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What is Pilates?

What is Pilates?

Joseph Pilates introduced Pilates into America In the 1920s as a method to safely return injured athletes and dancers to exercise and maintain their fitness. Since then, Pilates has been modified to suit people in the general community. Pilates is a method of exercise that combines deep breathing with low-impact muscular strength and endurance sequences that also challenges flexibility of the entire body. In Pilates, your muscles are never worked to exhaustion, so there is little or no sweating or straining, but it does require concentration and attention to technique to build strength. The quality of each posture is more important than the number of repetitions or how energetically you can move.

The main types of Pilates:

Matwork Pilates- this is a series of exercises performed on the floor using gravity and your own body weight to provide resistance. Equipment that can provide challenge to a matwork program includes Pilates balls, bolsters/pillows, hand weights, resistance bands or a Pilates ring. Mat work is a great choice for everyone from Pilates beginners to advanced athletes because the exercises not only can build in difficulty, but every exercise can be modified to decrease or increase the level of challenge.

Reformer Pilates- this style of pilates is performed on a specialised bed-like apparatus. The reformer is a large rectangular frame. It’s carriage (a padded platform) sits on the frame attached to runners enabling it to slide along the length of the frame. At one end of the frame is a foot bar and springs which attach the carriage to the frame. At the other end, are two long ropes with handles attached to pulleys. The tension of the reformer and therefore, the intensity of the exercise or routine, can be adjusted by adding or removing springs. You can be positioned in a number of ways to perform exercises on the reformer including:

· Lying down

· Lying on your side

· Kneeling

· Standing on or beside the reformer carriage

· On you hands and knees/on all fours


What are the benefits of Pilates?

By practicing Pilates regularly, you can achieve several health benefits, including:

· Improved core strength and stability

· Increased muscle strength and tone throughout the whole body

· Improved posture and balance

· Enhanced flexibility and coordination

· Prevention and treatment of back pain and other musculoskeletal injuries

· Improved concentration

· Increased body awareness

· Stress management and relaxation

· Safe form of prenatal and antenatal exercise

· Rehabilitation from surgery


Is Pilates suitable for everyone?

Pilates caters for everyone, from beginner strength and stability training to advanced challenging workouts for experienced athletes. Pilates is safe and can be adapted in a number of ways to cater for the changing body throughout pregnancy and can accelerate the recovery process and return to exercise after giving birth.


What can Golden City Physiotherapy do for you?

Our physiotherapist Ash is a qualified Pilates instructor, completing her certificate IV in Matwork and Reformer Pilates instruction in 2021. Since completing training, Ash has worked closely with a number of clients on the Pilates reformer to assist in the rehabilitation of shoulder, hip and knee injuries, as well as neck and low back pain. If you think Pilates might be for you, or would like to know more information, call the clinic today and chat to one of our friendly staff about options that are suitable for you.

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