What is Pilates?
Pilates is a form of exercise, developed by Joseph Pilates, that emphasises the development of the body through core strength, flexibility and increased body awareness.
Pilates is suitable for a wide range of people; athletes and dancers can challenge themselves, more senior clients can develop their strength and balance, women returning to exercise after pregnancy can work safely and people who are recovering from injury or surgery can build up their strength. It is suitable for everyone and can be a gentle form of exercise or more challenging depending upon your goals and fitness levels.
The benefits of Pilates that clients report are becoming stronger, leaner, and more able to move with grace and ease. It is a great way to improve your posture which will help to not only improve your appearance but can significantly reduce pain. Many people find Pilates relaxing as the classes include elements of stretching, breathing control and you need to concentrate on what you are doing!
Low Back Pain
We are all aware of the large number of people who suffer with low back pain and the high costs of recovery. It has been shown that a major factor in the recurrence of low back pain is the weakening of the core muscles, especially the deep tummy muscles. Pilates has been found to be clinically effective in strengthening these muscles in order to reduce and prevent the recurrance of low back pain.
One of the great advantages of pilates is that each exercise can be very easily adjusted to target a different area of the body so even in a class setting it is possible achieve individual goals. Modification is one of the key Pilates principles; all exercises are developed with modifications that can make a class safe and challenging for a person at any level.
The main core muscles are the deep, internal muscles of the tummy and back and pelvic floor. When they are working correctly these muscles support and maintain our posture with out us being aware of them. We also have core muscles in our neck, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles.
Through Pilates you will learn to control and strenghten the main deep tummy and pelvic floor muscles, plus work the other core muscles. It can be hard initially to 'feel' these muscles working so we will continually check that you are performing the exercises correctly. Typically, each class instructor will demonstrate a few repetitions of each exercise and then help the participants of the class.
"Fantastic Pilates teacher. Classes are relaxed and enjoyable, but still challenge you at your own level. Explanations and demonstrations are both very clear. ...I love her classes and look forward to going each week to feel I've had a good work out, and leave feeling the benefits of a better posture - even a little taller. Thanks"
Pip Alexander reviewed Physio by Rachel - 5 star
'' I started Pilates 2 years ago with some degree of scepticism because it did not appear to be a particularly strenuous or physically challenging way of improving fitness. In practice I found that, with expert instruction from Rachel, the exercises have delivered real benefits – particularly improved flexibility and endurance. Pilates has resolved a lower back pain which used to be a recurring problem for me. It’s also a great way to wind down after a day’s work! The exercises can be modified in a range from beginners to advanced so you can progress over time. I would thoroughly recommend Rachel’s Pilates classes ''.
Mr T. Rider