1. How is Pilates on
the ball different from regular Pilates?
» The Stability ball is an effective
tool you can use to modify Pilates Mat exercises, making the
exercises appropriate for all skill levels.
» The Stability ball adds the increased
challenge of balance to the mat exercises.
2. What are two or three benefits of
doing Pilates on a stability ball?
» The ball allows you to progressively
increase or decrease the intensity of the Pilates mat exercises
by making slight adjustments in your body position.
» The unique dynamic aspect of the
ball allows you to roll into positions and transition positions
» For many of the mat exercises, the
ball allows you to go through a greater range of motion than
traditional Pilates mat exercises.
» The ball improves balance, posture,
body awareness, and coordination.
» The ball is an inexpensive, portable
tool that will enhance the Pilates Mat experience.
3. What are one or two of the most common
mistakes people make when doing Pilates, especially on a stability
» A common problem people have when
doing Pilates mat exercises is improper body alignment, position
and form. Adding the ball to your Pilates workout will train
postural alignment and strengthen the core muscles that support
the spine and enhance posture.
» At times, students get over zealous
and want to rush through the exercises. Although the exercises
should flow, each exercise has a specific purpose, a simple
but definitive beginning and end to each movement. One of
the key principles of Pilates is Control. Control is essential
to the quality of every movement. Motions performed without
control can lead to injury, but exercises performed with control
produce positive results. Always begin each exercise appropriate
to skill level and progress only when you can execute the
exercise with precision and control. When adding the challenge
of balancing on the ball to certain Pilates mat exercises,
one should be able to hold the position with good form and
alignment before adding controlled, deliberate movement.
» Another problem is people tend to
only focus on the moving limbs when doing exercises. Although
it’s important to strengthen individual body parts as
we’ve done in our traditional strength training workouts,
in reality, “daily life” calls upon our ability
to use our body as a total unit. It’s a sense of training
from the inside out. The Stability ball quickly reminds us
that movement is initiated from the “powerhouse”,
your core. When combining stability ball with Pilates, certain
muscles will move or work through a range of motion while
other muscle groups work to stabilize. You’ll improve
both mobility and stability which are so essential to quality
of life. Try to develop full-body awareness. Stay aware of
not only the moving body part, but also what the rest of the
body is doing.
4. What is one simple thing the magazines
readers can do to help optimize their Pilates/ball workouts?
» Begin with the modified beginning
6-7 exercises to introduce your body to the Pilates movements
combined with the ball in a safe and appropriate way. Only
when you can hold the starting position of an exercise on
the ball with proper form and alignment, should you add movement.
Be attentive to what you are feeling as you may discover your
powerhouse-abdominals, lower back, hips and buttocks. The
consistent (suggested 3-4 days per week) practice of the beginning
7 will build a base of understanding, knowledge and new-found
strength and mobility.