Pilates exercises help both men and women develop optimal strength, flexibility, endurance and posture, without building bulk or stressing joints. The perfect complement to cardiovascular exercise, athletic training or rehabilitation, Pilates helps you tone your body, feel revitalised, and move with ease.
Pilates was pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates, and is a mind-body exercise system designed to strengthen the weak and challenge the strong. The Pilates method focuses attention on core postural muscles that help keep the human body balanced and provide support for the spine. In particular, Pilates exercises teach awareness of breath and of alignment of the spine, and strengthens the deep torso and abdominal muscles.
Benefits of Pilates
The benefits of Pilates include:
- longer, leaner muscles (less bulk, more freedom of movement)
- improves postural problems
- increases core strength, stability and peripheral mobility
- helps prevent injury
- enhances functional fitness, ease of movement
- balances strength & flexibility
- heightens body awareness
- no-impact, easy on the joints
- can be customized to suit everyone from rehab patients to elite athletes
- complements other methods of exercise
- improves performance in sports (golf, running, triathlon, skiing, skating etc.)
- improves balance, coordination & circulation
Read our testimonials page too to find out how Pilates has helped our clients – over 55s, pre and postnatal and men and women alike!
Pilates for Back Pain
When your core is strong, posture improves, relieving stress on the joints and muscles. This is one of the reasons Pilates is often recommended for back pain issues. Increased flexibility, muscle tone, and balance also improve with regular practice.
With regular Pilates practice you can expect an increase in strength, flexibility, mobility, balance and body awareness, as well as a decrease in back pain or other general pains. It’s recommended that you practice at least two to three times per week.
Pilates for Rehab and Recovery
Pilates is a method of exercise and movement that can be modified to accommodate many injuries, ailments and conditions. Well taught Pilates can be beneficial post rehab as movement is key to recovery from injury. We recommend one to one sessions if you are coming back from an injury or if you have an underlying condition. As instructors one of the most rewarding aspects of our work is helping clients out of pain and improving their day to day activities. We work with clients who may have ongoing chronic pain or other conditions such as back or neck pain, scoliosis, ankylosing spondylitis, MS, osteopenia / osteoporosis and arthritis and also those recovering from breast cancer. Read more
Pilates for Sports
Pilates will also help you with your other sports activities – it will help you ski better, enhance your golf swing, run faster and bike longer – or do any activity better. It is an ideal form of conditioning for other sports and helps you to stay injury free and strong.
Whether you’re an elite athlete or a complete beginner, you can benefit from the Pilates Method. As Pilates is a non-impact resistance workout, it enables you to exercise whilst minimising stress on your joints so Pilates is a safe, versatile and effective method for a range of fitness goals.
Basic Principles of Pilates
The repertoire works on core stability. Your core consists of many different muscles that stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulders and provides a solid foundation for movement of the arms and legs. The muscles of the core make it possible to stand upright, walk, run, sneeze etc. A strong core distributes the stresses of weight-bearing and protects your back by improving your posture.
Of course, as your core becomes stronger the Pilates method has the added benefit of toning and firming the body.
Quality not Quantity
Pilates movements are precise and controlled and the precision of the movement is more important than the number of repetitions. For example 10 well executed Ab Preps in Pilates will show better results than 100 sit ups with bad form.
Pilates teaches students body awareness, enabling them to identify the correct muscles to use for movement. This in turn trains the muscles of the body into giving the joints better support, thus leading to better posture. This is why Pilates is called a mind-body exercise method.
Pilates also reduces the chances of injury in your chosen sport or activity by ensuring that the joints of the body are well balanced prior to any movement taking place.