NEW TO PILATES
Pilates is the most significant functional movement method on the mat, providing you with the best mind-body awareness to help support you in your daily activities, keep you pain and injury free and enhance your performance in your sporting endeavours.
Pilates is a movement discipline that was originally designed by a man for men who were rehabilitating/interned in WW1 on the Isle of Man. The man in question is Joseph Pilates. His background was in martial arts, yoga, boxing, gymnastics and swimming. Having suffered through his childhood from Asthma, Rickets and Rheumatic Fever, physical exercise helped him strengthen and recondition his body. Using his experience of physical exercise, he developed a series of exercises, which we know today as Pilates.
Pilates helps to:
- Improve your posture helping to elongate your body to stand taller and feel lighter.
- Lessen pain and discomfort by reducing tension from overworked bigger muscle groups and providing better support through smaller deep stabilising muscles.
- Increase flexibility and reduce stiffness through stretching and gliding movements
- Protects your joints helping longevity – decreasing compression, increasing mobility and stability
- Decrease tension and stress for body and mind helping you to relax
- Balances your body and helps you be more adaptable to what life throws at you through multidirectional movements
- Enhance sporting performance and decreases injury by unloading force and repetitive load on your body
- Prehab before you need to rehab. But equally quickens your rehab. That’s why physios recommend it.
- Improve breathing and circulation, which in turn increases your energy and vitality
- Strengthens your core to support your back and posture, lessening injury
- Supports your sexual health and continence through pelvic floor exercises
- Give you a feeling of inner resilience through deep core work as well as working on stabilising skeletal muscles
Pilates – the difference for Men and Women
Pilates is a phenomenal mindful movement method that gives you a full body workout with emphasis on alignment, breath, core, coordination, stamina, relaxation, concentration, and flowing movements. These principles help you to improve your posture and combat the stress and tension your body is put under. After a session you feel more elongated and lighter – allowing aches and pains to diminish. Both women and men can benefit from this but best of all, it can be adapted to your body. Men often need more flexibility and Pilates can help with its dynamic stretches but it can also give men that hit of strength based movements – helping them to feel like they are working hard. Pilates also works on deeper stabilising muscles and less on the superficial bigger mussels, which men often focus on. This benefits joint longevity and posture as these muscles work to hold you upright and protect your joints.
For women the strength work is superb for toning areas that women often complain about such as bums, thighs and abs but more importantly for bone density. Women can feel intimidated in a gym setting to do weights, which is important for bone density and muscular strength. Mat based Pilates is low load and uses primarily your own body weight, which makes it the perfect combination for women. Women also get the added benefit of being able to work on their pelvic floor, which is great for rehab post birth. However, pelvic floor exercises and core stability exercises are excellent for men also because often men aren’t connected to their pelvic floor and core as women are more naturally inclined and taught about. The subtle engagement of the core for men can be harder but once they understand what ‘actually’ represents the core, they realise it’s more than just your abs and then this opens a whole new world of strength work where you are properly doing core exercises and not gripping in your hip flexors and glutes. This is hugely beneficial for those suffering from back pain.
Lastly, tuning into your body and having more awareness of your alignment helps hugely in other everyday settings such as sitting at your desk, driving your car or even standing brushing your teeth. But it can also help you perform better whilst you are running, cycling, playing golf as Pilates works on strength, mobility and flexibility and what’s not to love about this total body movement method. Thank you Joseph Pilates.