Modern Pilates – fascial Pilates, or – how “sticks” and “rubber bands” work
In the minds of many people (and coaches), the Pilates system seems to be training the abs and back. The person grabbed his back, for example, and the doctor says to him: “You have weak muscles in your abdomen and back! We need to strengthen ”- and the client goes to the pool or Pilates. And in training, the instructor begins to examine his legs, move his shoulder blades … Why, it’s not clear!
I dare say: today Pilates is not only a core training (press training), but rather not a core training at all. And do not rush to be indignant, let’s figure it out.
Over the past decades, the science of how the body works has advanced significantly. And now we better understand the system of “sticks” and “rubber bands” into which we can conditionally divide body structures. Our bones are rigid structures of the “sticks”, and all other tissues, muscle and connective tissue (myofascia) are elastic structures, “elastic bands”. Together, “rubber bands” and “sticks” form a system of balanced compression and tension – TENSEGRITY. (You can read more about this in the book “Anatomical Trains” by Thomas Myers). In Tensegrity, all its parts are interconnected and interdependent. Whatever happens inside the system, it will certainly affect all parts, even the most distant.
Myofascia in Pilates Take up the hand of Tensegrity, bring together and move away the edges of two sticks – and you will see that the movement also happens at the other end!
Through these “gum” in the body formed mechanical bonds – chains. In the human body, several chains can be distinguished. The task of the surface is to perform amplitude movements, the task of the deep is to stabilize parts of the body in space at the time of the movement. And since this connection is mechanical, these chains obey the laws of biomechanics:
If there is a weak link in the chain (inhibited muscle), then the entire line is weakened. In other words, the strength of the whole chain depends on the strength of the weakest link!
If part of the chain is clamped in a shortened state, then the rod is transmitted along the chain, creating tension along the entire line of action of the rod.
In both cases, we get line dysfunction, this can be felt in muscle weakness, stiffness or soreness, and visually diagnosed with a violation of posture. Mostly it is with these complaints that they come to us for Pilates.
Modern Pilates sets itself the task of balancing tensegrity through load balancing throughout the network. First, we balance each line, evenly distributing the load inside it, and then move on to balancing these lines with each other.
Let us examine a typical example of the unbalanced operation of the Front Surface Line. It starts from the toes and goes along the front surface of the foot, lower leg, thigh, through the fascia of the abdomen and chest to the neck and fascia of the skull.
Most often we see inside this line the unbalanced work of the flexors of the spine and the flexors of the thigh. During testing, we ask you to lie on your back and stretch your legs above the floor at about 45 degrees (a hundred exercises).
If during testing we see that the lower back increases the deflection (the pelvis leans forward), and the stomach protrudes, then the abdominal muscles are not strong enough to withstand such a provocation, and the front surface of the thigh is likely to be clamped. For greater certainty, we will do another test lying on his stomach.
If here, when the hip is extended, the pelvis leans forward, and the lower back bends, we confirm our hunch that the front surface of the thigh is clamped in a shortened state. We conclude that the entire line is weakened and the thrust will be transmitted up to the head, significantly affecting the posture, especially on the position of the head, pushing it forward.
The task of the Pilates trainer is to understand why the hips are clamped so much, maybe this is a compensation for the weakness of the primary hip flexors (iliac – lumbar)? Why are the abdominal muscles weakened, maybe this is the problem of ineffective diaphragm and pelvic floor? And it is important to work with the whole body as a single structure, and not try to strengthen any particular muscle.
It turns out that we are not just strengthening the muscles, we are putting things in order in our fascial network, literally spreading it like a fishing net, expanding and developing its functional capabilities. This is modern fascial pilates!
Of course, in this format it cannot remain within the rug, ball or reformer; it seeps into all spheres of motor activity. This is especially true for outdoor enthusiasts (tennis, golf, skiing, surfing, etc.). Upon closer examination, it becomes clear how important the effective operation of these lines is: a uniform distribution of movement and load along the entire length, their elastic recoil, work in an eccentric mode for effective braking, etc. All this provides the right technique and, of course, safety.
In the gym, it is important for lovers of strength training to understand the work of hand lines. It turns out that the shoulder girdle has deep lines that stabilize the joints, and superficial, designed for amplitude movements. To maintain health, it is important to maintain a balance of these lines.