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Pilates brings lasting relief for back pain

Westlake Village, CA (February 2013) - Joe Pilates once said "You're as young as your spine is flexible." He wrote that 'the art of Contrology proves that the only real guide to your true age lies not in years or how you think you feel but as you actually are as infallibly indicated by the degree of natural and normal flexibility enjoyed by your spine throughout life.' It was Joe's goal to restore the spine to its more youthful origins. How did he intend to do this?

Pilates addresses four specific conditions to help build and maintain a strong supple spine.

How does Pilates strengthen the Powerhouse?

Joseph believed that the start of all movement originates in what he called the 'Powerhouse' and which includes the Core abdominal muscles plus four more muscle groups.

  1. Anterior abdominals also known as the spinal flexors and what most of us mean when we say 'core muscles' include the rectus abdominis (a.k.a. the six pack), the external and internal abdominal oblique and the transversus abdominis.
  2. Posterior abdominals also known as spinal extensors or low back muscles include the erector spinae group and the transversospinalis group and the quadratus lumborum.
  3. Hip Extensors include the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and the posterior head of the adductor magnus.
  4. Hip Flexors include the iliopsoas, rectus femoris, sartorius, tensor fasciae latae and the more anterior adductors of the thigh at the hip joint.
  5. Pelvic floor musculature, also known as the perineal muscles include the levator ani, coccygeus, superficial and deep transverse perineals.

Pilates workouts promote the proper recruitment of these Powerhouse muscles no matter what the exercise.

How does Pilates correct your posture?

The key to correcting posture is the ability to identify imbalances in your body. For example, if you work in an office you are probably stuck in traffic most days only to arrive and spend the next eight hours sitting at your desk with your head craned forward, your shoulders hunched over and your tush curled underneath. Sound familiar? Pilates affects the posture of the pelvis which results in postural changes to the lumbar spine. It works directly upon the musculoskeletal structure of the spine by strengthening, stretching and lengthening the spine through controlled movement and it tones the abdominopelvic cavity as a whole.

How does Pilates promote flexibility?

Pilates works the muscles "eccentrically". It loads the muscle when it is elongating. Additionally, the unique resistance of the Reformer, Cadillac, Tower System and Chair provides support for your body weight so you can concentrate on increasing your range of motion.

How does Pilates increase body awareness?

Pilates is about moving with control and precision. The result is that you are present in both your mind and body. This conscious movement promotes kinetic awareness. Additionally, as you feel your body going through postural changes, you become aware of what feels "natural" and what feels "off". As you grow confident in your body awareness, this allows you to self-correct in real life situations where you may have otherwise injured yourself (strain your back for example); thereby, providing an added benefit of preventative behavioral modifications.

The spine is like a tree trunk that has been misshapen by the wind and the branches become improperly distributed. Pilates works to balance and align the body from within, with the spine being of utmost importance.

About Joe & Clara
Joe & Clara Pilates Inspired Health Club, a California corporation, is located at 2282 Townsgate Road, Suite 1, Westlake Village, CA, and conveniently located off the 101 Highway making it easily accessed from Thousands Oaks, Agoura Hills, Calabasas and Malibu. The Club is comprised of four studios: Classical Pilates Studio for small group size classes in Reformer, Half Trap/Tower, Jump Board, Mat and MVe® Chair by leading manufacturer, Peak Pilates®. The Pilates Inspired Studio is used for classes in Circuit, Trampoline, Bosu®, Stability balls, Arc, Pilatessticks® and much more. The Cardio Studio features treadmills, ellipticals and recumbent bikes manufactured by True® and spin bikes by Schwinn®. Monthly memberships for unlimited classes and cardio are available as well as fees for individual classes. The 8th Avenue Studio is reserved for private one-on-one sessions and is the ideal setting for working on the Cadillac, Reformer, Wunda Chair and High Ladder Barrel. For press enquiries contact Stacey Philipsen at 805.496.2929 or visit joeandclara.com.