This is the third part of a three-part series of Joseph Pilates philosophic/conceptual principles. The first part was his definition of physical fitness, the second article in the series offered Joe’s five fitness principles. This article will deliberate on one of the five fitness principles, flexible and decompressed joints.
There is so much to discuss about any one of the Pilates principles. I chose flexibility and decompression because, in my many years of working with bodies, incorporating flexibility and decompression teaching and exercises have given my clients huge mobility successes.
- Flexibility – the development of a full range of motion around a joint
- Decompression – to create space within a joint
These two principles will allow for increased mobility, agility and responsiveness of your body throughout your life.
Of these two principles, it seems that there is much less focus on decompression. Here are just a few benefits of decompression.
Re-hydrate discs: Synovial fluid surrounds all of our joints. The practice of decompression creates space around the joint allowing the fluid to flow easily.
Reduce nerve pressure: Creating space within a joint decreases the chance of pinched nerves which can produce a lot of pain at that joint and referred pain to elsewhere in the body.
Realignment: The back is supported by hundreds of ligaments and muscles that stabilize the spine but also hold it in compression. When the back moves out of alignment from bad posture, over time this support structure will hold the body in bad posture. Fortunately, the spine lends itself quite readily to correction. Pilates movements that roll and unroll gradually restore the spine to its proper posture.
Flexibility and decompression exercises are a great preventative approach to surgery. There are many reasons to incorporate Pilates into your fitness schedule. The benefits felt in your body from flexibility and decompression exercises are just one reason.
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