Frequently Asked Pilates Questions
Pilates is a style of exercise named after its creator – Joseph Pilates. The idea behind Pilates is to create more stability through the body – that is, making core muscles stronger through working more efficiently. This is different to the type of training done at a gym which is called rigidity training – increasing strength and power.
What are your core muscles & Why improve them?
These are comprised of transversus abdominus and multifidus and when working well, they will improve the stability of the trunk which then improves how the rest of your body moves. This improves your performance of daily activities and sports performance and reduces your injury risk.
Why do Be Your Best Physios remind Pilates participants to choose easier options in class?
In Pilates, your core muscles should work below their maximum effort. People often fall into the trap of over activating their core muscles and recruiting other accessory muscles to perform harder exercises – but this does not improve core stability efficiency. By choosing easier exercises, performed perfectly, there is a greater improvement in core control.
Clinical Pilates is taken by a Pilates-trained physiotherapist whereas other variations of Pilates can be taken by someone who has completed a course. Because of this, clinical Pilates can be completed by people with a wide range of injuries as our Physios understand how the body moves, what movements can make injuries worse, and what movements will help you get better.
Clinical Pilates is also completed on a Pilates reformer; the advantage of this is that the reformer can be used to make exercises easier or harder – that’s why here at Be Your Best, we are able to take pregnant and post- natal women as well as people recovering from injuries in our classes!
How is yoga different?
Yoga is a type of exercise derived from traditional Indian and Himalayan practices. There are many different types of yoga, and each teacher will have their own style too. Hatha, Bikram (hot yoga), Vinyasa, Power and Ashtanga are the most common styles. We believe it works on the theory that the body, breath and mind need to work in union to create feelings of happiness, self-awareness and health.
Most yoga styles focus on improving flexibility and not as focused on improving core control. Therefore, if you have an injury or deficiencies in muscle strength, Pilates may be the better form of exercise to begin with. In you are wanting to improve your flexibility and create a strong connection between mind and body, yoga may be best.
Often people who consider themselves very flexible, however have aches and pains, and suffer from a condition called Joint Hypermobility Syndrome. This means your ligaments and connective tissues stretch more than average which can put more strain on your joints. People with Joint Hypermobility need to be very careful completing yoga as it may exacerbate symptoms, if performed poorly. If you are unsure of whether you have this condition, book an appointment with any of our physiotherapists and we can assess and address any concerns you may have.