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Pilates and the Concept of Mindfulness

Pilates is Mindful Exercise
Nowadays, almost everyone from football players, to celebrities, to rehab clients and aging populations are looking to regain mobility see and feel the benefits of including a mindful type of workout in their exercise regime. Is mindful Pilates exercise right for you? Continue reading Pilates and the Concept of Mindfulness

Pilates and the Concept of Mindfulness
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Is Pilates good for Low Back Pain?

Is Pilates good for Low Back Pain? Often people ask me if Pilates is good for Low Back Pain. My answer is YES, it is. But there are many important variables to consider. Not ALL Pilates exercises are great for ALL back pain sufferers. Not all low back pain comes from the same structures. The choice of Pilates exercises depends on specific individual variants. Find out if Pilates is good for your low back pain: Continue reading Is Pilates good for Low Back Pain?

Is Pilates good for Low Back Pain?
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Pilates classes or Personal Training?

Are Pilates classes or Personal Training sessions best for you?
The most important issue to consider here is your budget and your time.
While personal training (one-on-one) can be expensive, each workout is tailored for your own needs, you can train on your own schedule without having to rely on when classes are offered and you can use all the equipment in the house. However, it is important to consider that not everyone can afford to pay for this type of training. Therefore, group classes are a great alternative to one-on-one sessions Continue reading Pilates classes or Personal Training?

Pilates classes or Personal Training?
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Pilates Classes appropriate level for me

People often ask when they book Pilates Classes, what is the appropriate level for me?
If you have never danced tango before, would you book into an intermediate class? NO, right? Same in Pilates. Pilates exercise was created by Joseph Pilates who was influenced by professional dancers, gymnasts and athletes. The repertoire is complex and requires mastering. Very few actually get to master the advanced repertoire. Continue reading Pilates Classes appropriate level for me

Pilates Classes appropriate level for me
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What is Pilates?

Pilates is a widely accepted and fantastic form of exercise pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates (1883-1967). Mr Pilates was a gymnast and bodybuilder and moved to England before World War I where he began developing his concept of an integrated and comprehensive system of physical exercise, which he later called “Contrology” Continue reading What is Pilates?

What is Pilates?
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Pilates for Teens

Pilates can make a massive difference in your teenager’s development and performance. Introducing Pilates exercise at an early age can provide the younger populations with a solid core foundation, stronger spine and joints and better movement patterns. This in turn can enhance their musculoskeletal development and athletic performance. Whether your teenager is a runner, plays tennis, rowing Pilates can help him/her improve the game Continue reading Pilates for Teens

Pilates for Teens
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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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Pilates Exercise For Back Pain

Is Reformer Pilates Exercise for Back Pain Beneficial?
Yes, absolutely, it can be. However, One size doesn’t always fit all. Read more…
Improved core strength, improved posture, increased flexibility are widely advocated benefits of regularly practising Pilates reformer. These will help you improve and prevent bak pain. Pilates exercise is focused on your abdominal muscles, preferentially recruiting the deep ones. The goal is to retrain your muscles to fire when they are required, with the right amount of force at the right time in order to stabilise your spine. At the same time, maintaining your entire spine mobile. Remember, “You are only as old as your spine is” Joseph Pilates…

Intelligent Exercise. You have to think
Concentration is crucial to Pilates exercise! Mindful movement means that you have to be present in the moment without distractions and focus on the task in hand.
So if you are looking for exercises to fix your back without having to think about what you are doing, Pilates is not for you. If you are willing to put the effort and voluntarily learn how to recruit your muscles by concentrating and focusing on precision and learning anatomically how your body needs to work, Pilates is definitely for you. #intelligentpilates

Working from the Inside Out.
As with every rehabilitation programme, local stability means that the joints in your spine are preferentially recruited before calling on the big power producing ones. Deep stabilising muscles work close to the joint and need to work before targeting the big mobilising ones. Learn how to do this with our Pilates Exercise for Back Pain classes.

How Does the Spine Degenerate?
As we age and sometimes through injury, the spinal segments degenerate. Spinal Degeneration Happens when the spine is put through stresses that the discs are unable to withstand. Poor posture, sitting for prolonged periods slumping will speed up this process. A weak support system can cause also the spinal segments to shear, compress the discs and it’s contents. (annulus fibrosus and nucleus pulpous.
Compression of the discs cause small tears to appear on the outside portion of the disc (fibrillation). These tears heal with scar tissue. Scar tissue is weaker than the original architecture of the disc.
Overtime, the annulus and nucleus lose its water content, the disc loses height and the vertebral segments come closer to each other. This causes the facet joints in the back to overlap and twist into an unnatural position. In an attempt to stabilise the spine, the body creates bone spurs on the vertebral bodies and the facets. These spurs can cause pain, ache or discomfort as they lose their ability to move properly and may irritate the joint capsule as you move without support.

Pilates as Prevention For Further Damage
Pilates Exercise for Back Pain can help maintain your spinal segments mobile, strengthen your deep abdominal musculature in order to stabilise your spine as you move around in your daily activities.
Prevention is better than the treatment!

We Can Help
If you suffer from episodic mechanical, non-specific back pain, a Pilates programme may be beneficial for you.
Book now an assessment. We can diagnose, treat and help you get strong through Pilates exercise.

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Blog written by Carlo Yanez
Registered Osteopath B.A.(Hons.), B.Ost.(Hons)
Fully certified STOTT PILATES® Instructor

 

Pilates Exercise For Back Pain
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