Are you right-handed and swing a golf club or tennis racket using your right side? Do you carry shoulder bags and children on one side of your body? Our daily routines and habits cause us to overuse specific muscles groups while virtually ignoring others. Add injury to an area of the body and these imbalances grow more pronounced. If inefficient movement patterns are repeated, they become ingrained and begin to feel "natural."
Luckily, you can re-educate your body whil restoring good posture, alignment and movement patterns with Pilates. Mat work has been the most prevalent form of Pilates in the fitness world because it requires no equipment. It's an easy set-up! While mat exercises offer a total body workout, equipment-based workouts provide assistance in helping realign and strengthen the body.
The resistance and assistance offered by the reformer and chair springs allow the body to work with improved alignment, break habituated movement patterns and develop strength and flexibility. The moveable elements of the reformer and chair pedal, require that the mind and body work together to stabilize, coordinate and control movement.
What is a reformer? A reformer has a sliding carriage, adjustable spring tension, and straps or ropes that allow for the performace of hundreds of exercise variations. Working on the reformer helps participants learn to control pelvic stability and movement patterns while becoming more aware of the alignment of their body.
What is the chair? It is highly effective at increasing flexibility, strength, balance and coordination utilizing spring tension which provides resistance, assistance and support. The springs are attached to a moving pedal which provides a degree of instability while the chair seat is fixed and very stable. The amount of spring tension can be adjusted and there are a variety of exercises so beginners and the most advanced athlete will feel the benefits.
Transformation will take place with every workout as your body begins to re-learn through every movement. Remember that the quality of your movement will determine the outcome, and Pilates equipment will help develop your mind-body awareness through coordinated, efficient movement patterns. And, it's fun!