posture

Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer & Fitness Studio

8 Benefits of Pilates

Pilates can be summed up in three words – Stretch, Strength and Control – and the incredible benefits of Pilates are plenty. Pilates & Co. instructor Rafael shares his top eight…

I truly believe that movement is magical and can transform our lives. As long-time student and instructor of the practice or Pilates, I want everyone to know and understand the benefits.

“Good Posture can be successfully acquired only when the entire mechanism of the body is under perfect control” – Joseph Pilates, The Master

As Joe so often said to his students: “Pilates is not only about strength and flexibility, Pilates is about control”. I believe we must first understand our movements, joints, muscles from inside-out, so we can move them gracefully to perform controlled and completed movements.

“You can say what Pilates is in three words – Stretch with Strength and Control. And the control part is the most important because that makes you use your mind.” – Romana Kryzanowska, Joe’s student.

Pilates is a mind-body method, which challenges not only your body but also your mind and that’s where the magic lies.

It takes every part of your mind to be aware of where your body is in space. At the end of your Pilates session, you say hello to a calm and mindful you.

Sometimes in my classes, I like to ask my students to close their eyes and visualize their body, connections, opposition movements and powerhouse to get the better engagement of their whole body and also improve awareness of body, which in my opinion one of the most important fundamentals of Pilates and the key to progress.

Not convinced of Pilates’ magic yet? Here are my top eight reasons it is the best exercise to practice…

 

Benefits of Pilates

#1 Pilates is whole-body workout

You are only one, not divided into parts, so why not activate your whole-body to do one single movement? That’s what Pilates does.

#2 Pilates suits everyone

You could be 7 years old or you could be 90 years old.

#3 Pilates improves strength

Long, lean muscles are created to move through life.

#4 It builds core strength (or the powerhouse)

The powerhouse, or core, can be described as the area from the bottom of the rib cage to a line across the hip joints in the front and to the base of the buttocks in the back. When the core is strong, the frame of the body is supported.

#5 Pilates promotes flexibility safely

In the practice of Pilates, flexibility is safely increased in lengthening and stretching the muscles and through a range of motion within the joints, using opposite movement to get better length.

#6 Pilates improves posture

Using the deep core muscles of the powerhouse – the abdominals, back, and pelvic floor – to support our posture allows the shoulders to relax, the neck and head to move freely, and relieves stress on the hips, legs, and feet.

#7 Pilates increases energy

Pilates gets the breath and circulation moving, stimulates the spine and muscles, and floods the body with the good feelings one gets from exercising the whole body.

#8 Pilates increases your awareness of body

The Pilates principles – centring, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow – are key concepts that we use to integrate body and mind.

Did you know? Pilates method was originally called Contrology, “the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.”

 

More reasons to do Pilates

They were eight great reasons, but here are a few more just to seal the deal. Pilates can be a wonderful way to help you change poor habits. Everything that you learn about your body with the Pilates Method can be applied to both your everyday life and other fitness activities. Pilates is a fabulous complement to any sport or method of movement because it balances the body and strengthens stabilising muscles.

As an experienced Pilates Instructor I can say that Pilates Method is fluid, so take your time. It is not a competition. It is a gradual way to progress and challenge your body. Everyone has their own challenge and pace to control the movements. So always trust on your Powerhouse and you will be more confident in your life and everyday activities. I would love to see you in one of my classes to experience the magic that classic Pilates is all about!

 

Rafael is a classical Pilates instructor, teaching nearly a decade and most of his professional background was developed in Brazil, his home country. He experienced the introduction of Pilates in Brazil and helped to spread the word of its benefits and success. His passion for Pilates grew so much as he accompanied the development of his students as they improved their movements with grace and control.

Catch Rafael teaching the classical Pilates method on Tuesday and Friday mornings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pilates & Co Pilates Reformer Fitness Studio Gold Coast

Pilates and Posture 101

Pilates is great for posture, but it’s goo to know your postural type in order to benefit your practice.

Do You Know Your Postural Type?

 

The spine…it’s a beautiful structure, designed to support our bodies throughout life is segmented into 3 sections –

  1. Cervical with 7 smaller, finer vertebra with a slight concave shape
  2. Thoracic with 12 vertebrae with a slight convex shape
  3. Lumbar with 5 larger, more robust vertebra with a slight concave shape

spine-4-views

Attached to the lumbar spine is the pelvic girdle, consisting of the sacrum, coccyx (tailbone) and the pelvic bones. Your posture type is based on a group of muscle imbalances which change the shape of the spine and pelvis.

A normal or ‘ideal’ posture is desirable however our curves are all a little different based on our movement patterns, lifestyle, hereditary factors, stress levels and personality. Pilates is amazing at addressing postural imbalance in the body which in turn can release pain and improve quality of life. Knowing what postural type you are can help you to work more effectively in your Pilates sessions to help improve your posture.

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-11-56-17-am

SWAYBACK POSTURE

Sway Backs generally need to strengthen

  • lower external obliques
  • hip flexors
  • mid and low trapezius

Sway Backs generally need to lengthen

  • pectorals (especially pec minor)
  • glutes
  • upper abdominals
  • hamstrings
  • SCM (sternocleidomastoid)

Pilates exercises perfect for you are – 

Roll Over, Breast Stroke Prep, Swan dive, salute, open elbows, toe taps, front splits

 

FLAT BACK POSTURE

Flat Backs generally need to strengthen

  • upper abdominals
  • hip flexors
  • lower back extensors

Flat Backs generally need to lengthen

  • lower abdominals
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • upper back

Pilates exercises perfect for you are –

front splits, ab prep, short spine, cat stretch, supine psoas pull

 

MILITARY POSTURE

Militaries generally need to strengthen

  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • upper and lower abs

Militaries generally need to lengthen

  • upper back
  • lower back
  • hip flexors

Pilates exercises perfect for you are –

front splits, side leg work, supine psoas pull, ab prep

 

KYPHOSIS LORDOSIS POSTURE

K/L’s generally need to strengthen

  • lower abs
  • upper back
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • mid and low trapezius

K/L’s generally need to lengthen

  • lower back
  • upper back
  • hip flexors

Pilates exercises perfect for you are –

side leg work, toe taps, back rowing, front splits

It can be tricky to assess yourself! If you’d like to get a little more in-depth on your posture type and how to improve it, book a one on one appointment for an individual assessment.

 

Sources:
Bender, R. (2013) Breathe Pilates Mat and Reformer Applications Vol 1 & 2. Melbourne, VIC.
Kendall, H. (2005) Muscles: Testing and Function with Posture and Pain. Philadelphia, PA.

 

Belinda Survilla is the Pilates & Co. studio manager and takes regular classes at the Miami studio, including orientation for new members.

Osteopathy Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer & Fitness Studio

Benefits of Osteopathy: Good to the Bone

Along with Pilates, another amazing modality to assist in pain relief and getting you on the road to recovery is Osteopathy. In fact, the benefits of osteopathy are plentiful, so we thought we’d talk to a pro about how the practice works. One of the best Osteopaths on the Gold Coast is Tracey Spruyt from Osteozone. Pilates & Co‘s Belinda Survilla asked Tracey about what it is that she does and how she does it.

The thing I’ve come to learn is that the majority of us all have injuries. From issues that might cause infrequent discomfort to injuries that are a constant pain in the neck. Many of you love Pilates because of the support it offers, strengthening the small stabilising muscles and the bigger supporting muscles allowing greater movement, strength, and flexibility.

 

P&C: What does an Osteopath do? 

Tracey: An Osteopath specialises in musculoskeletal medicine and treats a range of conditions and injuries through manual treatment and exercise.  The key complaints I see in practice are chronic lower back pain with sciatic symptoms, neck pain, headaches and migraines, sporting injuries including rotator cuff and shoulder impingements, tennis elbow, ankle sprains and knee pain due to muscle instability and weakness.

 

P&C: What would a general Osteopath appointment involve?

Tracey: The Osteopathic appointment (45min consult) includes a brief discussion of the patients presenting injury or condition, including the patient’s history and other pre-existing conditions.  The majority of the consultation is comprised of manual therapy to alleviate the patient’s pain symptoms, and prescription of simple exercises and advice such as ergonomics to prevent further injury.

 

P&C: Who can benefit from seeing an osteopath?

Tracey: Those who suffer from acute or chronic musculoskeletal pain as a result of sporting injuries, poor posture or ergonomics, pregnancy or post-pregnancy, overuse injuries, or stress and anxiety.  People of all ages can benefit from Osteopathic treatment, particularly those with a sports background or those wishing to increase or return to an active lifestyle.

 

P&C: How hands-on are you with clients? 

Tracey: As an Osteopath, manual therapy is the key component of the treatment which is individualised to the patient’s specific injury or condition. The types of hands-on techniques include soft tissue manipulation, articular mobilisation, stretching, balancing, dry needling and sports Kinesio taping.

P&C: How do you feel Pilates and Osteopathy work together?

Tracey: I believe that Pilates is an amazing adjunct to Osteopathic treatment as it addresses many of the muscle imbalances and weakness (especially core stability) which I see in practice every day.  Osteopathy can also benefit those who practice Pilates by addressing muscle tension and articular restrictions which may cause pain or repetitive strains.

 

Belinda Survilla is the Pilates & Co. studio manager and takes regular classes at the Miami studio, including orientation for new members.