Pilates uses correct alignment, centering, concentration, control, precision, breathing, and flowing movement (the Pilates principles) to establish a perfect working body from the inside out. Classes build strength, flexibility and lean muscle tone with an emphasis on lengthening the body and aligning the spine, rather than on bulking and shortening the muscles. Pilates has a focus on the core which can basically be thought of as the ‘powerhouse’ of your body. Because of its core focus, Pilates is popular not only in the field of fitness, but also in rehabilitation. The focus on strengthening the core and improving postural awareness are especially well indicated for the alleviation and prevention of back, neck and joint pain.
Health benefits of Pilates:
The health benefits of Pilates include:
– improved flexibility
– increased muscle strength and tone, particularly of your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks (the ‘core muscles’ of your body)
– balanced muscular strength on both sides of your body
– enhanced muscular control of your back and limbs
– improved stabilisation of your spine
– improved posture
– rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
– improved physical coordination and balance
– relaxation of your shoulders, neck and upper back
– safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries
– prevention of musculoskeletal injuries
– increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
– improved concentration
– increased body awareness
– stress management and relaxation.
Pilates caters for everyone, from beginner to advanced. You can perform exercises using your own body weight, or with the help of various pieces of equipment. A typical Pilates workout includes a number of exercises and stretches. Each exercise is performed with attention to proper breathing techniques and abdominal muscle control.
Although Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise, certain people should seek medical advice before embarking on a new program, including:
– people who have recently had surgery
– pregnant women
– people aged 40 years or more
– people with a pre-existing medical condition such as heart disease
– people with pre-existing musculoskeletal injuries or disorders
– anyone who has not exercised for a long time
– people who are very overweight or obese.
Group Mat Pilates Classes currently run Mondays at 7pm, and Wednesday and Saturday mornings at 9:30am. Call the office for further information.