Generally, the word BALANCE, makes most of us think of the physical skill of being able to balance. Physiotherapists use the Berg Balance Scale to assess a patient’s ability to balance as they perform a series of tasks.
Pilates most definitely works on maintaining and improving the skill of being able to balance,
however other connotations of balance are incorporated into the practice of Pilates. Pilates sessions are designed to offer a balanced programme of exercises that work equally on
stability and mobility, strength and flexibility and to work all areas of the body.
We all have a dominant side or hand which causes one side of the body to be slightly stronger but
further imbalances develop for various reasons such as musculoskeletal conditions, recreational and occupational positions and movements, movement habits etc. An example is sitting at a desk all day often creates tight, overactive hip flexors and weak, inactive gluteal muscles.
Common activities which contribute to repetitive strain injuries include typing, playing a musical
instrument and writing. In sport, these injuries are common in tennis players (tennis elbow), golfers (golf elbow), cricket players and long-distance runners. Pilates can be used as a tool to identify and address imbalances and avoid future injuries.
Balance in the sense of well-being is considered in a Pilates workout. The calming breathing and
focussed concentration help to relieve stress.
Pilates is BALANCE in every sense of the word.