The MELT Method is one of the newest and fastest growing formats in the health and fitness industry. To learn more about MELT and how it can be used with Pilates, I had a chance to do a brief interview with Sue Hitzmann, the creator of the MELT Method and co-creator of MELT on Pilates, who is currently on her book tour. Below is some of the information that we learned about MELT and how it works with Pilates.
YB: The MELT Method focuses on connective tissue health – how would this method apply to the practice of Pilates?
SH: MELT applies to all movement modalities, exercise, yoga, walking… basically active living on all fronts. The connective tissue system is the missing link to living pain-free. It is unaddressed through exercise or diet. Lots of people exercise, do Pilates, eat a great diet and still have pain. If you want to improve the benefits of Pilates and keeps your body functioning efficiently, adding an understanding of connective tissue is essential. MELT simplifies profound science so anyone can understand just how vital this system is and it is an applicable method that applies the science in every aspect.
Pilates is such a dynamic, efficient form of exercise that is so universal. MELT improves everything about Pilates because of its ability to create an immediate change in the connective tissue system, which is responsible for whole body communication, proper muscle timing, shock absorption, and other important aspects of movement. MELT rebalances the body before doing the bilateral strengthening techniques of Pilates. MELT improves timing, form, and symmetry of the body and reduces compensation, compression, and the risk of injury.
YB: Pilates focuses on core strength and stability, how does the MELT method enhance or compliment Pilates training?
SH: The innate reflexive reactions awakened by MELT influence the “powerhouse” muscles to work more accurately and efficiently. Core strength and innate stability begin on the neurological and connective tissue level. If you practice Pilates or any core strength/stability exercise regimens, adding MELT prior to these activities will prepare the neurological and connective tissue components of spinal stabilization, core efficiency, and movement coordination to be more precise thus aiding in the benefits of Pilates techniques while reducing the risk of injury or compensation to create motion.
YB: What specific MELT programming would be best suited for Pilates training (i.e. hand work, foot work, roller work)?
SH: Any of the MELT techniques will improve Pilates exercises because it accesses a body wide system. There are however particular moves and sequences that ideally complement particular Pilates exercises. Hallee Altman,owner of the Center Studio® and co-creator of MELT on Pilates, and I developed the MELT on Pilates program, which includes specific sequences to use as MELT Prep Maps for Pilates and MELT Half Roller techniques to modify Pilates techniques. MELT on Pilates strives to make the body better suited to perform challenging Pilates work. The joints will have more freedom to move and the core works more efficiently.
The prep maps are specific MELT sequences chosen to improve particular Pilates exercises. These variations suit many individuals who struggle with core timing and unknowingly compress their spine, hinge at their neck, or create movements that simply cause more damage than benefit.
The other component of MELT on Pilates is a series of Pilates Mat exercises using the MELT Half Roller that both modify and enhance the authentic mat exercises and create assistance that is typically only found in private apparatus work. The Half Roller techniques create more accurate movement and maintain the purpose and intention of Pilates mat work.
For more information about the MELT Method and Sue Hitzmann you can access her website at http://www.meltmethod.com.