A system of exercises designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, and posture, and enhance mental awareness – often referred to as the mind-body exercise.
Pilates is a unique method of body conditioning that integrates muscle control, breathing, flexibility, strength training and body awareness. It is strongly based around developing powerful core postural muscles - in particular the abdomen, back and buttocks - that help to keep the body supported and balanced. The focus is on precise, controlled movements with the emphasis on quality and form rather than the number of repetitions.
The smooth, precise and flowing movements are designed to create greater body awareness. The required mental concentration and coordinated breathing will develop your concentration and focus, thereby enabling you to get the full mind-body benefits that Pilates can provide. All exercises are low impact and are performed either on a floor mat or using specially designed Pilates equipment.
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Regular practice of Pilates has been shown to:
- Alleviate pain and discomfort
- Tone and strengthen muscles, especially the abdominals (“the core”)
- Increase flexibility and agility
- Improve posture and balance
- Enhance mobility, energy and stamina
- Reduce stress and tension
- Enhance sporting performance
- Assist in injury recovery and rehabilitation
- Promote resistance to injury
- Improve vitality and wellbeing
- Assistance with pelvic floor tone
- Improved breathing
Due to its low impact nature, Pilates can be beneficial for people of all ages and fitness levels. If you are in general good health and have no injuries, you would normally be suitable to undertake Pilates Mat Classes. However, if you are suffering from any injuries or certain other conditions such as Osteoporosis then Mat Classes may not be suitable. In this case we would recommend a Pilates Equipment Program.
Pilates Equipment is often used for rehabilitation purposes as well as for specific body conditioning requirements, such as those of sports people and dancers. During your Pilates Fitness Screen your physio will recommend the best option for your needs.
- Mobilise stiff joints and generally relieve pregnancy-related discomfort
- Increase stamina in labour and reduce postnatal recovery time
- Prevent back pain
- Balance pelvic instability and decrease pelvic pain
- Control pre and postnatal weight gain
- Strengthen muscles to assist not only in pregnancy and labour but also the postnatal period; and create better postural awareness
- Improve posture and alleviate back and neck pain related to breast-feeding and lifting
- Realign the pelvis
- Regain abdominal and pelvic floor tone
- Reduce tension of the neck, shoulder blades and upper back due to an increase in breast size; and cope with the demands of caring for a newborn baby through exercises that aid relaxation as well as strength and fitness.
Do you suffer from a fear of shiny lycra? Well don’t lose heart as you’re not alone! We are often asked by new clients what they should wear to Pilates classes; the simple answer is, whatever you are comfortable in as long as it is allows you to exercise and stretch adequately.
So whether it’s your favourite trackies and T-shirt or the latest sleek and coordinating gym outfit, know that you are coming to a place where you will not be judged; you and your commitment to your own health is the most important thing.
A special note to our male clients: if you are wearing shorts, please add a pair of bike pants underneath to avoid any potentially embarrassing gaping.