Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Michael Der­man­sky

Are all Pi­lates classes the same?

Pi­lates is in de­mand and some­thing peo­ple look for when join­ing a gym, but it’s hard for group in­struc­tors at the gym to pro­vide a personalised pro­gram to many par­tic­i­pates. So, how do you re­ceive the real ben­e­fit from a Pi­lates pro­gram?

Pi­lates ex­er­cises are much more a prin­ci­ple, than do­ing a spe­cific ex­er­cise or us­ing a spe­cific ma­chine. The Pi­lates ex­er­cise equip­ment, the Pi­lates re­former is a tool, just as any other piece of ex­er­cise equip­ment. The choice of ex­er­cises and how you do the ex­er­cises will make a dif­fer­ence as to whether the ex­er­cises are ef­fec­tive for you.

What is the best way to start on this pro­gram?

Start an in­di­vid­ual pro­gram with a qual­i­fied Pi­lates in­struc­tor or ideally a health pro­fes­sional, phys­io­ther­a­pist or ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist trained in clin­i­cal Pi­lates. They will as­sess your in­di­vid­ual needs, check­ing your joints, mus­cles to de­ter­mine your strengths and weak­nesses. It is im­por­tant to check ini­tially with your lo­cal doc­tor to have a health risk as­sess­ment when­ever you com­mence a new ex­er­cise pro­gram.

The best pro­grams will have the fol­low­ing el­e­ments: 1. Your in­di­vid­ual needs.

Each ex­er­cise will be based on your needs, ad­dress­ing the ar­eas in your body that need strength­en­ing.

2. What is the de­sired out­come?

A good pro­gram will in­volve ex­er­cises ad­dress­ing th­ese needs for your best out­come.

3. Dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the body will be checked.

It may not just be your core that needs to be strength­ened. In fact, it may be weak gluteal mus­cles (the group of three mus­cles which make up the but­tocks) or poor up­per body pos­tural mus­cles.

4. Tech­nique and con­trol.

You will be taught good tech­nique and con­trol un­der su­per­vi­sion to en­sure you are do­ing the ex­er­cise prop­erly.

5. Su­per­vi­sion.

Su­per­vi­sion is very im­por­tant on an in­di­vid­ual ba­sis, with a prop­erly qual­i­fied in­struc­tor. This should mean you are min­imis­ing your risk of in­jur­ing your­self and get­ting the most ben­e­fit from your Pi­lates pro­gram.

6. Con­sid­er­ing In­juries.

If you have in­juries, th­ese need to be con­sid­ered. In a group class, it is im­pos­si­ble to check every in­di­vid­ual for any pre-ex­ist­ing in­jury, but on an in­di­vid­ual ba­sis, a prop­erly qual­i­fied in­struc­tor should un­der­stand the in­jury and know how to mod­ify the ex­er­cise so that you achieve your goal, but do not ag­gra­vate your in­jury.

In sum­mary:

• To get the ba­sics right and re­ceive the best long-term out­come start with an in­di­vid­ual, one-on-one pro­gram with a prop­erly qual­i­fied Pi­lates in­struc­tor.

• If you de­cide to join a Pi­lates group class later, you will have knowl­edge of the ba­sics and be aware so that you can work to your orig­i­nal plan.

Michael Der­man­sky is a Se­nior Phys­io­ther­a­pist and Manag­ing Direc­tor of MD Health Pi­lates. Michael has over sev­en­teen years’ ex­pe­ri­ence of treat­ing clients from all walks of life, from six­year­old chil­dren up to the age of 92. Michael can be con­tacted through his web­site.

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