The Pilates method, created around one hundred years ago by German-born Joseph Pilates, is practised by many people around the world. It has been evolved and adapted and in recent years has become extremely popular.
The value of Pilates exercises is well-known. They aim to strengthen the body, with particular emphasis on the core or 'powerhouse', as well as to improve general fitness and wellbeing. Pilates is suitable for people of all ages and levels of ability, from complete beginners to athletes.
Benefits of Pilates
With regular training, you may notice the following changes in your body:
- improved posture and core strength
- increased muscle tone, balance and mobility
- less stress and tension
- greater body awareness and alignment
- more body strength and flexibility
- reduced risk of injury
- more effortless movement
Initial consultation will include a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q), postural assessment and goal setting. If you have any health concerns, such as a health condition or injury, it is advisable to seek advice from your GP or health professional.
At my studio in Farnham I offer private sessions and small group classes (for up to 3 people). Depending on clients' goals and abilities, I use a combination of elements, techniques and small equipment to tailor each programme. These include:
Matwork - Floor-based exercises performed on a mat using the body's own weight as resistance. Small equipment such as spikey balls, therabands and rollers may be used to add variety and to challenge the stability of the spine and limbs. Matwork is a versatile style of exercise that can be adapted to any level.
Standing Pilates - A functional form of Pilates that modifies the original mat-based exercises into a standing position. It's great for people with injuries or limited mobility who can't get on and off the floor easily but still want to enjoy the benefits of Pilates. It also provides a link between Pilates matwork and everyday movement. Due to its weight-bearing nature, it can help in the prevention of osteoporosis by building stronger bones.
Fascial training - A new training concept that works on one of the most important tissues in the body: the fascia - a network of connective tissue that is essential to keep the body supple, flexible and strong. Fascia surrounds every structure in the body including bones, organs, muscles and nerves and plays an important role in movement, posture, pain and proprioception (body awareness). It is one of our richest sensory organs: there are ten times more sensory nerve endings in the fascia than in the muscles!
Stretching - Not only does it feel good, it also has numerous benefits and should be part of an overall health and fitness regime. Stretching means taking time to listen to the body. When performing stretches, we explore new ranges of movement with the aim of allowing the body to feel safe and to relax, which in turn reduces muscle tension.