Pilates exercise is a mind–body exercise approach requiring core stability, strength, flexibility, and attention to muscle control, posture, and breathing. Pilates can either be practiced on an exercise mat (matwork Pilates) utilising gravity against body weight, either with or without small pieces of equipment such as resistance bands, or Pilates can be practiced on larger pieces of equipment such as a Pilates reformer, which is a bed-like frame with a moveable carriage and uses spring resistance.
The method was originally created in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates and was popular with gymnasts, dancers and boxers. Since this time the Pilates method of exercise has gained worldwide popularity, and is used by people of ranging abilities, from sports people to those that are inactive; those who have back pain or are rehabilitating from an injury; those that are very young or elderly, and it is also used pre-and post-pregnancy. Research has shown that Pilates exercises are effective in improving flexibility, dynamic balance, core posture and muscular endurance.
Pilates is not trademarked, therefore instructors can gain certification from a wide variety of teaching programs, and as such you may have experienced different methods and styles of teaching. At Physioimpulse we teach Clinical Pilates, which stems from the ‘modern’ Pilates approach. Clinical Pilates is influenced by Physiotherapy, biomechanics and evidence-based principles, where exercises are tailored to an individuals’ needs and abilities, and emphasis is placed on developing body awareness. So for example, Pilates can be beneficial to those who wish to improve their sporting ability; those who suffer with aches, pains or an injury; and even those who wish to improve their ability to sit at their desk for work all day. Emphasis is placed on the quality and precision of the movements performed rather than just the number of repetitions.
Lockdown will have affected peoples’ physical and mental well-being in differing ways. Many will have experienced feelings of anxiety, loneliness or depression. Some will have missed the gym and the swimming pools, or their usual exercise classes; some have been stuck working from home at make-shift desks, which may not be set up in the best way; or they are busy with childcare and as such have had little time for themselves. Others have been taking the opportunity to tidy their gardens and take on DIY projects, which is great for keeping active but can result in various aches and pains.
Exercise is a great way to help look after our physical and mental well-being, and this can take on many forms. If you are interested in Pilates either as a form of exercise in its own right, or as a tool to help you achieve a particular goal then please get in touch to discuss your needs. Our Physiotherapists are able to offer 1:1 matwork and reformer Pilates sessions in a safe clinical
Bike Fit In Bath
As a cyclist you have many options when it comes to getting the right bike and making sure you are
riding it comfortably.
At the very start of the journey you hope to have selected the correct frame size and type of bike for your intended use. Most bike shops will be able to get this part of process right for the rider, though some are better than others. We are lucky in Bath to have a couple of great shops with knowledgeable staff who are passionate about cycling rather than some of the larger chains with disinterested store assistants.
So you’ve got the bike and hopefully all is well. But there are often a number of reasons why things don’t go to plan and we may start to develop discomfort when we are riding or even start to aggravate or cause an injury.
Here are some of the reasons why riding that new bike may be causing you some issues:
• Changed frame geometry which can affect riding position
• Altered contact points relationship (e.g saddle to bar drop)
• New saddle
• Over-exuberance with the new bike leading to a drastic increase in ride mileage
• Different gearing from your previous or other bike
• Unsuitable crank length
If you start to develop some issues your first port of call may be to pop back to the bike shop. In
some cases the solution to your problems may be beyond the shop’s remit and a bike fit may be
recommended to address your problem.
Bike fitting is a process through which a trained professional can make adjustments to the
position and set up of the bike to best match the rider’s current capacity - whether that be
flexibility, strength, stability etc.
Most bike fits will be offered by individuals who have undergone some training in how to deliver
this process using various check sheets, average values for joint positions and possibly motion
capture systems that generate a ‘recommended’ set up.
As specialist therapists, we have worked with cyclists for many years helping them to
overcome various problems and injuries. It is this specific knowledge that allows us to go beyond
a simple check-box formula based approach to bike fit.
At Physioimpulse we ensure each rider is individually screened and if there are any injuries picked up these form an important part of the basis of the bike fitting decisions made in the session to achieve the best possible outcome.
In the case that injury is already established then it is most likely that the bike fit will not ‘cure’ the
problem as a stand alone intervention. Once again, as trained specialist therapists, we can offer
guidance on the importance of setting up a comprehensive rehabilitation programme to ensure
the problem is addressed both on and off the bike.
So, if you are out riding but you are not totally comfortable, or you have been picking up small
injures here and there its time to consider having your bike fit re-assessed more comprehensively.
Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about your bike fit or if you would like
more information about our bike fitting service. We are always more than happy to answer questions.
What is Sports Massage?
At Physioimpulse sports massage therapy is delivered as part of our interdisciplinary team approach and is utilised in many cases we see in clinic as a strategy for injury management and prevention. Cases of a stiff neck and upper back from professionals in a desk based occupation are one of the most common patient complaints we receive on a daily basis. Often the port of call is sports massage, where techniques such as deep tissue release combined with muscle lengthening techniques can go a long way towards restoring normal functionality. They work by releasing areas of increased tension from poor working posture or repetitive strain, and can help to break down areas of focal tone (commonly known as knots).
Specific uses of sports massage:
After long bouts of exercise from activities such as resistance training or running, muscles are exposed to micro trauma in the form of small tears in the fibres they are made up of. This creates areas of swelling which can become irritable and often sore. Sports massage and rehabilitation can help to remove irritable substances such as lactate away from the site and can aid in the promotion of delivery of fresh and nutrient rich blood, providing the body with everything it needs for a speedy recovery process post exercise.
Scar tissue is what the body uses to repair damaged areas in muscles. Sometimes scar tissue can be dysfunctional and form as unorganised and weak material which puts the area at risk for re-injury. Sports massage and rehab can help provide a framework to begin to remobilise this tissue, make it more pliable and less prone to re-tearing.
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind:
Stress is an emotion experienced by everyone on a daily basis. No matter what level of stress, or whether it be physical or mental stress, the implications can cause negative effects on the body. Relaxation techniques are often used by the therapists at Physioimpulse, they allow for the targeting of the body as a whole and ultimately resulting in an elevation of both mood and bodily function in many of the patients we see.
What Can You Do To Reduce Muscular Tension?
-Daily stretching routine
-Foam rolling and self-applied massage
-Work at a standing desk
-Incorporate adequate rest and sleep
-Receive regular sports massage therapy
Central Bath Massage and Physiotherapy
Physioimpulse Chartered Physiotherapists