Sunday, January 22, 2006
It slices, it dices, it's a floor wax,...
The study concluded that the cardiovascular benefits of Pilates appear to be limited.
That's the part that gets the lede. However, they go on to say
"Pilates has a long list of benefits including improved body mechanics, balance, coordination, strength and flexibility," said Dr. Cedric X. Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for ACE. "While the ACE study shows that a Pilates session burns a relatively small amount of calories, it is still a valuable addition to any exercise routine offering the essential elements of building a strong core and increasing flexibility."
(A leftover from my days as a holier-than-thou editor: I hate confusion of "amount" and "number.")
This was part of the alleged controversy in the Wikipedia pilates brouhaha as well: some folks complaining that, yeah, it increases core connection and improves posture and all, but it's not, like, high-impact and stuff.
Most athletes of all kinds cross-train. The reason I got into pilates in the first place was as a supplement to dance; and some forms of dance, along with some martial arts, come as close to total body systems as any regimens I can think of. I don't claim that the work I do is all anyone needs to stay fit. In fact, with my dancers in particular, I've stated categorically that I am under no obligation whatsoever to provide a complete workout; my task is to focus in on those physical issues that require particular attention, and if that means devoting an entire session to the achilles tendon (or to letting a student catch up on sleep), so be it.