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Emma James Physio Blog

Chartered Physiotherapy and Clinical Pilates

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February 2020

Pilates for Men

It is 2020, and we know people now realise that Pilates isn’t just for women. You can almost hear the collective sigh of relief from us physios – partly because we can finally (almost) move on from the long-overplayed “so you think Pilates is a girls’ thing? well then let me tell you about Joseph Pilates…” rhetoric, but mainly because we are finally seeing the benefits of Pilates being recognised by the wider public and how it is becoming increasingly common across different demographics.

While Pilates is hardly a gender-specific/focused exercise routine, it is worthwhile mentioning how its application can benefit men nonetheless. From the amateur weekend warrior to professional athletes, principles of Pilates have been firmly incorporated in their weekly schedules, training, and recovery sessions; here are some of the reasons why.

kelvin-on-reformerFlexibility

Reformer Pilates involves various three dimensional movements, working the length and elasticity of your muscles and encourages your joints to be able to move through the biggest possible range, thus reducing your likeliness of injury.

Improving Posture

The origin of most aches and pains is bad posture. Every Pilates exercise you do will have a postural benefit due to the combination of challenging your strength and flexibility. Pilates will develop muscular balance in your joints which will improve your posture.

Core Strength

Your core is the combination of muscles that support your spine and torso, forming the foundation for all movements. A weak core causes instability and reliance on dominant muscles, which over time inhibits flexibility, reduce range of movement and ultimately cause injury. Pilates promotes core activation and engages all of your postural muscles leading to more stable and powerful movements. Consider a tennis player who has to return a powerful serve while moving and contorting their bodies: for them to be able to generate the adequate force on their return they must have good core strength.

Addressing Muscular Imbalances

Some of your muscles, like those that dominate your daily movements, are stronger than others, and a huge emphasis of Pilates is focusing on those muscles that don’t typically get a lot of attention. Pilates requires you to consciously move in certain ways to challenge muscles that you don’t hit while lifting heavy weights in the gym, running or in your daily life.

Awareness, Concentration and Focus

mens-health-pilatesPilates forces you to pay attention to your body, you’ve got to focus on your breath while working through each movement and concentrating on proper form and activating the correct muscles. This significantly enhances your body control and awareness (Thus improving your balance as well) which are both fundamental skills to maintaining sporting performance.

The reason that Pilates is fundamentally such an all-encompassing, well-rounded approach to exercise and body movement is precisely the reason why it could – and should – be incorporated in most people’s routine. Its minimal requirement of equipment and space makes it a very versatile option for a quick, mobile workout, and the gains from Pilates almost always translate across to other aspects of one’s wellbeing as well. More and more men are slowly realising its benefit and the conversations with their physios are certainly a lot different to what it was a few years ago.

It is 2020. It is no longer a misunderstanding, and it is no longer just a trend.

kelvinKelvin

Blog post by Kelvin
Senior Physiotherapist at Emma James Physio

More Information:

Pelvic Floor and the Menopause

The menopause and perimenopause can bring with it problems associated with pelvic floor dysfunction. The menopausal years can span any time from 45-55 years. The perimenopause can occur for many years before this while women are still having their monthly cycles. Some women who go through an early menopause could experience symptoms at a much younger age.

Reduced levels of oestrogen starting around menopause can cause thinning of the lining of the urethra, the short tube that passes urine from the bladder out of the body. In addition, the surrounding pelvic muscles also may weaken with aging, a process known as “pelvic relaxation.” As a result, women at midlife and beyond are at increased risk, or an exacerbation of pre-existing, stress and urge incontinence.

What is your pelvic floor?

Your pelvic floor muscles are a broad sling of muscles, like a trampoline, stretching from your pubic bone at the front of your pelvis to your coccyx (tail bone) at the back. They form the floor of your pelvis and are responsible for:

  • Supporting your pelvic organs – your bladder, bowel and womb
  • Controlling your bladder, bowel and sexual functions

Experiencing urinary incontinence (leakage) should not be accepted as normal at any point in a woman’s life. Below are the different types of incontinence.

exercise-and-pelvic-floorStress Incontinence

Stress incontinence is the most common type of incontinence and is when urine leaks during activities such as coughing, sneezing, lifting and during exercise. It occurs because the pelvic floor muscles become weak and are unable to cope with the rise in abdominal pressure associated with these activities. Weakness of these muscles can happen because of childbirth, chronic constipation, persistent coughing and around the menopause and perimenopause.

Urgency and Urge Incontinence

Urgency arises when your bladder needs to be emptied in a great hurry. Sometimes the urge to pass water is so strong that leakage happens before you get to the toilet. This is called urge incontinence. This relates to the size of your bladder, how much it holds, and how it is trained to respond. Mixed bladder leaking describes a combination of stress incontinence and urge incontinence.

Heres just a few ways we can help here at Emma James Physio:

Pelvipower_magnetic_field_training_EJPhysio

 


Special offers:

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Pelviva is an award winning, life changing, Pelvic Floor muscle re-trainer that uses a specially developed stimulation programme to treat the symptoms of bladder leakage in women.

The Pelviva treatment programme exercises your Pelvic Floor muscles to prevent bladder leaks when you laugh, sneeze, cough or exercise and to help you hold on when you urgently need the toilet.

Receive 10% off purchase price when you use the code EmmaJames at checkout when you purchase online.

Visit the Pelviva Website for more details and how to buy.

Secret Whispers

secret-whispers-logo-webSecret Whispers ™ was born after its founder Julie discovered that there were no adequate products available to help improve her pelvic floor and a lack of information available. The importance of pelvic floor exercises is often not discussed and crucially women are not given enough information about it.

Secret Whispers ™ is a pelvic floor toner for women. Its 6 Step Pelvic Floor Exercise Strengthen & Tighten Your Pelvic Floor Fast. It helps with – pregnancy, childbirth, incontinence and bladder control.

Secret Whispers ™ pelvic floor packs are available to purchase from our main Emma James Physio clinic. Please ask at reception for details. You can also purchase online,

Click here to Purchase Secret Whispers Products


Heres a useful guide to the pelvic floor, supported by wellbeingofwomen.org.uk

lisaAsk our friendly staff for more information and how to book your place.

Lisa

Blog post by Lisa
Senior Physiotherapist
MSc MACP MHCPC MCSP 

Emma James Physio

Benefits of weight bearing exercise

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. The stage before osteoporosis is called osteopenia.

Oestrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. This is why the chance of developing osteoporosis increases as women reach menopause.

How can weight bearing exercise help?

Weight-bearing exercise, especially resistance exercise, appears to have the greatest effects on bone mineral density.

Numerous longitudinal studies have examined the effects of exercise training on bone health in children, adolescents, and young, middle-aged and older adults. There is compelling evidence that routine physical activity, especially weight-bearing and impact exercise, prevents bone loss associated with aging.

In a meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT), exercise training programs were found to prevent or reverse almost 1% of bone loss per year in the lumbar spine and femoral neck in both pre- and postmenopausal women (Wolff et al, 1999).

In addition, exercise training appears to significantly reduce the risk and number of falls and the risk and incidence of fractures is also reduced among active people (Carter et al 2001, Gregg et al 2000).

weight-bearing-exercisePreliminary evidence from a high quality trail indicates that exercise training is effective in improving bone density in older women (75–85 years of age) with low bone mineral density (Liu- Ambrose et al, 2004). In this 6 month trail, 98 women were randomly assigned to participate in resistance training ( n = 32), agility training ( n = 34) or stretching (n = 32). The greatest increase in cortical bone density were observed in the resistance training group, followed by the agility training group. The stretching group experienced losses in cortical bone density.

In Summary:

Regular weight bearing physical activity appears to be important in preventing loss of bone mineral density and osteoporosis, particularly in postmenopausal women.

How we can help optimise your bone health:

  1. Physiotherapist lead assessment, treatment and guidance on appropriate weight bearing exercises
  2. Pain relieving modalities (acupuncture, floatation therapy, manual therapy, massage therapy) to reduce pain to allow the individual to participate in regular weight bearing activity
  3. Personal training

More Information:

Please read the full article for more information. Warburton et al, 2006. Health benefits of physical activity. CMAJ.

lisaStay Healthy
Lisa

Blog post by Lisa
Senior Physiotherapist
MSc MACP MHCPC MCSP 

Emma James Physio

 

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