balanced pilates routine will strengthen those muscles needed for the sport and develop your core to support correct muscle use so you can ski/snowboard for longer, harder and stronger!! Pilates helps you to organize your movement from the center out. The result is a stronger and more adaptable skier with improved body awareness and proprioception. By practicing Pilates, you can develop a strong core, improved balance, and agility. A strong core, coupled with improved alignment, will also reduce impact on your back, hips, and knees. As a result, you can becomes energy efficient and reduce wear and tear on your joints. Once this has happened the possibilities for you to become an infinitely stronger and skilled skier or snowboarder are endless.
Pilates for Running
Running is one of the most natural physical activities our bodies are designed for. It is a great exercise to keep in shape, work your heart and lungs and tone your whole body. The main issues that usually arise are due to poor technique which Pilates can help improve. Correct use of your core, posture and breathing are all fantastic training for improving your running.
At back in action physiotherapy we offer Pilates classes and individual sessions, reformer sessions and sport specific programs for rehabiliation and performance improvement.
What is Pilates?Pilates is a form of exercise, developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s, which emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility, and awareness in order to support efficient movement.Core strength is the foundation of Pilates exercise. The core muscles are the deep, internal muscles of the abdomen and back. When the core muscles are strong and doing their job, as they are trained to do in Pilates, they work in tandem with the more superficial muscles of the trunk to support the spine and movement.As you develop your core strength you develop stability throughout your entire torso. This is one of the ways Pilates helps people overcome back pain and other injuries. As the trunk is properly stabilized, pressure on the back is relieved and the body is able to move freely and efficiently.One of the best things about the Pilates method is that it works well for a wide range of people. Athletes and dancers love it, as do seniors, women rebounding from pregnancy, and people who are at various stages of physical rehabilitation.The top benefits of doing of Pilates exercise that people report are that they become stronger, longer, leaner, and more able to move with ease.
The Pilates Principles Exercise using “The Pilates Principles” condition the entire body, the following is an overview of the principles used:
Correct postural alignment of the skeletal structure is crucial to the practice of Pilates, not only to get the best out of the exercise, but also to prevent injury. Achieving optimal alignment starts with positioning the pelvis, ribcage, shoulder girdle, and head in a neutral alignment with respect to each other, and then utilizing all the stabilization muscles to maintain that alignment while performing the exercises. Correct alignment in Pilates also means limiting range of motion of the appendages so as to not push the joints beyond where the ligaments and connective tissue are strained.
Circulating blood helps awaken cells in the body and carry away the wastes related to fatigue. For the blood to do its work properly, it has to be charged with oxygen and purged of waste gases through proper breathing. Pilates breathing should be done with concentration, control, and precision. Proper and effective breathing, not only oxygenates the muscles, but also reduces tension in the upper neck and shoulders. Pilates attempts to properly coordinate this breathing practice with movement, including breathing instructions with every exercise.
The large group of muscles in the center of the body – encompassing the abdomen, lower back, hips, and buttocks in Pilates is known as the “powerhouse.” All energy for Pilates exercises is said to begin from the powerhouse and flow outward to the limbs. In other words, the Pilates technique asserts that physical energy exerted from the center should coordinate movements of the extremities. Pilates felt that it was important to build a strong powerhouse in order to rely on it in daily living. Today the powerhouse is often called “The Core.”
Pilates demands intense focus. Beginners are instructed to pay careful attention to their bodies, building on very small, delicate fundamental movements and controlled breathing.
Pilates is built on a method of muscle control to avoid sloppy, uncontrolled movements.
Every movement in the Pilates method has a purpose. Every instruction is considered vitally important to the success of the whole. The focus is on doing one precise and perfect movement, rather than many halfhearted ones. The goal is for this precision to eventually become second nature, and carry over into everyday life.
Flow or efficiency of movement
Movement is expected to be kept continuous between exercises through the use of appropriate transitions. Once precision has been achieved, the exercises are intended to flow within and into each other in order to build strength and stamina.
FlexibilityIn Pilates, we work toward a safe increase in length and stretch of the muscles and range of motion within the joints.
Great reasons to do Pilates:
Pilates is Whole-Body FitnessUnlike some forms of exercise, Pilates does not over-develop some parts of the body and neglect others. While Pilates training focuses on core strength, it trains the body as an integrated whole. Pilates workouts promote strength and balanced muscle development as well as flexibility and increased range of motion for the joints.Attention to core support and full-body fitness — including the breath and the mind — provide a level of integrative fitness that is hard to find elsewhere. It is also the reason that Pilates is so popular in rehabilitative scenarios, as well as with athletes who find that Pilates is a great foundation for any other kind of movement practice they do.
Adaptable to Many Fitness Levels and Needs
Whether you are a just starting to exercise, an elite athlete or somewhere in between, the foundations of Pilates movement apply to you. Building from core strength, focusing on proper alignment, and a body/mind integrative approach make Pilates accessible to all. With thousands of possible exercises and modifications, Pilates workouts can be tailored to individual needs.
Creates Strength Without Bulk
Long, lean muscles are the name of the game here. In Pilates, we are not looking to build muscles for show. We are building toned muscles that work perfectly within the context of the body as a whole, and the functional fitness needs of a person as they move through life. One of the ways that Pilates creates long, strong muscles is by taking advantage of a type of muscle contraction called an eccentric contraction.
Develops Core Strength
The core muscles of the body are the deep muscles of the back, abdomen, and pelvic floor. These are the muscles we rely on to support a strong, supple back, good posture, and efficient movement patterns. When the core is strong, the frame of the body is supported. This means the neck and shoulders can relax, and the rest of the muscles and joints are freed to do their jobs — and not more. A nice side benefit is that the core training promotes the flat abs that we all covet.
Good posture is a reflection good alignment supported by a strong core. It is a position from which one can move freely. Starting with Pilates movement fundamentals and moving through mat and equipment exercises, Pilates trains the body to express itself with strength and harmony.
It might seem like a paradox, but the more you exercise, the more energy you have and the more you feel like doing (to a point, of course). Pilates gets the breath and circulation moving, stimulates the spine and muscles, and floods the body with the good feelings one gets from exercising the whole body.
Promotes Weight Loss and Long,
Lean Appearance If you practice Pilates regularly, it will change your body. Known for creating long, strong muscles and a leaner look; Pilates improves muscle tone, balances musculature, supports beautiful posture, and teaches you to move with ease and grace. All of these things will make you look and feel very fit.
Increases Awareness – Body/Mind Connection
Joseph Pilates was adamant that Pilates, was about “the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.” This is one of the secrets of Pilates exercise: we practice each movement with total attention. When we exercise in this way, the body and mind unite to bring forth the most benefit possible from each exercise. The Pilates principles — centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow — are key concepts that we use to integrate body and mind.