How do Yoga & Pilates help to prevent injury?
We often hear that a combination of Yoga and Pilates is good for preventing injury. But have you ever wondered how?
We decided to look at the 3 most common injuries – knee, shoulder and lower back, and investigate further.
Injuries to the knee are probably the most common of all injuries sustained. The knee joint absorbs a huge amount of pressure and if not well supported results in ACL, MCL and meniscus damage. The best way to prevent these is with strong and flexible hips. Surprised? Think about it, if your hips are stiff, with minimal rotation the energy will flow to the point of least resistance, the small and less stable knee joint. Keeping the surrounding muscles of the knee strong will also help to stabilise and support the knee joint.
Try IT band series exercises together with pigeon and frog poses to strengthen and stabilise.
Due to the structure of the shoulder joint we find that impingements, dislocations and misalignments are common. The rib cage and shoulder blades serve to control upper body posture and together with the rotator cuff, they enable wide movement of the arms. Strength and flexibility through this area will keep injuries at bay as well as increasing range of movement.
Try Pilates swimming, wall walking, eagle arms and plank.
Lower Back Pain
I doubt there are many of us who have never experienced lower back pain. In most people, lower back pain originates from tight hamstrings and/or weak abdominal muscles. The hamstring muscle originates on the sitting bones and if tight, will pull down on the pelvis causing tilting. The body compensates and the pressure is sent to the lower back. Strong abdominals and glutes will also support and stabilise the pelvis, thus reducing pain in the lower back region.
Try forward bends (for hamstrings), twists (for spinal release) and boat, bridge, plank to strengthen the glutes and abdominals.
Remember to always listen to your body and if something doesn’t feel right, pull back and rest.