“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness,” posited Joseph Pilates in his book Return to Life Through Contrology, first published in 1945. A recent observational study of Pilates practitioners provides support for his position.
Does Pilates—with its emphasis on precision, concentration and memorization of movement patterns—enhance brain function as well as physical function? Scientists from Yanshan University in Qinhuangdao, China, and Beijing Normal University in Beijing wanted to find out.
Pilates continues to grow in popularity, and its practice is now familiar to people around the world, with studios throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Enthusiastic marketers may claim that Pilates can solve everything from weight issues to problems in the bed- room, but we serve our clients well when we educate them about benefits of Pilates training that are validated by scientific consensus.
Many Pilates clients want to develop lower-body strength and definition, and the reformer is a perfect piece of equipment to help them meet this goal. Strong hamstrings, gluteals, quadriceps, adductors and abductors provide power for athletic moves and functional activities.
newsletter_teaser: Many Pilates clients want to develop lower-body strength and definition, and the reformer is a perfect piece of equipment to help them meet this goal. Strong hamstrings, gluteals, quadriceps, adductors and abductors provide power for athletic moves and functional activities.
Pilates practice may help people with ankylosing spondylitis to improve functional capacity, reports a study published in Rheumatology International (2012; 32 (7), 2093–99; doi: 10.1007/s00296-011-1932-9).
AS is a chronic, inflammatory disorder characterized by pain and stiffness of the back and the sacroiliac joints, but it can also affect peripheral joints like the shoulder, hip, knee and ankle. Over time, breathing becomes increasingly difficult, and affected joints eventually lose all mobility.
IDEA member and fitness and Pilates consultant and instructor Kevin Bowen, based in Denver, has created a Pilates mat and equipment program to address the specific needs of men in their 40s, 50s and beyond, while also educating Pilates instructors about these requirements.
Bowen believes that Pilates is an ideal method of training for men in these age brackets, but he emphasizes that a program geared to the “prime male” must target a man’s changing body and his psyche.
Breast cancer survivors may effectively improve muscle endurance with Pilates chair training, which may have advantages over traditional resistance training since the chair requires less space, can be less expensive and may be more enjoyable for some people.
Pilates instructors who emphasize good form and movement quality through use of “dynamic imagery” cues have more evidence to share with clients about the effectiveness of this cuing style.
High jumpers who used imagery depicting perfect form while performing an actual jump improved their movement quality in a small study. This preliminary evidence provides support for the theory that dynamic imagery—the use of imagery while a movement is being
executed—may be a valuable addition
to training for complex motor skills.