Monday, June 8, 2009

The Pain in the Neck with Pilates

There is no doubt that the popularity of Pilates as a form of exercise has grown over the past 10 years. With its fluid and sleek movements, this type of exercise (firstly developed by Josef Pilates) has attracted many females that yearn for “toned” muscle lines. From my observation, Pilates consists of long and short level postural movements (both isometric and concentric/eccentric) that challenge stability, balance, and overall muscular endurance. But with most group exercise programs, it lacks a pre-workout assessment carried by a fitness professional with a keen eye in biomechanics.

Most group exercise instructors are pre-occupied with maintaining rapport with participants, finding music, and correcting “obvious flaws” in choreography. “Obvious flaws” are typically thought of as purposeful—whereas the participant is using flawed movements because they are not adhering to the instruction or simply cannot perform it because of a low fitness level. What most participants, as well as some instructors, don’t understand is the fact that flawed movements are caused by biomechanical dysfunctions precipitated through poor posture, poor exercise techniques, and myofascia disruption (adhesions, scar tissue, injuries, etc). Ultimately, most flawed movements are executed subconsciously from physical limitation—not from lack of cognitive reception.

For this article, I will take one Pilates movement which I have seen practiced relentlessly inside everyday Pilates classes and ab exercise programs: The Hundred. What this article will uncover is the detrimental effects the Hundred may have on ensuing postural distortions if not properly progressed or instructed effectively.
Read my entire article in here.

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