Pilates exercises have motivated many people to take physical fitness more seriously. A Pilates workout is a series of stretching exercises which just about anyone can perform in their home or office with a small amount of floor space and minimal equipment. They are not only recommended for the purposes of general exercise. Fitness experts also recommend them for people who suffer from back pain as a result of various injuries or conditions.
However, the Pilates routine has also stirred up a certain amount of controversy with regard to its effects on people’s necks and back muscles. Some detractors have said that this workout can worsen back and neck pain or actually cause injury in those who began the exercises without any pre-existing condition.
What Are Pilates?
Pilates are exercise movements much like any other. However, they do not involve any lifting or vigorous movements. Instead, a Pilates workout routine enhances muscle tone with simple body movements and contortions made while sitting or lying on a flat surface. The simplicity of the routine as well as the reputed effectiveness of these exercises has succeeded in making Pilates a very popular choice for physical fitness workouts.
Controversies About Unintentional Injuries
Unfortunately, there is evidence suggesting that some people have hurt themselves during these workouts. The typical complaint is about lower back pain but there are also concerns about people hurting their necks. The level of concern about such injuries is naturally heightened because back and neck injuries are close to the spine and also affect the daily functions of all people, even those who work in sedentary jobs.
The Wrong Way to Do Pilates
Doctors have seen an increase in people who suffer muscle strains or damage to the discs in their spines after they participate in Pilates classes. Since so many people demonstrably benefit from these classes, it is likely that those who suffer injury have been taught the wrong way to exercise or have failed to understand some basic element of instruction.
Pilates are meant to focus primarily on deep abdominal muscles. These include muscles such as the transversus abdominus and the multifidus. These are both near the ribs, the pelvis and the spine. Working them correctly can give you a strong core. Improper exercise can undermine your strength at key points and leave you with significant discomfort.
These injuries can be avoided by making sure that you receive quality instruction and adhering to those instructions carefully. Before signing up for a class, you should verify that an instructor is qualified to teach these exercises. You should also be prepared to follow the instructions to the letter in order to avoid hurting yourself.