Pilates Exercises for Back Support

May 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Pilates

So popular has the Pilates method of exercises become that the proper noun Pilates has reincarnated as an adjective in the word Pilates fitness. And the word Pilates has also become synonymous with the exercise regimen of Pilates exercises. Lots of people get hooked on doing Pilates because it is an exercise system that is immensely beneficial to all, and more so to people with back problems. Pilates exercises is an exercise regimen that concentrates on what is known as core strength. Pilates method of exercises emphasize on pain prevention by strengthening the core muscles that stabilize and align the trunk of the body, like the muscles of the back, hip, and abdomen.

Understanding Pilates

Pilates exercise program was started in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates, a circus performer and boxer, to help in the rehabilitation of World War 1 veterans after the war. His floor exercises were very successful so that he later widened the scope of his Pilates exercise regimen to incorporate the needs of those suffering from injuries as well. He used springs towards this purpose and these springs later on became part of other Pilates equipments like Pilates mat or Pilates chair.

The core idea of Pilates method of exercises is to get the maximum benefit of exercises with minimum strain. Pilates exercises trains a person on focusing on muscle movements and developing muscles in a way that it provides good postural support. Proper breathing is also a part of Pilates exercises and this help in better focusing and in making the muscles more supple and flexible.

Pilates exercise regimen suited well the requirement of dancers for balance and body flexibility. In the fledgling stage of Pilates workout, dancers were the main clients of Pilates method though by 1980s there was a renewed interest in Pilates exercises by fitness conscious people of all walks of life.

There are two different methods of learning Pilates exercises. One is by doing exercises on a Pilates mat. The other is by using Pilates equipment. Pilates workout by using Pilates equipment can be done as a group or singly. Pilates equipments consist of a wide range of equipments known as Pilates reformer, Pilates chair etc. all of which aid in muscle building and improving back support in different ways.

Pilates reformer is a sliding stand connected to a frame with a spring. The person doing exercises has to sit on the sliding stand and use a bar to push or pull, to maintain equilibrium on a moving mechanism. This struggle for balance maintenance positively affects the muscles that stabilize and align the spine. Then there are the Pilates chair like Wunda chair that helps in the Pilates workout of back, arms, and legs.

Pilates exercises done on Pilates mat are similar to routine calisthenics that are found in many other body building exercises. This Pilates method of exercise also focuses on strengthening the core muscles around hip and abdomen that support the spine. More than Pilates mat, it is Pilates equipment that is believed to benefit an individual in muscle strengthening. Pilates exercises are ideal for back support and can be done by itself or in combination with other body building disciplines like yoga.