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.
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.
New research involving the Pilates centering technique will be of particular interest to Pilates pros and other instructors who emphasize engaging core muscles while doing exercises that challenge arm and/or leg movements.
“Pilates has changed,” says Nora St. John, MS, education program director for Balanced Body®.
Today, she explains, many Pilates teachers are well educated in biomechanics. “An understanding of both anatomy and the mind-body connection makes you a better teacher and certainly a better problem solver.
“In the best situation, Pilates is taught with the idea of, ‘Who is the client in front of me? What are his or her goals? How can I use this environment to help the client achieve those goals?’ I think this is a good contemporary view of Pilates.”
If you’re working with clients with chronic neck pain, let them know that a consistent mat-based Pilates program may offer hope of pain relief and improved functionality. The incidence of chronic neck pain is on the rise, especially among older women. Currently, clinicians lack general consensus on what type of exercise program manages this condition most effectively.
With Pilates still enjoying widespread popularity, certain doctors are encouraged that this training method may benefit women during breast cancer recovery and survival. Research shows that physical activity helps breast cancer survivors improve quality of life (QOL), mood, fatigue, body image and fitness. A team of medical doctors and surgeons, a psychologist, physical therapists, nurse educators and Pilates instructors from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, conducted a pilot study to evaluate the feasibility of doing Pilates exercises after mastectomy.
Dispelling Myths With Great Instruction
“‘Pilates is mostly for women.’ Because of this myth, we work hard to make sure our men’s class is outstanding. We designed it to enhance running, cycling and surfing, and all of our men comment on how the class has positively impacted their sport. It’s fantastic to see strong men get blown away by the subtle posture corrections and use of the core muscles. By the end of a session, they are sweating and high-fiving us for a great workout.newsletter_teaser: What can you do to counteract the many common misconceptions about Pilates? We asked instructors to list the Pilates myths they encounter most frequently and to share their ideas on how to counteract false perceptions.