Therapeutic Pilates is so much more than stretching! We do use machines, some would say medieval looking machines 😉 . Joseph Pilates, who created this method of exercise designed specific machines like the Reformer, Wunda Chair and Cadillac to help clients better experience the feeling of Pilates.
The result is appropriate muscle use and development. Pilates and the specialized equipment can help people feel the burn of good muscle activation in their hips, legs, shoulders, abdominals and any area where we set our intention. Our primary focus is to get the bones “sitting” in their joints in ideal alignment. This means some muscles need to lengthen or stretch and some muscles need to shorten and strengthen. All muscles around a joint must work together to hold the bones in the socket. When muscles are the ideal length and strength people move better, joints move more freely and there is no desire to stretch. Muscle tension and strength is the secret to MOVING BETTER.
The challenge with stretching, is that muscles are sometimes too long or overstretched which is what makes them feel tight!
Picture an elastic that you stretch out then it recoils to its shortened original length. Your muscles work in the same way as that elastic band. Now, if you picture an elastic that has been overstretched and no longer rebounds back to its original shape, that is what happens when you stretch a muscle that is already too long or overstretched. The elastic is tight when it’s stretched out, but NOT because it’s too short, it’s because it’s already too long and reached it’s maximum length.
At Therapeutic Pilates, we will asses your posture and watch how you move to determine if muscles are too long and need strengthening or too short and need stretching. Then, we can proceed in teaching you how to move better. The machines and props we use in Pilates make the work more fun for you and your instructor!