Saturday, November 3, 2012

Uh-oh! Pilates Hundreds Can Damage Pelvic Floor Muscles

Food for thought...
There's a new theory that abdominal crunches, the Pilates Hundreds included, are potentially harmful to the pelvic floor. As a responsible Pilates Trainer (who also teaches specialized pelvic floor, pregnancy and post partum classes), I can see why this thought has some merit: As the pressure in the abdomen rises, the pelvic floor muscles, the "hammock" located between the bony landmarks of the pelvis, may sustain extra pressure and potentially weaken. It is obviously clear that the urogenital diaphragm hangs in limbo if neglected. Well, how about cueing then? If we don't cue properly, crunches, sit ups and basically all Pilates exercises can backfire. In a few words, let's not spread this misleading information around. Let's take on the responsibility of teaching our clients all exercises safely taking into consideration EVERYTHING. We should teach every single exercise as accurately as possible, keeping a sharp eye on our clients and thus keeping their pelvic floor, back, knees etc safe!
How about this: think twice before you cue or neglect to cue next time. Cue and explain putting each exercise into context that the client can understand and relate to.
Exhale, connnnn-tract! Work through both diaphragms. Engage those abs and as a bonus, work through your pelvic floor focusing on tonality as you access your deepest abdominals!