Balance is a fundamental principle of the Pilates method. While it can be applied in a variety of different ways, today I want to focus on the value and importance of sculpting a balanced body.
Most of us have developed muscle imbalances over the years without even knowing it. Imbalances can be caused by any number of things; things like handedness, postural habits, or activities that use repetitive movement patterns.
Common everyday activities that can lead to muscle imbalances:
– carrying your purse on the same shoulder everyday
– playing sports that favor your dominant side (golf, tennis, baseball)
– sitting in the same position at your desk day after day
– a daily response to pain or discomfort (your muscles work in a way to protect you from the pain)
– occupational habits/demands
Imbalances often go unnoticed, and therefore un-corrected, because many exercise regimens don’t incorporate single-side exercises. Many times our stronger side does the majority of the work in a given exercise and we don’t even know it. Consequently, our stronger side gets stronger and our weaker side gets weaker.
Allowing muscle imbalances to go untreated can eventually lead to chronic pain, injury and joint dysfunction. Practicing single-side exercises will help you understand which side has more strength and help you to correct the problem. A good Pilates workout will incorporate some level of single-side exercises to develop a strong, balanced body.
The good news is that most imbalances can be corrected or shifted.
The first step is noticing.
The second step is finding ways to restore balance through proper exercises (often this where the value of private instruction comes in).
Here are 3 things you can do TODAY to sculpt a more balanced body:
1. Adjust your daily posture to reflect balance: uncross your legs, sit equally on both cheeks, avoid leaning toward your mouse, etc.
2. Carry your purse on the opposite shoulder each time you pick it up.
3. Incorporate more single-side exercises into your routine. I recently shared 2 effective single-side exercises for the Pi-Glow Challenge…
CLICK HERE for the Single Arm Tricep Push-up.
CLICK HERE for the Shoulder Bridge.
Remember, when attempting to sculpt a strong, balanced body quality and precision of movement is of utmost importance.
Don’t rush it.
Take the time to do it right.
Doing so is far more effective and will provide much better results.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes!