This afternoon it was cold outside so my husband and I took our boys to the gym to play basketball. We needed to get some energy out! We also really enjoy being active as a family. We want to teach our boys healthy habits and expose them to a healthy lifestyle option. After playing basketball at the gym for a while, we took a walk around to show the boys the fitness equipment and various different activities available at the gym.
One observation I had as we walked through the nautilus section and weight room was an abundance of poor form! I saw numerous people struggling to push, pull, move or work with a heavy weight and throwing form out the window to accomplish their repetitions. What that says to me is there is an injury in their future! My husband noticed it, too! I saw hunched shoulders, crooked posture, strained necks, and more. Whenever we try to do an exercise by compensating for weak muscles with stronger ones, we leave ourselves vulnerable. We don’t actually build strength where we need it and we create increased imbalance in the body.
I am not anti- weight lifting or nautilus equipment at all but these observations did reminded me of the beauty of Pilates. Form is key in every movement in Pilates. We don’t have to keep adding more and more weight to improve and grow stronger in Pilates. The focus is on symmetry in the body and finding balance. We develop the smaller muscles, too.
I used to lift traditional free weights prior to discovering Pilates. Success was measured in either number of repetitions or amount of weight lifted or both. Isn’t that the beauty of Pilates – less is often more! I think that is one of the reasons I was so drawn to Pilates. The focus was on me, my body, my form, and the connections I could find while I did the work.
It was great to see so many people on a Sunday being active. Whether you choose Pilates, nautilus equipment, free weights or something else be mindful of your form. The key is finding something YOU enjoy and doing it in such a way that you are safe and avoid injury.