“Pilates develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit.” – Joseph Pilates
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Pilates is an exercise method, designed to elongate, strengthen and restore the body to balance. Classes focus on exercises that integrate the whole body to re-educate and restore it to optimum muscular and skeletal function.
It strengthens the deep supporting muscles of the body, popularly referred to as the ‘core’, to build a strong foundation for movement or to gently coax your body back to pre-injury / pre-pregnancy condition.
It is its holistic approach that sets Pilates apart from many other forms of exercise. Osteopaths, physiotherapists and general practitioners recommend Pilates as one of the safest forms of exercise today.
Frequently Asked Questions about Pilates Classes:
Can Pilates help reduce back pain?
Can Pilates help me lose weight?
Am I too old for Pilates?
It’s never too late to start! With Pilates, you can devise a programme of exercises tailored to the individual.
“With older adults, I tend to work on balance, leg strength, spine flexibility, posture, co-ordination and breathing. I offer more gentle exercises to work on their weaknesses and improve their mobility.”
Do I have to be fit to do Pilates?
No, that’s the point. Pilates is suitable for people of all levels of fitness. Practitioners say it’s a more gentle way of raising your activity levels, especially if you have poor mobility, aches and pains or an injury.
Many people do Pilates because they’re not fit. It can be adapted to raise the fitness levels of someone less active, but it can also challenge someone very fit. Before starting any exercise programme it’s advisable to seek advice from your GP or a health professional if you have any health concerns, such as a health condition or an injury.
Can I injure myself doing Pilates classes?
Pilates is a gentle, low-impact form of exercise. Injuries are uncommon. However, it’s important that you find a class suitable to your level to ensure that the routines aren’t too challenging. Angela offers level 1 and 2 Swiss Ball in the City as well as a remedial mat option and the class in Leigh is a level 1 mat class. Reformer 1-2-1 lessons are bespoke to the client.
If you don’t exercise already or you’re recovering from injury, it’s advisable to check with your GP, a health professional and the Pilates teacher before starting a class.
What's the difference between Pilates and yoga?
Both Pilates and yoga focus on developing strength, balance, flexibility, posture and a good breathing technique. With their emphasis on the unity between the mind and body, the direction of the practise is dependent on the intention and experience of the teacher. The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase the strength and flexibility of the whole body) and breathing.
Pilates also uses breathing, but its exercises focus much more on precise movements to target specific parts of the body. The best Pilates classes are in small groups where the teacher can develop programmes to suit each person’s strengths and weaknesses.
What's the difference between Pilates with the Reformer Machine and Pilates on mats?
Joseph Pilates designed his exercises to be performed on specialised machines and later developed the mat exercises to allow his students to practise at home.
Matwork exercises are mostly performed on the mat using small pieces of equipment such as stretch bands, foam rollers and Swiss Balls.
For certain medical conditions, Reformer Pilates may be more suitable, as the 1-2-1 approach means an exercise programme can be tailored to a person’s individual needs.
Pilates can be beneficial for just about everyone, regardless of age and fitness level.
Level 1 is suitable for beginners, returners and those in rehabilitation from injury or persistent niggles.
Level 2 requires previous experience, physical strength and coordination. These sessions challenge even the strongest individuals.
However, an experienced teacher is crucial. Find out more about Angela here