The Pilates Method is a combined mind-body technique that focuses on strengthening muscles around the spine and pelvis, and correcting problems with posture. This is achieved through a progressive series of special exercises which increase in intensity as these muscles get stronger.
Pilates is often referred to as ‘thinking exercise’ – it requires a great deal of concentration, precision and control. Rather than focusing on the large stronger muscles (the ones normally used for sport/ gym work), this technique emphasises isolating the weaker deep postural muscles in the lower back, neck and shoulder blade area. These muscles are the ones that give our body support and give us protection against pain and joint weakness.
Pilates is based around 34 original exercises developed by Joseph Pilates nearly a hundred years ago and involves eight fundamental principles:
1. – relaxation
2. – concentration
3. – alignment
4. – breathing
5. – stability or centering
6. – co-ordination
7. – flowing movements
8. – stamina
Modified Pilates is suitable for people of all ages, fitness and health. The traditional exercises are broken down into defined levels to enable a gradual progression towards normal functional movement.
The benefits of Pilates, therefore, are amazing!
1. – Reduced incidence of spinal pain
2. – Improved flexibility
3. – Greater strength and muscle tone
4. – Improved posture
5. – Greater joint mobility
6. – Lowered stress levels
Overall, a body which works as nature intended!
The program is based upon the Australian Physiotherapy & Pilates Institute (APPI) method and research. Modified Pilates combines remedial Pilates techniques together with physiotherapy spinal rehabilitation exercises to deliver a very safe, effective, tried, tested and enjoyable way of strengthening your spine, in addition to all of the above mentioned benefits. These are led by an experienced Chartered Physiotherapist fully certified by the APPI to instructor level.
Classes are taught in small groups with no more than 12 participants to allow close supervision and to ensure a safer, more effective class environment. They are taught in six to eight week blocks to allow participants to progress their technique effectively. Each session lasts between forty-five minutes and an hour. Should you wish to attend on an ad-hoc basis, you will need to have completed a beginner’s course first.
All our participants are required to fill in a health questionnaire and undergo a brief assessment prior to commencing classes to ensure suitability.
Private classes and one to one sessions are also available. If you are unsure of your suitability we recommend that you book a one to one session prior to starting a course.
Level 1 Beginners
This is for participants with no Pilates experience and will teach you how to correct your posture, set your centre and lateral breathing. Once achieved, you will be taught a variety Level 1 and 2 exercises.
Follow on from beginners which will progress your level of exercises and stamina as well as introducing some new exercises.
Level 3 Intermediate
For those who have attended pilates regularly for at least six months.
Level 4 Intermediate to advanced
For those who have attended pilates regularly for at least a year.
A level 4 class which is taught at a higher speed. Good knowledge of the exercises and general fitness required. The class is 45 minute session of high level exercises.
A level 4 class which focuses on enhancing sports performance. This class will adapt to fulfil the participants needs. During the Autumn/Winter this class has a ski bias which will then change in the spring summer months to work on the areas chosen by the class members – eg endurance, power, improved balance and control.
Pilates for Teens (11-15 year olds)
These are the years are when children’s bodies are growing the most. A lot suffer the physical problems associated with this – ‘growing pains’- as the muscles try and catch up with their new height and size. It is also a stressful time and they are dealing with a lot of pressure from all sorts of directions. Combine this with the effect if the hormones on emotions and self confidence can suffer. Pilates is an en excellent way of helping all of these things. The pilates for teens is a shorter and more relaxed class. There is no pressure and they can push themselves as much as they are happy to. It is a 45 minute class which will work on posture, flexibility and core strength. It will also give them 45 minutes to switch off and relax!
Pilates for Cyclists, Skiers, runners and horseriders
These classes consist of higher level exercises designed to address common postural and movement imbalances within the participants sports. Before joining one of these classes you are required to have a brief assessment to ensure your suitability as the level of pilates is aimed at approximately level 3-4. They are also suitable for other clients wanting to try a different form of pilates. You don’t have to be a cyclist/skier/runner or horse rider to enjoy and benefit from these classes!
The Pilates method is well-suited to develop and improve rider fitness and function. Exercise off the horse is time well spent to improve seat, balance, posture and movement in the saddle. Strength, balance and flexibility form the foundation of Pilates for Riders. Improvements in these areas allow for a fluid body motion with the horse – ultimately leading to a better rider and horse partnership. Recreational or competitive level, Pilates can help to improve riding skills and the communication between horse and rider.
Classes specifically for people who are wishing to prepare for skiing after a period of inactivity, injury or operation. The class will:
- review the classic ski posture
- consider skiing demands
- identify common postural and movement imbalances that may contribute to poor ski technique & risk of injury and learn ski specific pilates exercises to help avoid these
What to wear/bring to the classes
Please ensure you wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes which allow free movement. We would advise you to bring some water to drink as refreshment throughout the session and a towel.
Looking after yourself
Please do not exercise if you are feeling unwell or have just eaten a heavy meal.
If your medical status (or any medical conditions) changes in any way from your initial assessment, it is your responsibility to inform your class instructor. It is important that in the class environment, you exercise and progress at your own safe pace. It is better to do a few exercises well than more exercises poorly, therefore putting yourself at risk of injury. If while doing any of the exercises you feel uncomfortable or unsure as to what to do, stop, advise the instructor and wait until he/she is available to come around and check the exercise with you. Remember it is always advisable to consult your GP prior to taking up any form of new exercise.