What is Pilates?
Pilates is an exercise system that focuses on stretching and strengthening the whole body to improve balance, muscle-strength, flexibility and posture. It was created by German-born Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s and incorporates elements of yoga, martial arts and Western forms of exercise.
What are the Health Benefits?
Pilates can help to improve posture, muscle tone, core strength, flexibility and joint mobility and stability as well as relieving stress and tension.
How does it work?
By working on the deep architectural structure of the body, ‘core stability’ is achieved, and then maintained, through increasingly complex movement sequences. Specific problem-areas can be targeted by an exercise, but always in relation to the rest of one’s body. Pilates literally teaches you to be in control of your body, allowing you to handle stress more effectively and achieve relaxation more easily.
Am I too old for Pilates?
No. Pilates is suitable for people of all levels of fitness. It’s a more gentle way of raising your activity levels, especially if you have poor mobility, aches and pains or an injury.
Pilates can be adapted to raise the fitness levels of someone less active, and it can challenge someone very fit.
Can it help to reduce back pain?
Pilates can work for everyone, regardless of fitness level. Exercises can be mat or machine-based, but matwork exercises have a great attraction in that they need no special equipment, and are particularly safe for those with back problems (and don’t forget that 95% of the UK population has, or has had, backache). Its consistent success rate in solving such problems has brought it to the attention of osteopaths, chiropractors, physiotherapists and homeopathic doctors, many of whom have either set up Pilates studios as part of their practices or established a close working partnership with their local Pilates teacher.