By Dearbhla Gallagher – Waldegrave Clinic Rehabilitation Therapist
Think about your day. How many hours are spent at a computer, scanning your phone, texting or driving? Many hours will be spent in a sedentary way – inactive, apart from the tap tapping of your fingers on a keyboard, or holding a steering wheel, mostly looking ahead.
The thing is, whilst the body is great at adapting to imposed demands, your body is meant to move. Our skeletal structure was not designed to remain in static positions for long periods of time. Simply put – if you don’t use it you lose it.
If I’m sitting all day my hips are extremely likely to lose range (mobility) in the opposite direction to where I am consistently holding them. However, the good news is, as our body maladapts, it can re-adapt back to normal with some basic exercises. This is why I advocate Pilates for how it can help to improve your mobility.
What you need to understand about your body’s mobility
Mobility isn’t just about having that feeling of being able to move freely with less stiffness. Mobility issues can be about habitual situations that see us holding our joints in positions that can become damaging to the soft tissue around it and/or the body tissue of the joint itself.
For example many mobility issues of the hip give rise to complex hip pathologies that often lead to surgery. The same goes for the shoulder. Both are unnecessarily common and can lead to a condition known as impingement. This is typically a chronic condition that occurs as a result of mis-use or poor mobility.
Poor mobility does not necessarily mean lack of movement. It can also mean too much movement or how different directions of, or combined movements may oppose each other – that can often lead to issues with strength, and balance of strength across a joint.
How can Pilates help to improve Mobility?
Pilates is about the CORRECT movement patterns. When you are new to Pilates, at first your body may not feel like these exercises are a normal movement as your body has gotten so used to its adapted strategies of movement.
But with practice, it gets easier and your body starts to opt for the new and correct strategy over the old and dysfunctional damaging one. Pilates exercises are healthy to your body. They will help you to discover an awareness of the elusive “core” muscles that are vital in stabilising the back and pelvis. And develop an awareness of how to move optimally.
At the Waldegrave Clinic our Pilates classes are limited to 6 people, so you can be sure you are getting the correct exercises for your body condition, to help you become stronger and more mobile in the right way.
Dearbhla Gallagher is the clinic’s Rehabilitation Therapist who holds classes for people struggling with their mobility.
To book a place on the next Pilates course call 020 8943 2424
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