My dancing background enables me to be creative with the traditional Pilates exercises which keeps the classes varied, interesting and fun.
The benefits are incredible, from strengthening and toning the tummy muscles, increasing flexibility, addressing muscle imbalances and improving posture. The feeling of well-being following a class is amazing and most certainly helps to improve breathing technique, reduce stress, increase energy levels and sculptures the body!
My aim is to keep the classes varied, using various types of equipment that can be used to provide support for beginners and clients with certain medical conditions, as well as resistance for clients looking to challenge their bodies.
What is Pilates?
Pilates was developed by German-born Joseph Pilates, who believed mental and physical health were closely connected. His method was influenced by western forms of exercise, including gymnastics, boxing and Greco-Roman wrestling. Joseph emigrated to the US in the 1920s and opened a studio in New York, where he taught his method for several decades, which he called Contrology.
Pilates aims to strengthen the body in a balanced way, with particular emphasis on core strength to improve general fitness and give you that sense of wellbeing. The series of exercises work the deep core muscles that stabilise the body. The aim is to work the muscles from the inside out, creating a stronger, flatter mid- section, improving posture, muscle balance, realigning the spine and improving both the function and appearance of the body. Many of my clients are referred by health professionals.
Who is Pilates for?
Pilates has something to offer people of all ages and levels of ability and fitness, from beginners to elite athletes, both men and women. I can tailor an individual programme for you which targets specific areas. The use of equipment can provide support for beginners and people with certain medical conditions, as well as resistance for people looking for a challenge. Before starting any exercise programme, it’s advisable to seek advice from your GP or a health professional if you have any health concerns, such as a health condition or an injury.
What are the health benefits of Pilates?
Practitioners say regular Pilates practice can help improve posture, muscle tone, balance and joint mobility, as well as relieving stress and tension. For elite athletes, including dancers, Pilates can compliment their training by developing whole body strength and flexibility, and help reduce the risk of injury.
- Reduces back pain and sciatica
- Strengthens back muscles
- Rehabilitate injuries
- Improves posture
- Increases mobility and flexibility
- Strengthen core muscles
- Strengthen the pelvic floor (very good for post-natal women and those suffering from stress incontinence)
- Improve body awareness.
- Improve balance and reduce the risk of falls
Can Pilates help reduce back pain?
Pilates can provide pain relief to people with non-specific lower back pain. With the use of equipment, such as the bands and ball, the exercises can be modified and adapted to individuals. Pilates has proven to be just as effective as, if not more than, massage therapy for alleviating lower back pain – which seems to affect pretty much all of us (male and female) as we age!
My qualification as a back care exercise specialist enables me to work with clients with back injuries and conditions that are debilitating and preventing people from enjoying their day to day life.
Can Pilates help me lose weight?
Pilates is classed as a muscle-strengthening activity, which can help you maintain a healthy weight. Classes can vary in intensity: they can be gentle, or dynamic and offer a solid workout. If you want to lose weight, I would advise combining Pilates with a healthy diet and some aerobic activities, such as swimming, walking and cycling.
From postural muscular strain to disc injuries, I will work with you towards improving the health of your spine. With an initial one to one we will design a programme to help you eliminate pain and move from recovery, to injury prevention through Pilates.
Oteoporosis is defined as a bone density of 2.5. A silent condition; until a broken bone occurs there are typically no symptoms. Chronic pain and a decreased ability to carry out normal activities may occur following a broken bone. Bone loss increases after menopause due to lower levels of estrogen. Although there are a number of factors that can increase the rate of bone loss, including some medications, illnesses etc, lack of exercise is a risk factor.
I have helped many spines improve their bone density and help reduce osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Pre and Post Natal Pilates
Increase your energy and aid a quicker postnatal recovery while maintaining your maximum health and fitness during pregnancy. Maintain flexibility, train abdominal muscles, increase back strength, strengthen pelvic floor and regain pre-pregnancy fitness.
Pilates for Men
Men often shy away from Pilates because it seems like a female-dominated practice. But in reality, many professional athletes use it as a form of cross-training to improve their overall performance.
Not a pro football or basketball player?
Pilates can still be a vital component to your exercise routine and serve as a fountain of youth for your overall physical well-being.
- Balance the body: Pilates works both sides the same way. This draws attention to any of your imbalances. If you favour one side of your body over the other, if an arm, leg, or group of abdominal muscles is weaker, Pilates will demonstrate the difference. It will allow you to strengthen your weaker side.
- Improve posture: If you haven’t been giving your posture enough love because you sit at a desk all day, drive in a car endlessly, or just don’t know how, Pilates will mother your posture into alignment. Pilates corrects poor posture by strengthening the muscles that “lift” you up. Good posture is not just for your appearance – it’s also for your health! Proper posture reduces the wear and tear on your spine and improves your balance, which, can decrease in quality as you age. If balance degrades, you’re more prone to injury by tripping and/or falling.
- Become stronger – in places you didn’t even know you could get strong: If you have an exercise routine, you probably work the same muscles all the time (and to be fair, that’s probably your goal). Pilates gets to the teeny-tiny stabilizers and otherwise neglected muscles that you didn’t even realize needed attention, which in turn support your larger muscles.
- Breathe better: Pilates focuses on diaphragmic breathing, which oxygenates your muscles (and your entire body) so that they can perform better. Plus, deep, quality breath helps your heart with blood circulation, reduce stress, and increases overall mental clarity. Proper breathing even helps with injuries: Practicing Pilates breathing techniques while performing any exercises will help prevent injury. In a study, Pilates breathing during trunk exercises was proven to reduce and prevent injury in comparison to the same exercises performed without focus on breath.
- Prevent injuries: Three of the main principles of Pilates are precision, centering, and control. Making these the basis of any physical activity allows your muscles to be more stable, in better form, and enables you to have more control over your movements. One of the most common causes of injury is improper form. With Pilates, you are literally balancing your body and zeroing in on properly aligned skeletal and muscular structure. This will carry proper alignment through everything else you do.
- Recover from injuries: Since Pilates can be tailored to any level and for any injury, it makes a beautiful addition to a physical therapy program. The thought of minimal activity during injury recovery drives anyone used to being active bananas!
- Reduces back pain: Pilates has proven to be just as effective as, if not more than, massage therapy for alleviating lower back pain – which seems to affect pretty much all of us (male and female) as we age!
- Increase your range of motion: Pilates’ focus on flexibility and lengthening will increase your range of motion, making everyday movements (like reaching up high to get something from the top shelf) and physically related movements significantly smoother and easier.