Each year, Americans watch as the latest fitness craze roars into their local gyms, offering a flashy new spin to exercising with a trademarked line of merchandise in tow, and then slowly receding in popularity over the next 2 to 3 years as a yet newer craze comes along. Once in awhile, though, a fitness method transcends the hysteria of a workout craze, building a devout following that stretches way beyond a few months in the spotlight. One such fitness phenomenon has been Pilates, which was developed in the early 20th Century by Joseph Pilates and continues to make headlines for it’s many transforming qualities.
Part of what continues to fuel Pilates’ growth in popularity is it’s many applications- offering an intense training regiment for athletes and dancers, rehabilitation for injuries or post-pregnancy, soothing arthritis for seniors, or just offering the chance to achieve a flat stomach for bikini season. We had the chance to learn more about Pilates many healing properties from local expert Vicki Cross who owns the popular Flip Dog Pilates in Lahaska:
Pilates for athletes:
Pilates training focuses heavily on strengthening core muscles, building endurance, and increasing flexibility, which makes it a superb training supplement for men and women athletes of all ages and builds. 2012 Olympic athletes including volleyball player Misty May-Treanor, track and field hurdler Bershawn Jackson, and swimmer Natalie Coughlin all use Pilates to supplement their training regimens.
Since pilates promotes flexibility, it can help reduce the chance of on the field injuries, and its low-impact nature means that practitioners are less likely to be injured while training, a vital consideration for athletes who can’t afford to be hurt during their sport’s season. Vicki explained that at Flip Dog Pilates, small class sizes ensure that individual needs will be addressed each class, especially when using bed-Pilates, specially designed “reformer” beds to tailor each trainee’s experience to best meet the challenges of their individual sports.
Pilates for Rehabilitation & Arthritis:
Pilates was originally designed by Joseph Pilates, who actually worked with rehabilitating patients suffering from diseases and injuries,so it’s no surprise that it is now frequently practiced in physical therapists offices. A solid Pilate’s routine is based on core strengthening, joint flexibility, muscle elongation, posture, and balance, which are also the basic principals in joint rehabilitation from orthopedic injuries. When rehabbing common orthopedic problems, the goal at Flip Dog Pilates is to restore fluid movement of the problem joint by using basic Pilate’s stretches and exercises. Flip Dog Pilates focuses on achieving perfect form in order to help a client gain strength in the weak or injured joints and muscles and also focuses on developing the small muscle groups, which support our musculoskeletal system. In addition, a focus on mind/body awareness and balance allows practitioners to gain better muscular control for everyday living.
Pilates to a Perfect Tennis Swing and Golf Stroke:
Vigorous golf swings or tennis strokes require strength, timing and balance which result from having a strong core with proper form. If the core muscles are weak or not used properly, the body works inefficiently, and both tennis and golf players generally have muscular imbalances between their dominant and non-dominant side. These muscular imbalances may lead to injuries of the back, shoulders, neck and elbows. Pilates helps the player develop balanced muscles for better spinal rotation and alignment.
Flip Dog Pilates increases flexibility and stability to the Spine/Core, helping to reduce back injuries, and strengthens the shoulder girdle and arms to intensify stoke power. Adding proper breathing techniques enhance concentration, therefore making the mind/body connection and reducing stress.
Appealing to all levels of fitness and providing long-lasting results, Pilates has transcended the many fitness crazes of the past century and continues to gain popularity across the world. In Bucks County, Flip Dog Pilates focuses on proven contemporary methods of Pilates to increase flexibility and strength for the entire body through a series of precise and controlled graceful movements, which engages both the body and mind. Their contained Pilates classes and private lesson optons allow Vicki and their staff to focus on the diverse needs of students.
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