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in our studio

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Profesor PhDr. Pavel Kolář

physiotherapist renowned for his physiotherapeutic care of top athletes and prominent personalities

We had the honour to welcome Professor Pavel Kolář in our studio and to discuss with him not only the topic of pilates, but also the techniques of correct execution of the exercises. We would like to share with you a few facts that are closely related to the exercises in our studio.

Since school, parents and teachers have been urging us to hold our bodies properly. That is why we hear most often the commands "don't slouch", "straighten up". What is the purpose of holding our bodies correctly? The reason is not only to feel good and look good, but above all to avoid excessive daily strain on our joints. If this load is optimal, we speak of the so-called "correct posture". If it is incorrect, then it is the reason for the development of joint wear and tear with subsequent effects on their structure. So what can we consider to be correct in terms of the load on our joints and muscles? There is not yet a clear answer to this question, as experimental evaluation of all the factors that influence posture (anatomical shape of the bones, quality of function of the central nervous system, nature of the ligamentous structures, etc.) is limited. Summarizing all the findings, however, it can be said that the "optimal" posture consists in a balanced arrangement of the body parts in relation to each other, with the joints in the so-called neutral positions. The position in which our joints are located in posture is not only important for sitting or standing, but also for any movement. For example, if we move a limb, we automatically have to engage the muscles that strengthen our spine, chest and pelvis. This means that in any movement we always engage the muscles that do not perform the movement itself, but which strengthen our body. In this situation, the stabilising muscles, which maintain the alignment of body parts in different positions and during movement, work in balance, but above all with the minimum possible force. If there is a deviation of the body parts out of the neutral position, then automatically the muscles on one side correct this deviation and are thus more engaged and non-physiological forces are exerted on the joints - they fall. Exercise systems that improve muscle control Pilates, function for posture include the Pilates method, which focuses primarily on strengthening the muscles that strengthen the torso.

All movement here comes from a stable centre - the so-called Powerhouse (centre of strength), which is reflected in all peripheral parts of the body, i.e. the limbs. Thus, muscles are not strengthened in isolation, but in synergy, or in interplay. A great emphasis is then placed on the deep abdominal and back muscles and the pelvic floor muscles. Unlike the Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization system, there is not as much emphasis on the diaphragm, which is one of the most important stabilizing muscles. By balanced activation of all these muscles, the intra-abdominal pressure is controlled, thus creating a strengthening of the entire trunk. The organs of the abdominal cavity can be likened to a liquid ball which, when there is balanced activity of the muscles around it, is squeezed evenly from all directions and thus provides firm support for the spine. The spine, which is stabilised in this way, withstands the load during daily activities and is also protected during sporting activities. The way the spine breathes is also essential for correct posture and muscle engagement during movement, which is changed by the correct exercise of the stabilising muscles. During exercise, emphasis is also placed on the experience of bodily movement, and thus for its better central control. This method is also characterized by the precision of the execution of each movement of each exercise, and therefore even slight errors in execution can have a negative effect. In this context, it is very important to perform this exercise under the guidance of a trained instructor. Exercises cannot be learned from videos or pictures. It must be reinforced in its effect by creating your own body sensation. This system is so effective precisely because of the concentration on each movement. In the case of taking the diaphragm function into account when providing the powerhouse centre of force, I consider this method to be very appropriate. It also has the advantage that it does not place demands on age, training, space or equipment and, thanks to the different levels of difficulty, it can be applied with effectiveness to beginners as well as to very skilled athletes.

Prof.PaedDr.Pavel Kolář, Ph.D.

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