Exercise smart with Pilates
When most people think of injuries, they're wondering how to recover after incurring one. What's less common is to take the initiative to perform those activities that actually prevent injuries from occurring in the first place.
Halle Clarke, a highly respected Pilates instructor and Zeel Expert, is no stranger to injury. A former dancer, Halle has experienced and recovered from multiple injuries throughout her career, lending to her current fascination with anatomy, muscle coordination, neuromuscular re-patterning and all that scientific jazz.
At Mongoose Bodyworks, her private Soho-based studio, Halle doesn't merely help clients recover from injury; she goes one step further, equipping them with the right tools to avoid future injuries too. Here's how Pilates can be integral in doing so.
Increased body awareness. Pilates enhances an individual's sense of alignment and body awareness. There's a constant intention throughout the practice to create physical awareness, and that awareness teaches a person to move with greater ease, to sit more efficiently and to develop patterns that require less muscular strain. By increasing body awareness, you ultimately create less discomfort in daily life.
Balancing muscles and joints. In a technical way, Pilates aims to balance the muscles around the joints so that one muscle group doesn't dominate over another. For example, a person that spends all day sitting at a desk will tend to develop short, tight and possibly weak hip flexors. This alone puts a lot of strain on the hip sockets and low back.
In this case, a Pilates teacher wouldn't only do the obvious, which is to stretch the hip flexors, but they would also focus on how to teach the client to properly engage other muscles in the hip, like the posterior hip, glutes and hamstring, to balance this habitual shortening of the hip flexors. That's one of the key elements that helps with injury prevention.
Simple home remedies. The lessons don't end once you leave Halle's studio. She gives us DIY home remedies for injury prevention that can be utilized after and in between sessions. First, be sure to take breaks from sitting. Next, make sure that you engage in stretches that target the hip flexors. And finally, perform simple exercises for the glutes and hamstrings daily to continually reinforce these injury-prone regions.
For personalized Pilates instruction and fitness advice, book an appointment with Halle on Zeel.