We all know that pilates and yoga are fantastic for building strength and flexibility are important, but we don't always talk as much about mobility and functional movement, which are two other key aspects of this sort of movement practice, and fundamental to feeling good in our bodies and injury prevention.
The human body is meant to move. And it is meant to move in a whole range of patterns, orientations and planes. Modern life however means that we tend to remain in static positions for long periods of time, and the vast majority of our movement tends to be in just one plane (forward facing and forward moving).
The longer we spend stuck in the same movement routines, the more our muscles, ligaments, and joints get used to those patterns. The elasticity in our muscles change and the synovial fluid in our joints decrease, therefore the range of motion in our joints change. This can result in excess mobility in some planes, a lack of mobility in others, and in-balances in the muscles of the body in terms of both strength and flexibility.
Mobility is thus a really important part of movement to consider and something that we should be including in our movement practice. Functional movement patters refers to taking the joints through their full range of motion and engaging the stabilizing muscles.The seven general movement patterns of the body are squat, lunge, push, pull, hinge, twist, and walk.
To get the most out of our functional movement we can usefully focus on incorporating types of movement and mobility that are lacking in other areas of our life. Pilates is strongly oriented towards functional movement, towards moving in ways that counteract the dominance of certain movement patterns in everyday life, and helping rebalance the muscles in the body.
In pilates 12 we are putting a real focus on functional movement for mobility. We'll be taking inspiration from animal flow, martial arts and functional training, as well as including plenty of our pilates old favourite abs busters. Look out for crawls, squats, lateral movement and balance flows mixed up with lots of fiery crunch, curl and sit up variations, and some advanced obliques fun.
Can't wait to share with you next week!
Catch the new sequence in live classes on:
Tuesday morning 7.30am
Wednesday night 5.30pm
Thursday night 5.30pm
Friday morning 9.30am