Pilates is a universal fitness regimen that can benefit the healthy and the injured, the young and the old, and of course, men and women. Over time, chronic lower abdominal weakness and unbalanced workout routines can manifest themselves through such symptoms as back pain, instability, and inflexibility, especially in the hamstring. Pilates addresses core strengthening and stretching principles, both of which are an effective way to prevent and treat injuries.
Many of my clients sit all week in a chair or car or plane; then on the weekends they play a sport, tennis, soccer, golf, which requires them to move side to side and twist. The result is often a pulled groins, hurt knees, and strained backs. Pilates teaches men and women how to stabilize their center first by strengthen their lower abdominal muscles which are often overlooked with the regular sit up performed at the gym. This then allows men and women to move their legs and arms on a stable body, to play sports or take something heavy off the top shelf, while firing strong core muscles that, in turn, support and protect the back. The body awareness that is developed in Pilates is so different from what one acquires in with a typical gym workout; this heightened awareness often translates into less injuries sustained during weekend sports.
Both professional athletes and weekend warriors can wind up hurting themselves from simply not having the knowledge of how to engage the right muscles to move more efficiently. Whether your goal is to address a sustained injury, pain, or improve physique, strength and flexibility, Pilates is an effective way to accomplish all of the above.