Pilates is becoming increasingly popular ever since Joseph Pilates first started teaching the routines he developed, before his migration to the USA in 1925. What the routines do is to help the trainee become more body focused and body aware. Essentially, teaching you how to move and breathe correctly and to overcome all the poor body conditioning as a result of the modern lifestyle and work practices. Movements are linked to breathing. Breathing has always been an effective tool for reducing stress. Pilates linked this to reducing stress in the body with his exercise routines.
The effect of stress in the body is to tighten the muscles. Stretching, relieves that stress and consequently, helps the muscles to recover. In particular, Pilates focuses on the core muscle group. These are all found around the hip, pelvis and lower back areas of the torso – the body core.
If you think about how we learned to do all the things we do, it is easy to see how we “conditioned” our body to move a certain way – same as learning to ride a bike, really. We repeat the process over and over again, until it becomes automatic. But what if the auto-pilot got it wrong? Or the training (conditioning) was wrong? It is not going to be corrected overnight. It requires a series of repetitive exercises to re-condition the body to move correctly, and to build a strong core, thus bringing relief to those who suffer with back pain.
A series of back stretches for back pain, repeated daily, or at least, 4 or 5 times a week, will help to condition your body to move in a correct way to relieve the pain by building strength in your core support muscles. Just remember, it is a sense of quality of stretching movements rather than the quantity, where proper breathing is also essential, particularly as a stress reducer.
If you compare Pilates to other strength building routines, you will find that the usual exercises often build short bulky muscles with little elasticity. Another point to remember is that weak muscles that are not exercised become weaker, so that only the muscles that get exercise, get stronger. You get a muscular imbalance which can be easily seen to be a cause of chronic back pain. Pilates stretching and exercise routines focus on a whole core muscle group strengthening, particularly the abdominal muscles and those close to the spine, so that this imbalance simply does not occur.
The stretches and exercises work on several muscle groups at once, through gentle, continuous movemnent. Basically, you re-condition (re-train) your body to move in a more efficient, safer healthier way. You will also get an evenly conditioned body, as a result.
One thing to remember, is concentration. Pilates back stretches for back pain and all Pilates training does require a high level of concentration. This is to undo all the previous conditioning, and, once mastered, become as automatic in life as walking, riding a bike and all those other things that you take for granted, but, which become a nightmare if you suffer from chronic back pain.
If you would like to see 5 tips for back pain relief, then please take a look at back stretches for back pain, part of the Exercise For Back Pain series of routines you can use to get rid of back pain.
Jason Nicholls is CEO and author of several Personal Training [http://www.bestpersonaltrainingweightloss.com] articles about foot pain, back pain, etc, for those wanting to overcome these challenges to live fit and healthy lives again.
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