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Pilates

Mark AlexanderMark Alexander Posts: 2,277
edited August 2008 in Training, fitness and health
Hi, can this and massages in the gym actually improve our performance?
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www.ogmorevalleywheelers.co.uk

10TT 24:36 25TT: 57:59 50TT: 2:08:11, 100TT: 4:30:05 12hr 204.... unfinished business

Posts

  • idaviesmooreidaviesmoore Posts: 557
    It was developed by Joseph Pilates who was a dancer and very sickly most of the time. He realised that gym work as it was then didn't suit him so he decided to try his own thing.

    Pilates is often prescribed for people with back, neck, shoulder and postural problems so if you have any of these ailments Pilates MAY help. It's only a piece of the training puzzle and it doesn't suit everyone.

    If taught properly it can certainly improve posture and body awareness. As to increasing performance I wouldn't like to say.

    There are lots of instructors out there, just make sure they hold the correct quals. :)
    'How can an opinion be bullsh1t?' High Fidelity
  • RamekinRamekin Posts: 30
    Pilates will do a few things:
    - improve your awareness of your body and how to use it
    - help you become more supple (by virtue of the various stretching moves - many of which are great for cyclists)
    - develop and tone your "core" muscles

    I've been doing Pilates for 6 months and have found it beneficial.

    The most obvious benefit for me has come from my improved bodily awareness. That has helped me understand and alter my position on the bike, and working on that has in turn has made me a more relaxed and so smoother & more efficient rider. Becoming more supple and developing my core have also helped as they give me the flexibility and strength to move my body in more subtle and effective ways.
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    Did Pilates and other core exercises when came back to bike and still do regularly.

    One thing they helped me with was back pain (used to suffer, never do now).
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • idaviesmooreidaviesmoore Posts: 557
    As for massages. There never used to be any scientific proof that they really improved an athlete's performance. Lots of antecdotal evidence though. Load of elite sports people I know swear by a massage pre and post race, could be psychological rather than physiological, but if it works, then who cares?

    Massages seems to encourage blood/lymph flow short term helping toxins to be moved through quicker. And promotes muscular relaxation longer term which many people believe helps the body repair quicker.

    Mind you there's lots of differant types of massage that do differant things. :)
    'How can an opinion be bullsh1t?' High Fidelity
  • sibxsibx Posts: 102
    Any recommendations for taking up pilates like books and things? I don't really have time to go to any classes as such so if anybody knows any good books or DVDs I would appreciate the tips!
  • woody-somwoody-som Posts: 1,001
    sibx wrote:
    Any recommendations for taking up pilates like books and things? I don't really have time to go to any classes as such so if anybody knows any good books or DVDs I would appreciate the tips!
    There are plenty of books and DVD's. try www.bodycontrol.com but you really should try and do at least 1 set of 6 weeks instruction, just to make sure your doing the moves correctly, as it's not easy to tell on your own.
  • NJKNJK Posts: 194
    woody-som wrote:
    sibx wrote:
    Any recommendations for taking up pilates like books and things? I don't really have time to go to any classes as such so if anybody knows any good books or DVDs I would appreciate the tips!
    There are plenty of books and DVD's. try www.bodycontrol.com but you really should try and do at least 1 set of 6 weeks instruction, just to make sure your doing the moves correctly, as it's not easy to tell on your own.


    I think Yoga would be better than pilates, to much isolation and pulse movements in pilates.
  • idaviesmooreidaviesmoore Posts: 557
    sibx wrote:
    Any recommendations for taking up pilates like books and things? I don't really have time to go to any classes as such so if anybody knows any good books or DVDs I would appreciate the tips!

    Books and DVD's never really a good idea. Pilates is a postural class and if you're turning your head to read a book or glance at the telly to make sure the move is correct it really defeats the object.
    The problem with Pilates (and maybe Yoga also) is that you have to focus on the details of each move. If you miss these details then you miss the point of the move. Try and make time for a couple of classes just to make sure you know about neutral spine, shoulder stabilization, correct breathing pattern and abdominal and pelvic floor control.
    'How can an opinion be bullsh1t?' High Fidelity
  • SunWuKongSunWuKong Posts: 364
    ford models on iTunes and youtube have good pilates and yoga videos.
  • I used a book quite simply titled Pilates for men. Interestingly enough it stated at the begining that Joseph Pilates was a boxer (an earlier post stated that he was a dancer)..anyway, im going off on a tangent here...
    The reason I chose the book was that i didnt have time for classes and I found it to be very beneficial in a very short period of time. In the intro it kinda lays out that you will begin to feel a difference after about 10 sessions. Being sceptical by nature I was very surprised as to how close to being true this actually was.
    Ive nothing to compare this to as I have never taken a pilates class, but for me it works, it increases core muscle stability and thats the reason I got the book initially
  • T.C.T.C. Posts: 495
    Hi who was the author as there more than one on Amazon cheers T.C.
  • woody-somwoody-som Posts: 1,001
    The book for men is titled (The Complete Book Of Pilates For Men, by Daniel Lyon Jr) Also a DVD from Amazon Pilates For Men by Lindsey Jackson.

    Both the book and DVD are great to show the exercises, but you do need a few classes with an instructor, who will correct your position, as it's impossible to know for yourself to start with.

    I prefer a class myself, even after 14 months, OK maybe it has something to do with being the only guy in a class of 20, or just easier to let someone else work out the routine.
  • TC i'll get back to you with the title because im almost sure that its not the one mentioned here.
  • RamekinRamekin Posts: 30
    I've got a few Pilates books and they're all decent. The Body Control Pilates Manual by Lynne Robinson is good, and her DVDs are worth a watch too.

    That said I'd definitely recommend going to classes. While you can read how to do the exercises there is no substitute for having someone work you through the exercises and correct you as necessary. Many of the movements are so subtle that even just doing them slightly wrong pretty much renders them worthless.

    I originally started out with just books and while the words on the pages seemed to make sense it is only now that I really understand the nuances of the instructions and that is because I have been taught correct techniques by an instructor.

    The other thing to bear in mind is that textbook instructions may need modifying to suit the quirks of each of our bodies. For example I do some of the exercises slightly differently because of my tight hamstrings, weak glutes, and the general tendency of my cycling muscles to take control, etc. And it's much easier to make those sorts of changes when you have the benefit of one-on-one or group tuition.

    I hope I haven't laboured my point... :D
  • djaeggidjaeggi Posts: 107
    NJK wrote:
    I think Yoga would be better than pilates, to much isolation and pulse movements in pilates.


    On the contrary, I find (having done it for 3+ years) that the benefits Pilates provides are far more transferable to other sports than Yoga (which I've also tried for a while) and provide a real functional benefit. Pilates is all about dynamic movements, not isolation; it's about respecting biomechanics and training the body to move properly using the right muscles. It's not just flexibility training plus a few interesting ab excercises tagged on the end.

    The Pilates for Men book is really excellent, the visualisation tips in it are as close to getting a real instructor as you'll find. Classes are also highly recommended, not only for the social life (ahem!), but because some of the movements are subtle. I for one, despite being relatively strong, found some of my smaller stabilising muscles quite underdeveloped - if you don't know you should be using a certain muscle to perform a movement, it's quite easy to resort to using other muscles to compensate, exactly the situation Pilates is trying to avoid.

    Dan
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    My wife is a full time Pilates teacher - she knows her stuff and is one of the most highly qualified teachers in the North West. She does get cyclists and triathletes in her classes.
    Levi Leipheimer was waxing lyrical about it in the comic last year - he does lots of it.

    I would go to the classes, but when she's teaching - I'm babysitting.

    If you can do it in addition to the rest of your training - then its a great thing to do.

    I wouldnt say to get a DVD or a book unless you've been doing it for a few months already. A decent teacher will have a small class and will be constantly going round the room correcting the position you are in. You will think you are doing it properly, and then she moves you an inch or so and its a whoooole different ball game. You just arent going to get that from a book.
  • After saying that i found the book approach beneficial, I have to agree with you cougie. There is no doubt that the exercises were of a benefit to me..but if i went to a class the teacher would probably be gobsmacked at some of my techniques. There is no substitute for learning from an expert and I wasn't trying to say that there is. If I had the time to go to Pilates, then given the results that i feel i have made just from a book, I would definatley avail of the class
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