This program was developed by the late Joseph H. Pilates who's goal it was to realise each person's physical capabilities and limitations while giving them exercises to correct their muscular imbalances and weakness.
Due to poor postural habits, stress, repetitive movements at work, whilst playing sports or after injury, our bodies can develop muscular imbalances. This means some muscles may become weak and loose tone whilst others become tight and shorten. This can adversely alter the way we move and may ultimately lead to injury.
This method is particularly useful for back and neck pain sufferers as they often develop weakness in the deep abdominal and back muscles that prevent them from fully recovering. Physiotherapists have long been aware of the benefits of strengthening these muscles, and have found the Pilates Method to be a safe and effective way of achieving this to reduce the incidence of back pain.
The following key principles are drawn together to form safe and efficient movement patterns that stretch and tone the body.
Emphasis is placed on stabilising the body's "central core" around which all movements are performed. This is achieved essentially by activating the deep abdominal and back muscles. Importance is also placed on drawing the pelvic floor and the deep shoulder girdle muscles into this "center".
These exercises require focus on the quality of movement rather than quantity.
The spine is held stable in a neutral position, restoring the normal curves and therefore protecting the structures of the spinal column. The neck and shoulders are also positioned correctly to reduce strain.
Exercises begin slowly and with minimal effort. Sequences of movement should be smooth and flowing and are progressed carefully.
Breathing should be continuous and deep. Following the natural breathing pattern and incorporating it into the movement sequences can aid concentration and activation of the stabiliser muscles. Most people notice changes within a few weeks but everybody is different and a lot will depend on how often you practice.
The program is recommended for men and women of all ages, who are interested in improving their total fitness, posture and well being.
However Pilates is particularly relevant for:
Practicing Pilates on a mat means you are using your own body for resistance and your core muscles work more efficiently to hold you in vertain positions an perform the exercises. If the instructor uses props, such as bands, weights, balls or rings, it will double or triple the diversity of moves for a mat class.
Exercises are performed using the Pilates reformer machine and it is generally more intense and more dynamic then mat based Pilates, as if adds resistance via the use of the springs, which form part of the machine.
We run a variety of different classes to suit all individuals. Please contact the City of London clinic directly for more information.
Classes are held at our City clinic please call 0844 800 7312 for class information.
One to one sessions are available for those who would like individual attention, have specific targeted injury areas or have goals requiring more frequent sessions.
Why not bring a friend and make it a two to one session, having someone to work alongside is not only fun and challenging, but can be very rewarding and lighter on your wallet.
Pilates with a Stott Trained Instructor -City of London