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The Pilates Method Myths and Facts, Exposed!
Probably you've heard about the Pilates Method as an exercise program that aims to strengthen, stretch and condition the core postural muscles which help keep the body balanced. Well, this fitness trend has gone mainstream. It has undergone a huge rebirth in the United States and other parts of the world. Today, the Pilates Method has started to attain the status of culthood with its latter day practitioners are now reviving some of the myths of strength training, the Pilates.
Now if you want to know what these Pilates myths are, here are few that are now doing the rounds. These are actually taken from the advertising blurb that is promoting the Pilates Method in the media.
Myth #1: Unlike the weight training which tends to shorten the muscles, the Pilates lengthens them. All that lifting bunches up the muscles and makes a person stiff and tight.
Fact: When the muscles in the body are activated, they contract and shorten, and when they relax, they lengthen. Therefore, when your muscles appear to lengthen and flatten with training, it means that you are losing muscle bulk, which is not a highly desirable state for anyone. Having said all these, it is then clear that the above mentioned belief about the Pilates Method is a total nonsense. It even betrays knowledge of muscle physiology. What it would seem to suggest is that the more Pilates workout you perform, the longer your muscles become, which would mean that your muscles would develop shack and you eventually would not be able to move your joints.
Myth #2: Many people believe that the Pilates Method offers much more variety than weight training. It now has more than 2000 exercises.
Fact: Experts noted that the field of weight training, which includes free barbell and dumbbell weight and machines, provides at least ten times that number of exercises as well as exercise variations. The Pilates Method does not even come close.
The practitioners of the Pilates Method should note that the well-known apparatus of Pilates, the reformer, Cadillac and spine collector, as well as the other machines were designed and developed by Joseph Pilates from a host of earlier weird and wonderful machines that were then sold in the fitness market of Europe and Russia during the 19th and early 20th century. Also, it should be noted that those who are doing the Pilates Method are simply doing another type of strength training program, but unfortunately don't even recognize this fact. So, if any of the Pilates practitioners think that Joseph Pilates has a totally unique approach or philosophy, then they would do well to learn that a number of the strengthening trends setters of the past had some philosophies that are not dramatically different from that of Pilates. As experts often say, they would at elast consider reading the Webster's 'The Iron Game' for them to know this fact.
Myth #3: Weight Training usually causes imbalances and overstresses the back, while the Pilates Method realigns the body, corrects muscle imbalances and helps to heal injured backs.
Fact: Note that suitably individualized Pilates and progressive weight training programs can both be used to correct imbalances and enhance postural alignment. However, if the Pilates Method, as well as the weight training programs is poorly taught, they both can be injurious. The bottom line is, there is still no scientific or clinical evidence that could prove that the Pilates Method is any better or worse than any other form of training.