To regular Pilates practitioners, it will come as no surprise that Pilates actually works. A recent study from the 2Diagnostic Imaging Department at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria University in Spain finds:

The present study reveals the existence of asymmetries in the muscles of the abdominal wall in non-active healthy woman. Pilates practice twice a week for 9 months elicits hypertrophy of the abdominal wall muscles, particularly of the RA [rectus abdominis] and eliminates pre-existing asymmetries of the OT [obliques and transversus abdominis]. Modern Pilates can be recommended as an effective method to reinforce the muscles of the abdominal wall and to compensate pre-existing asymmetric developments.

What does this mean to you and me?

Hypertrophy of the abdominal wall muscles” means the abs got stronger. The Rectus Abdominus is your six-pack (or two-pack in some cases). The transverse abs run from our sides (lateral) to the front (anterior), their fibers run horizontally (transverse). The external oblique muscle (of the abdomen) is the largest and the most superficial (outermost) of the three flat muscles of the lateral anterior abdomen (thank you Wikipedia).

The ensemble is called the Core. This is center of your body, where it all happens. Your core muscles are responsible for keeping your spine aligned and keeping your body upright and in motion. Asymmetries in the core can lead to low back pain, sciatica, neck pain, pelvic pain, and postural irregularities.

You don’t have to know Latin to feel the benefits of the core and alignment focus of the Pilates practice; it just takes a few sessions to begin to feel them. Really. Start with three private sessions and you’ll learn about how a Pilates practice can help your individual body by correcting your own particular  asymmetries. Check the schedule and sign up. This could be your spring to lay the foundation for a pain-free future.