Pilates and Science


“The most important thing is not what you are doing, but how you do it”.
J.H. Pilates

Today I propose an extremely interesting article taken from: traininglab.it

There is a high-value scientific literature that helps give Pilates its proper value as a scientific method. Some recent articles, in fact, have confirmed the usefulness and adequacy of Pilates techniques in the field of Rehabilitation (Bryan, 2003) and in the treatment of back pain given its usefulness in toning those abdominal and lumbar muscle groups that protect the back and relieve pain and they help prevent subsequent ailments.

(Harrington, 2005)

In the 1980s, one of the first medical centers to use the Pilates method for joint pathologies was the Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco. Dr. James Garrick, orthopedic surgeon and head of the Sports Medicine Center of that institute, began to use the method for the rehabilitation and prevention of athletes who had suffered trauma, surgery or who wanted to improve their performance. On this activity, Dr. Garrick has written numerous articles that confirm the validity of Pilates exercises in orthopedic pathologies.

One of her students, Elizabeth Larkam, is now recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in Pilates and her practice is also about rehabilitation and the prevention of degenerative diseases of old age.

Regarding the latter area, the prestigious Mayo Clinic, considered according to a recent study, among the top five best hospitals in the world, has included the Pilates method among the techniques capable of preventing-treating back diseases, the so-called low back pain, extremely widespread and which have a strong impact on socio-health costs around the world.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), the most prestigious Association of Orthopedists, indicates Pilates as one of the techniques that contribute to the strengthening of the muscles in a global and harmonious way in both young and old subjects, contributing to the latter. category the prevention of osteoporosis and the risks of falling due to lack of balance and muscle tone.

At the Special Surgery Hospital in New York, proclaimed the best Orthopedic Hospital in the world for 2011, there is an Integrative Care Center in which gymnastics are practiced for the treatment of osteoarticular and muscular, post-traumatic and osteoporosis pathologies with Pilates techniques.

Pilates e Core Stability.

One of the most interesting insights of Joseph Pilates was to understand that the area from which all the stability and dynamism of the body derives is the central one, what he called the

“Power House” that is the House, the warehouse, of the Force and which today is called the Core, that is the Center.

In recent years, many scientific studies have been dedicated to the Core, because it has been confirmed that the strength and stability of the whole body starts from this area and that improving this area improves athletic performance, but also the joint muscle function during daily activities. . We can therefore conclude that both sports injuries and wear and tear diseases can be prevented with the use of this method.

It is understood that this latter aspect is also of enormous importance from the point of view of the health economy.

That the Core is a constantly evolving research aspect is demonstrated by recent studies by some Centers of high scientific value. The University of Pittsburgh has its own Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, headed by Prof. Scott Lephart, his group has published many excellent works on Core functionality in various sports: Foot-Ball, Tennis, Cycling, Golf.

An article published in 2006 by the University of Kentucky by the working group directed by Dr. Ben Kibler entitled “The Role of Core Stability in Athletic Function”, demonstrates how the proper functioning of all those muscles that make up the Core – and they are numerous – contribute to a good sporting performance. On the contrary, very importantly, his weakness predisposes to injuries.

All of these studies are fundamentally changing athletic training techniques and exercise theories, including prevention and rehabilitation.

The “father” of this revolution can be considered in a sense Joseph Pilates.