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
Physioimpulse Chartered Physiotherapists