Pilates is a training system which was founded by German-born Joseph Pilates. It was originally called Contrology and was suited to dancers and students of performing arts. The original repertoire consists of 34 exercises which can be done at home (Matwork Pilates) and a lot of Pilates classes incorporate these and modifications of these to make this amazing exercise form accessible to everyone.
Today, Pilates is used for a number of things and has many types all over the world as different schools have put their own spin on Pilates’ work. You can do Pilates using equipment or just you and a mat. Pilates is known mostly for improving your core strength and rebalancing the body’s muscular system, but you also learn how to breathe properly again and improve your body awareness, balance, functional strength and mobility. It literally makes you move better.
We work with six main principles:
Concentration – Performing your exercises correctly and paying attention to all areas of your body all of the time.
Control – Being in control of every movement including the little ones.
Centring – Focusing on your central band (your core structures) and moving through this focus point.
Flowing movement – Smooth movement without jerking or stiffness.
Precision – Move precisely and correctly in every movement.
Breathing – costal breathing (or lateral breathing) helps us to control our body in Pilates. We breathe in to prepare, breathe out, engage core and move, breathe in to recover.
Because of the discipline that we have with our moves and the concentration we need to perform exercises safely and correctly, Pilates is really good for those who respond well to a calmer exercise environment. In class we work on imbalances in the muscular system, firstly working to mobilise joints and then working to strengthen the bigger muscles of the body (our global muscles). We also work on the stabilising muscles around the joints to give them more security.
Due to the exercises we do in class, Pilates Matwork brings amazing benefits to those suffering with arthritis, generalised aches coming from stiff joints, anxiety and depression (happy hormones are released during exercise), postnatal recovery, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue (low impact and done at your own pace) and of course those just wanting to really feel the changes made to their own body on a deeper level. We change our bodies for long term function in Pilates, so if you want to come and join us, book your place on the next block here Pilates Classes
Written by Kirsty Ritzema