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About Pilates

Pilates is a system of exercise that gets you moving and keeps you moving.

The Pilates Method of exercise was developed by Joseph Pilates during the early part of the twentieth century. It has been described as a ‘whole body conditioning system’ in which the development of core strength, flexibility, body awareness and good posture are balanced to support healthy movement.

Exercises use precise, controlled movement to strengthen core muscles, mobilise joints and enable tight muscles to lengthen. The effect of Pilates exercises is quite subtle, you won’t feel ‘the burn’, but after an hour’s class you’ll know you’ve exercised and you’re likely to feel it a bit more the next day.

Pilates aims to train healthy movement in class so that you can transfer it everyday activities. A strong core, improved posture and increased flexibility reduce the inappropriate overworking of muscles which can lead to aches and pains. That’s why physios recommend Pilates as a good method of exercise.

Strength

Deceptively powerful, Pilates builds strength without compromising flexibility, producing a long, lean body profile. Pilates develops ‘strength from the inside out’, training the deep core of muscles in the back and abdomen. When the core is strong, inappropriate overuse of the superficial muscles is minimised, reducing the likelihood of tight and strained muscles.

A strong ‘core’ is the foundation from which Pilates builds strength in every part of the body.

Posture

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of good posture. It’s not just a matter of appearance. When your posture is good your weight is distributed evenly, minimising wear and tear to joints and muscles. When you are in good alignment, your muscles are able move without restriction and attain maximum efficiency.

There’s a lot of sitting down in our current lifestyle – at computers, in cars, on trains and buses and on sofas. Sitting down does not promote good posture. Pilates can help you improve and maintain good posture by building core strength to support your body in an upright, balanced position. It also trains good alignment as an intrinsic part of every exercise you do.

Flexibility

Pilates aims to get your body moving in the best way possible. Each joint in your body has an optimal range of movement and Pilates exercises work towards fully mobilising each one of them, enabling easy, flowing movement. The spine is regarded as key to good mobility. Joseph Pilates said ‘you are only as young as your spine is flexible’.

Balance and Stability 

When a strong core supports you in good posture, weight is evenly distributed across your body, creating the conditions for good balance. The Pilates method’s emphasis on precision of movement and the maintenance of good alignment actively engages and trains your body awareness. In addition, many Pilates exercises focus on improving balance as a specific goal.

Release of stress and tension

In its requirement for precise, controlled movement Pilates engages your mind as well as your body.  Exercises that lengthen muscles relieve physical tension, whilst the concentration needed to successfully perform the exercises pushes daily concerns to one side and allows the mind to relax.  This effect is enhanced by performing the synchronised breathing pattern which is an integral part of every Pilates exercise. At the end of a Pilates class, you should feel both relaxed and refreshed.

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