Pilates (pronounced pillartees and not pilots!) is a form of exercise that helps tone and lengthen muscles to keep your waist slim and your tummy feeling toned. By connecting your mind and toning the tummy area, you can feel slimmer, leaner and more flexible. Pilates can assist in correcting poor posture and give you greater understanding about your own body movement (this is called proprioception). Pilates exercise is completed in (mostly) slow and always controlled movements of the arms, legs and spine.
This is a Reformer
There are Pilates machines available, such as the Reformer and Cadillac, however most group Pilates classes available are matwork based; meaning that you complete the class in a range of positions on a gym/yoga mat. (Don’t worry! These are provided at the class, so you don’t need to buy anything). The Beginners and Improvers matwork classes are not designed to be a cardio workout, so you won’t be working up a sweat or feeling out of breath by the end of class; rather, you will leave feeling taller, more relaxed and energised…. and If you’re still unsure, please have a read of our client testimonials, or come along and see for yourself.
Find out more about Body Control Pilates
Not all Pilates is the same. There are over 70 training providers in the UK- with many differences between courses. Joseph Pilates trained up several Elders, who went on the teach Second Generation Pilates Teachers… it is from each of these lines that Pilates Training Providers have come. With each Elder, came variation, through their personality, backgrounds and own perspective. Pilates has also developed over time through medical advances and our understanding of the human body.
The simple answer is no. Anybody can call themselves a pilates teacher- you can buy online courses for £15 and call yourself a Pilates Teacher. There is a belief in the Classical Pilates community that a training provider should be able to search back their line of teaching to their Elder- if this cannot be done then it has been suggested that the teachings are not really Pilates; it sounds like a fair enough way to distinguish the method- but the industry is not moderated and its doubtful this is the case in all 70+ providers. What is important however is that you have a good teacher; A good teacher will have completed a comprehensive qualification in Pilates and they will complete a specific amount of CPD annually. Your teacher should always be able to explain ‘why’ they are giving you an exercise- if they cant explain the ‘why’, be concerned!
Classical Pilates can be executed on The Mat, or on equipment. The exercises are set out in a specific order, with a specific number of reps usually. There is choreography between exercises so that it becomes one complete flowing class.
A classical Pilates teacher may break exercises down to allow them accessible to a beginner client, with the intention of the client achieving full Classical Pilates in the future.
Classical Pilates is beautiful and it is how Joseph expected it to be taught; It is his legacy and it is our history- this is important to all Pilates teachers.
Contemporary Pilates uses the fundamental elements of Joseph Pilates teaching, to create new routines and exercises, rather than the specifically named movements i.e. The breathing, the control and alignment of joints; the basic concepts and patterns of movement (that were intended to realign and balance the entire body).
Concentration promotes the mind-body connection. As you focus on your movement, Pilates states you will enhance your body awareness.
Centering consciously brings your focus to stabilising the body where needed, to create controlled and isolated movement. .
Pilates’ method is based on safe and complete muscle control. With proper control, you execute correct form, leaving no part of your body unattended- you direct each and every movement.
According to Pilates’ precision principle, executing one exercise well is more important than completing more repetitions with poor form.
Controlled breathing activates blood circulation, awakens muscles and prevents unnecessary intra-abdominal pressure. Pilates encourages breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Pilates increases awareness of the placement of all parts of your body. During your Pilates workout, it is important to be aware of the position of your joints as they move and stabilise.
Continuous: smooth and dynamic movement is important when increasing muscle length.
Uniting all the above principles to support and create pure, formed movement.
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