Pilates Reformer Stretch and Release Workout

Get maximum benefits out of their Pilates practice we add a few minutes of Stretch and Release work using massage balls to our classes.

Video: Irina is introducing Pilates Reformer Stretch and Release Workout.

With the current modern lifestyle, like sitting at the computer all day, long commute hours, excessive weight and cardio training or regular daily stress, our bodies get tighter and more tense every single day. One of the reasons why Pilates becomes an invaluable wellness tool for every BODY is that it creates the optimal balance of strengthening and stretching so we can enjoy our life, our activities and be pain free.

While a consistent Pilates practice can be enough to improve flexibility over time I find that most students need a little “boost” to connect to their bodies and release tight spots especially if they are coming in after a long run, long drive or flight... In order to help our students get maximum benefits out of their Pilates practice we add a few minutes of Stretch and Release work using massage balls to our classes, and teach the full hour the whole body Reformer self-myofascial trigger point Stretch and Release Class.

Photo: Spiky massage balls.

Pilates Reformer Stretch and Release Workout. Interfit Pilates Studio.

Here are the instant benefits of adding self-myofascial trigger point Stretch And Release to the Pilates session:

  • 1. Decreased pain. Trigger Points can cause a lot of pain in the body. They often refer pain to a “remote” location in the body and can mimic various conditions like bursitis, tendonitis, even migraines and heart attack. Self-myofascial release combined with a regular Pilates program have proven to provide the best pain reduction results.

  • 2. Fewer headaches. Many trigger points are located in the neck and upper back area cause frequent headaches. Simple release techniques done on a daily basis will help you eliminate these trigger points from your muscles.

  • 3. Improved range of motion in the shoulder and hip joint, release in the hips that helps find and maintain neutral alignment in the lower back and pelvis.

  • 4. Better warm-up. For a long time static stretching used to be recommended as an effective pre-workout injury prevention technique Recent studies show that pre-workout static stretching actually inhibits muscle performance. Self Myofascial release is a more effective warm-up routine especially when it's combined with dynamic stretching.

  • 5. Improved flexibility. Trigger Points by nature make the muscle tight and weak. It loses its normal function and every attempt to stretch it will result in pain. Things change dramatically if we first release the trigger point and then stretch the muscle – that’s how we can improve flexibility in tight areas!

  • 6. Better posture. Self massage using Trigger Point Release techniques will help you release tight muscles in the upper back for improved posture.

  • 7. Reduced post workout muscle soreness. Release of the trigger points aids in removal of metabolic waste products from the muscle as well as overall improvement of blood circulation. It means that you will be less sore after your next workout!

  • 8. Increased blood flow and tissue hydration. When we apply pressure to the soft tissue (skin, fascia, muscle) the water is squeezed out of the tissues, and then is sucked back in when the pressure moves on or is taken away. It’s like squeezing a sponge over the sink and then letting it fill again while doing the pots and pans. This form of self massage improves the elasticity of the arteries that results in better blood circulation. Trigger Points create congestion spots in the muscle (like traffic jams that keep oxygen and nutrients from reaching their destination) and when we release them we open up the “highways.” Now our muscle cells can get all the nutrition that they need to function and perform all their daily tasks.

  • 9. Calming effect on the nervous system. Doing self-myofascial release the wrong way, that causes too much pain that you are grinding your teeth and barely holding the tears back is usually a bad sign. It causes muscle contraction that makes a tight spot only tighter. Bruising and extreme pain are a sign of damage, not of healing. You know that you are doing your Trigger Point Release right if you stay in the pain level around 3-5 (where 0 is no pain at all and 10 is intolerable pain.) After you finish your self massage session you will feel refreshed and relaxed all over your body. You can reduce the effects of daily stress by treating this session as the time to slow down, focus on your breathing and connect with your body.