Pilates – Physical body Imbalances can literally be a pain!
One of the many wonderful attributes about Pilates is that it will find and correct imbalances of muscle joint use of the body. This can take place either before injury(s) set in (a preventative mechanism) or if it is after injury has set-in then Pilates becomes a wonderful post-rehabilitative program to get you back to where you want to be. Imbalances can come through many ways: habits of daily living activities, injuries, surgeries, eye sight and hearing being less efficient in one side etc etc..
I’m writing this not only as a tenured Pilates teacher and working with many bodies and abilities but also more importantly from personal experience.
Over the past 8 years I endured some significant injuries both of which created a lot of strain, scar tissue and significantly inhibited the use of my left side starting from my pelvis down to the foot (today I chalk them up to learning experiences and better to be able to connect to my clients). This automatically sent me to the extra use of my right side while the mending and healing process of my tissues: muscles, ligaments, neuromuscular taken place over the various years.. of which I owe much gratitude to all my amazing body workers (chiropractic, fascia release therapy, rolfing, physical therapy acupuncutre, and *Quantum Nutrition Deltanol (an all natural anti-inflammatory) (see attachment). As the inflammation dissipated, Pilates truly showed me where my weaknesses were lying (Left side Transverse Abdominal and Adductors, Quadriceps and right side Multifidi) and where I was overusing muscles to support the weakness, (Right Gluteus Medius, right Quadratus Lumborum) to name a few in technicality.
Not only did this awareness allow me to use Pilates to rehabilitate weaker muscles and decrease use of over dominating muscles but Pilates also gave me an on-going exercise tool in of itself and I took what I could feel from Pilates into continuing my other exercise regimes (volleyball, swimming, walking, running) all of which are very important to my life of Whole Health & Wellness.
If you are experiencing some of the same imbalances, here are some tips to strengthen and reduce over dominance. (from a left weakness, right dominance perspective)
1. To begin to relieve your right dominance, make a mental note what side you stand on with your weight if it is in your right, then make a habit shifting to your left
2. If your left side is weaker, less developed pay attention to
a. are you make a full contact with the ball of the foot to the ground when you are walking (or are you leaning to your pinky side or rolling the foot out)
b. strengthen the left hamstring and inner thigh (do a few extra repetitions)
c. make sure your left and right legs are getting even mobilization in the hip sockets
d. strengthen the co-contraction of the left Transverse Abdominal (low belly) or right side Multifidi (postural spinal muscles): Lie on your stomach and place your left hand or a folded hand towel under the left hip, focus on the left gluteus, hamstring and inner thigh to hover the left leg off the floor WITHOUT collapsing the low belly to the floor or to one side.
*Available for purchase at Body & Mind Coe-Dynamics, Inc. http://coe-dynamics.com/whole-health-nutrition/purchase-products/
For questions, comments or would like to share your experience we would love to hear from you just leave a reply to the end of this blog.