People who focus on strength training, weightlifting or cross-fit type activities, and I include exercise professionals in those areas as well, often discount Pilates as a form of exercise and don’t believe it has benefits for them. This is partly due to the many misconceptions about Pilates, one of them being that Pilates is a slow, gentle, relaxing, “girly” form of exercise. It is true that Pilates exercises are sometimes, but not always, performed slowly, as mastering the techniques require precision, control and concentration, however, there are many ways of doing Pilates and that is the beauty of the Method.
The Pilates Method is extremely diverse and a well trained teacher will cater to the needs of their clients. So for those of you out there who love your gym based weight training, or perhaps you want to improve your 1RM back squat, let me give you some food for thought.
Strength training and Olympic weightlifting techniques require mobility in all joints and flexibility in all muscles to obtain the optimal positions to truly reap the rewards. As an example, ankle and hip mobility to reach a deep squat safely is vital, and upper back and shoulder mobility to extend the arms overhead is a must to truly master the snatch.
The Pilates Method is designed to increase strength and flexibility at the same time, so that you can bend, twist or reach further with more strength. If you are struggling to obtain the full overhead position for the snatch as your shoulders or upper back are stiff, or can’t hit that deep squat without losing pelvic control and having your tail tuck under you, the “butt wink”, consider adding Pilates to your weekly training routine – it might surprise you and your weightlifting potential.
To find out more on how Pilates get benefit your training, come in and see us at Absolute, 199 William St, Melbourne CBD, or call us on 1300 19 19 62.
Written by Performance Coach & Exercise Physiologist Liz Hewett.