August 25, 2006

Pilates Centering

In previous posts we have talked about human movement as subtle coordinations between some joints mobility and dynamic stabilization of other parts of the body. On the quality of these coordinations, depends the functionality of our movements, our health and wellbeing. This allows us to introduce a new key element of the method:

The centering: Effectively, the Pilates Method integrates completely these natural laws in a body educating perspective.

Its creator, Joseph Pilates discovered the importance of building a strength center from which flow the movement towards the periphery (i.e. to move an arm, the head, etc.).

This center called Powerhouse is formed by the muscles just below the waist, around the pelvis. We know now, through recent studies, that even the precision hand movements (as the musician’s or the ones that allow us to write) need the active participation of the pelvic muscles, real fundament of movement. It’s related to the search of center in the oriental martial arts, which have understood this principle, years ago.

It’s for this that Pilate’s exercises start with the pelvic related muscles (abdominal, lumbar, hip and buttock muscles). To develop all of these completely, and in a balanced way, it's required a very precised work. The deeper muscles, and thus, the most difficult to work out, need a particular approach: their weaknesses or overloading may unchain pains and disturbs of the muscular-joint system.
A research done in Australia has proven the correlation between the lumbar area and the development of the deeper abdominals (transverse and traverse), when the most common thing wads developing the most shallow (the rectum) in detriment of the others.

This Pilates principle comes from the 80’s and is the base of the use and success of the Pilates method in physiotherapy.


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