When we look at the basics of Pilates, we may say to ourselves, how on earth can that have any benefit when it comes to lifting. There are many important components that we always neglect when it comes to weight training. Not only that, but modern day life permits us to put our bodies in positions they are not designed for. For the body to be able to perform these movements, a certain level of balance, coordination, strength, concentration, and above all stability, is required. We should never underestimate the capabilities of the human body, but we should also not expect to perform to a high standard when it is not balanced correctly. That’s where Pilates comes in.
Let’s take the squat as an example. The squat is one of the biggest compound movements that we perform in the gym, along with the deadlift. The squat however, is used in all aspects of our daily life. We squat to go to toilet, get in the car, or to pick something up. It’s even said, when we go to the toilet we should actually come into a deep squat position. But that’s another topic all together. The squat basically requires the biggest amount of movement and effort needed. Then when we are also putting weight on our back to perform that movement, all the points I made earlier are even more important.
The biggest faults that I see on a day to day basis with the squat are
- Poor pelvic control (Anterior or Posterior tilt)
- Over extending the back
- Knees over toes
- Torso over shins
- Butt wink
- Excessive lumbar curve
- Heels lift
- Ankles fall in
- Chest falls forward
- Flaring of the rib cage (linked with thoracic extension/over extending)
- Pelvic rotation when at the bottom of the squat
Now that’s a long list if you ask me. It may be that you only have a couple of these faults but the majority of us will have most of them. Pilates is the practice of building awareness of the body movements, and how you can make big changes in output by small changes in your postural control. It is all about ironing out small specific weakness, to optimise your real potential when it comes to lifting heavy.
So how can Pilates benefit you:
- Improves strength
- Increased power output
- Reduces pain
- Improves posture
- Increases flexibility
- Improves body awareness
- Injury Prevention
- Reduces Stress
Pilates is an amazing form of exercise which is hugely underestimated as to its benefits. Not only to improve your weight lifting output, but to improve sports performance and general well being its supersedes anything else i have done before.
Have a go you never know it might just change your life!