What is Pilates?
Pilates is a form of low-impact exercise that aims to strengthen muscles while improving postural alignment and flexibility. It was discovered by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s to optimize physical fitness in people at every level of physical ability. To name a few, the benefits of Pilates includes improved postural awareness, improved overall muscle and core strength and reduced stress and pain.
So, what is the difference between regular Pilates and Rehab Pilates?
- Usually done by an instructor or Personal Trainer who are Pilates trained
- No individualized exercise programs
- Suitable for improving overall core strength, fitness and flexibility
- Usually larger group classes
- Done by a health practitioner (i.e. Physical Therapist, Physiotherapist or similarly recognized health care professional)
- Individualized exercise programs based on individual’s specific injuries (i.e. chronic back pain, knee injury etc.) and physical needs
- Full assessment is done on initial consultation to assess injury history, body’s preferred movement pattern and limitations and goals
- Physiotherapytreatment can be incorporated into the program
- Specific changes can be made to modify the Rehab Pilates program if an injury flares up based on Physiotherapy knowledge
- Ideal rehabilitation for post-surgery, injury, or pregnancy and minimizing pain by correcting poor body mechanics
- Private to small group sessions
Pilates is like yoga.
While both encourages a mind-body connection during the workout, each have different approach and principals such as different breathing styles and different exercises movements. Besides that, Yoga requires moving from one static posture to another static posture, whereas Pilates flows through a series of movements which are more dynamic. And in contrast to Yoga practice, Pilates uses different equipment (eg: Reformer, Chair, Cadillac etc.) in their workout in addition to the mat-based work.
Pilates is easy
Pilates is only easy if you are not doing the exercise properly. In Pilates, you have to apply the principles of proper breathing along with good muscle control and body alignment during the workout. The workout engages the deepest core muscles, which challenges not only your core strength, but balance and coordination as well. You will need to understand the movements to do them properly and get the most benefit out of it. The ability to modify the exercises to different population is actually one of the greatest strengths of Pilates.
You have to be flexible to do Pilates
Flexibility is an inherent part of Pilates, the more you do the more flexible you can be. Pilates workout aims to improve core conditioning working on joint stability towards a balance of strength and flexibility. Pilates workout can be customized to suit each individual’s flexibility level.
Article contributed by our Senior Rehab Therapist Sharon Yeoh