Hi there. This is Cassie, the owner and instructor at Dive Pilates, located in Concord, MA. As a classically trained Pilates instructor, my belief in the value of movement, especially in the Pilates method, is strong. So strong that Pilates is my main form of exercise, taking two private sessions and one equipment class remotely every week. In fact, I’ve never been in better shape. My clients who work with me regularly are also in great shape. One might ask, why bother with sports massage if Pilates can help you learn to stretch and strengthen muscles on your own?
Great question, and this is where working with Sam comes in. Pilates helps you stretch and strengthen from the inside out. The apparatus helps you get into the correct shapes and support you while focusing on the muscles that need to be developed; this keeps your stronger muscles from taking over. Every once in a while though the fascia that rests on the muscles gets tangled up, or a trigger point in the muscles gets activated. Sometimes, this stuff will work itself out over time; but a visit to Sam will fix it faster–he can help by working on your muscles from the outside in.
I go to Sam about once a month for a 90 minute sports massage tune up. As a movement professional, I’m pulling and pushing bodies around all day, so even with all my Pilates, some myofascial release is welcome. What is fantastic about Sam is that he encourages his clients to work with him. For example, he encourages breathing techniques for his clients to do to help release areas in the body that are at issue. It
Now, a combination of a regular Pilates practice and regular sports massage can do absolute wonders for people who need to really work on changing their bodies for the better. Let’s take three different people: The avid runner, the avid cyclist, and the professional who is at their computers all day.
The Avid Runner
The person who runs all the time will probably have extremely tight hips, hamstrings, quads. They may not be using their gluteus muscles effectively. Their ankles may be weak and very inflexible. Their backs and shoulders may be overworked because of weakness in the abdominals. Here’s the cycle that can help the runner become balanced and run more efficiently:
Massage: Find and work out any apparent impingements in the body.
Pilates: Start moving the body and stretching stiff spots and strengthening weak spots. As the body changes;
Massage: New areas are accessible for release, range of motion is increased
Pilates: More range of motion, more opportunities to stretch and strengthen the body at the same time.
The avid cyclist might have over-developed quads and less developed, and thus underutilized, gluteus muscles and hamstrings. The upper back and upper arms mostly likely are very tight from hunching over the bike. Pilates can again strengthen the gluteus, stretch the quads and hips, strengthen the core, and teach how to move the entire body more efficiently by integrating the body and mind. Massage can help by releasing impingements, working fascial release, creating a more able body to work in the Pilates method.
The Office Worker
Upper back tightness, rounded shoulders, poor posture, lack of core strength, back pain define some of the ailments of the person chronically stooped over a computer typing away. Pilates can strengthen the core to help with posture, open the upper back, and strengthen the entire body. Massage can loosen muscles to enable further movement, and thus the symbiotic cycle of Pilates and massage continues.
The point is a regular movement practice paired with targeted massage can really work wonders in a body to restore balanced, functional movement.
If you ever have any questions about Pilates, please contact me!