Each piece of Pilates equipment has its own set of specific exercises. Even the mat work addresses the core muscles from front to back, side to side, and rotational with very intentional and precise movement patterns. One simple abdominal contraction can morph into 50 different ways to make the contraction happen.
Lying down and scissoring the legs with feet in straps or circling the arms with hands in loops allows the joints to operate in all three planes of motion with as much or as little support as you need. Anchoring the trunk in place makes the abdominal muscles work hard while the limbs are doing their thing. Thus, a whole body workout is accomplished with one simple movement pattern.
Work on the springs can easily be adapted to simulate activities like biking, golfing or swimming.
Speed and power aren’t always the whole story to fitness. The race isn’t always to the swift and strong. The importance of posture, fluid motion and balance are undeniable in terms of aging gracefully. Last year, one of my clients (84 years old) said she wouldn’t get any exercise if it weren’t for being able to lie down on the Pilates reformer or trapeze table.
Exercising the upper body or lower body alone to the exclusion of the other creates muscle imbalances that may leave half the body strong and the other half weak, subjecting us to strains and injuries that may take days or weeks of recovery. Think whole-body-strong for strength that is evident in the ease of bending and stooping, walking the park, doing laundry, making the bed, swinging a golf club, slamming a tennis racquet, or carrying luggage.
Private lessons on the Pilates reformer are available for Sun Lakes residents by appointment. Call Linda for any questions at 480-721-0493.