|Consistency is Key|
by Rebecca D'Amour
Consistency is important to any fitness program, but particularly so in Pilates training. As you know, Pilates work encourages increased body awareness. It also acts to reprogram neuromuscular patterns. Once you have begun the program, you'll naturally want to advance from simpler to more complex exercises. With this technique, you can also achieve a significant change in your physical appearance and experience a release of tension in your bodies trouble spots.
As an example, when I started this training and learned the basic exercises, I used to feel I was performing them correctly. A year later, I realized that my technique had improved by leaps and bounds because I understood my body so much better. I remember the breakthrough day I practiced the knee stretch series and suddenly realized that my shoulders which had formerly been hunched up to my ears, were pulled down into the correct position. That was a great turning point for me. As the years go by, I find that I am continually gaining familiarity with my body.
I'm sure many of you have noticed that the more you do this work, the more in tune you are with your body. The benefits increase with frequency and duration.
We at Synergy work at reprogramming body patterns, more or less re-educating your muscle memory. For example, when you are learning a new language, the best method is to be exposed to it for long periods of time as frequently as possible. With Pilates work, we are not only adding new patterns to the bodies memory but trying to discard old ones. For that reason, we encourage clients to come in at least twice a week, to derive as many benefits as possible from this training.
Finally, one of the best things about Pilates conditioning is that the range and number of exercises actually increases as you continue your study. In addition, there are myriad variations on many of the individual exercises. To progress to these more difficult, more intricate movement patterns, your body and mind must acquire a thorough understanding of the simpler exercises. This takes lots of repetition and time.
Changes in physical appearance also take time and consistency. It seems to me that many clients are after changes in physical appearance and release of tension. These are the things that you see and feel and notice every day. The more regular you are about your training, the sooner you will see greater changes in these areas.