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Pilates exercises can be used to prepare the body for the initial sports activity, to train and improve the performance of movements, as well as to treat and prevent injuries in the more stressed joints.1,2,3,4 Stretching and improvement in flexibility, strength, balance, and proprioception are some physical valences developed through Pilates (see Videos 21.1 and 21.2). Because each individual is unique and the selection of exercises must be specific and personalized, some postures of the method that can be used for these athletes will be presented. The principles of core stability and distal mobility hold true only if core movements are synchronous with the extremities.

Vedio Graphic Jump Location
Video 21.1: Pilates, part 1.

(From Prentice WE. Therapeutic Modalities in Rehabilitation. 4th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education; 2011.)

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Vedio Graphic Jump Location
Video 21.2: Pilates, part 2.

(From Prentice WE. Therapeutic Modalities in Rehabilitation. 4th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education; 2011.)

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Goals of Pilates Exercises

  1. To increase strength and flexibility of the core

  2. To improve balance and trunk control

  3. To strengthen and stretch the cross chain in the trunk rotation movements

  4. To strengthen the arms and legs

  5. To work up to explosive strength and speed of the movements

The Pilates method has the following seven philosophical principles:5

  • Powerhouse. It is a region from one shoulder to the other and from one iliac crest to the other; it is an anterior, lateral, and posterior region; the important area is the infra-umbilical region because it is where the center of gravity of the human body is located. According to Joseph H. Pilates6 all exercises start from contraction and activation of the powerhouse, as a healthy powerhouse is strong and flexible; a good powerhouse is a synonym for a healthy spine.

  • Focus and concentration: In Pilates, all movements should be performed focusing on each region of the body, the better concentration, the better consciousness, and body image as well.

  • Breathing. In the practice of the method, all postures must be followed by a specific respiration, so that the diaphragm is mobilized in total amplitude. Breathing in Pilates is deep and complete, and at the time of maximum strength of the movement, the expiration should be performed.

  • Contrology. Contrology is the perfect harmony between body, mind, and spirit. The results achieved through the development of contrology are improvement in muscle and joint range, blood flow, respiratory capacity, and the balance between body, mind, and spirit.

  • Rhythm or fluid movement: Movements that are performed have a rhythm that is either slower or faster at times. The main function of this principle is to restore the natural rhythm of the body and the physiologic motion.

  • Repetitions. Practice ...

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