What is Pilates?
Pilates was devised by Joseph H Pilates nearly 100 years ago. He believed that by concentrating on precision of movement, awareness of breath control and a continued flowing movement you would be able to alter abnormal patterns of movement.
Physiotherapy is very much focused on the importance of a balanced, aligned body and much effort is devoted to correcting muscle imbalances in the lumbar spine. The exercises are designed to create core stability by engaging the deep abdominal muscles. It works to tone your body while maintaining flexibility and mobility.
Many of the original Pilates movements are only really suitable for people who are already strong and flexible. Clinical Pilates is a form of Pilates where the original exercises are adapted to make them more suitable for a range of abilities, posture types and ages.
Who is it suitable for?
- > For anyone looking to improve core stability
- > For those looking to improve posture and alignment
- > For people with a history of back pain or neck pain who would like to reduce pain, improve stability, flexibility and quality of movement.
- > In recovery from an injury. Specific areas can be targeted to restore muscle balance and flexibility after an injury.
- > Post natal. The deep abdominal muscles and pelvic floor form part of the cylinder of core muscles. These need specific strengthening post natal.
- > Osteoporosis. Pilates will strengthen your spine, improve your movement and balance. Good balance is essential in falls prevention. The use of theraband for resisted arm and leg exercises in class is an excellent way to boost bone density.
- > For those who have always wanted to try Pilates but are concerned that they may not be able for the level of the class. Clinical Pilates is controlled and well supervised with small class sizes and a relaxed atmosphere where you can ask questions about your body or any of the exercises.
- > If you are working at a desk or PC and want to strengthen the supporting muscles around the shoulder blade and neck area. Many of the warm up exercises are designed to move out of tight postures and restore free movement to the neck, shoulders and arms, improving posture and reducing pain.
What is my Core?
- > In Pilates, we talk of the core muscles being your “centre”. Your core consists of local deep muscles and global muscles that are near the surface.
- > Your deep local muscles are designed to work gently all day to support your body and control it as you move. It is a cylinder of stability. There is a lot of focus on retraining these muscles because pain and injury inhibits them and they become weaker. Recovery is not automatic and they remain weak, leading to poor control and timing, unless specifically retrained.
- > Your outer/Global muscles are for movement and force and can assist local muscles with stability. Ideally local and global muscles should work together for perfect movement/support/control.
- > In Pilates you will be taught how to find your neutral spine position and how to engage your deep muscles.
- > As you improve, you will be able to hold this position and keep the muscles switched on as you move your body through the various exercises.
- > You will learn to breathe with the exercises to help relaxation and to help the muscles to work to their best ability.