The Benefits of Pilates Classes

Pilates classes can make a difference in your quality of life whether you are a complete beginner, a sports enthusiast or suffer from injuries.

Some of the benefits you can expect with Pilates classes are:

Improved body mobility.

Get out of bed easier in the morning! As we age our joints lose mobility and our muscles lose flexibility, especially our spines and muscles that are held in shortened positions (E.g. while sitting for long periods). Pilates exercise aims to mobilise your spine from the neck to the base in many planes and directions and separate each bit into articulation. Pilates also aims to restore balance in your muscles. The benefits of improved mobility are to reduce pressure on restricted joints and therefore reduce wear and tear on the spine.
“You are only as old as your spine is” Joseph Pilates.
Pilates exercise will aim to move your spine through segmental articulation. This means that you will work in every spinal plane and learn to articulate your spine like a ripple sequentially in various exercises. If you are not doing this in your Pilates classes, you are likely not really practising Pilates.

Improve back pain

. Back pain as a result of joint stiffness, poor stability, muscular weakness and lack of movement can improve with Pilates exercises. (*NICE guidelines for low back pain, 2016).

Improved Core Strength

Strengthen from the inside out. Core strength is at the core of Pilates exercise. Pilates exercises aim to work from the core to the periphery, from the inside out. Joseph Pilates original name was “Contrology”. Thus, as the name suggests, you will need to concentrate in order to control every bit of your body.

Improved body awareness and Coordination

Get to know your body and move freely. You will discover that you can move in ways you never have and discover muscles you never thought you had. Complexity is at the core of the Pilates repertoire. Movement is mostly multi-planal. If you learn to move your body in combined planes of motion your quality of movement will be superior.

Mindful Movement

Discover an intelligent, mindful approach to exercise with Pilates. For years many disciplines have advocated the notion the mind and body are interconnected. Mindful exercise can help to reduce stress and through a focus on breath, bring a calmer state of mind through precise, controlled movement.
As our lives get busier and more complex, leaving us with scarce time to “unplug”, the demands on our busy lives is increasingly growing. More than ever people lack the time to reflect and be present and to be mindful. Learn mindful movement with our Pilates classes.

How long for results?

Many people ask how long will it take them to see results with Pilates. As with every discipline, depends on the individual, the times per week spent training, the person’s level of conditioning before starting, body awareness, injuries, restrictions and so forth. However, one can expect to see results almost immediately after starting. The most challenging obstacle I often see with people is making the decision to start. Most people start Pilates after it’s been prescribed for a joint problem, but once they start, they end up loving the workout.
Learning the Pilates technique correctly may take a bit of time, but along the way your body will feel great and you will see the changes surprisingly sooner than expected.

How advanced is advanced Pilates?

In Pilates you don’t progress by being able to lift more weights or adding more resistance or hold planks for longer periods. In fact, most Pilates exercises do not hold positions statically at all. Some exercises, in fact, become more difficult on the equipment by reducing the tension. The difficulty in the advanced Pilates repertoire lies in the complexity of the movement and your ability to control your body without restrictions. By this I mean, short muscles, joint restrictions, or weaknesses. E.g. tight hamstrings, poor spinal movement, limited arm movement, tight hip flexors etc. The advanced Pilates work flows dynamically and was originally created for athletes, dancers, boxers and gymnasts. So, if you think about a gymnast/dancer exercising on a Pilates reformer, that would be what the classical advanced Pilates repertoire looks like.
Pilates can make a true difference in your quality of life and can help you improve your whole body mobility, reduce back and neck pain, improve shoulder movement and reduce pain.

How much do I have to train?

If you put the time in and attend classes at least twice per week, you will see results soon. The best part of starting a Pilates programme is that the improvements you make will help you in your daily life and activities, such as playing golf, tennis, or simply playing with your kids.

References:

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends a mind-body group exercise programme within the NHS for people with a specific episode or flare-up of low back pain with or without sciatica as a first line treatment for low back pain.
https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng59/chapter/Recommendations#non-invasive-treatments-for-low-back-pain-and-sciatica

The Benefits of Pilates Classes
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