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What is Pilates?

Pilates is an exercise programme based on 34 specific exercises developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s. His exercise programme was designed to strengthen your body with an emphasis on core strength. It also concentrates on posture, balance, joint stability and flexibility.

Joseph Pilates based his work on three principles: Breath, whole-body (mind body and spirit) health and whole-body commitment.  Today these principles are cited as: so anyone can participate whatever their age, gender, fitness levels or conditions. 

Pilates is far gentler than a number of aerobic classes but it will still boost circulation and provide long-term benefits, without putting unnecessary stress on the body’s joints. It can also help to sculpt and streamline the body, but without adding muscle bulk.

Pilates focuses on the mind-body connection as while doing the exercises you will need to constantly be aware of your breathing and your body movements. Lateral breathing is encouraged to ensure that you get full lung capacity by using the correct muscles to breath. This then increases the oxygen levels to the muscles.  We exhale through the mouth, engaging the core to promote core stability.

Pilates exercises are low impact and performed in a slow and controlled way so that movements can be isolated to work specific muscle groups. Quality of movement is far more important than quantity and speed.  Slow movements are often more challenging than doing them at normal or fast speeds and moving slowing ensures that exercises are done correctly and safely.  Correct body alignment also plays an important part. As a result, the risk of injury is much lower than with other more strenuous or faster forms of exercise. Pilates enables you to gain control in a small range of motion first before gradually increasing the range of motion as you gain control and grow in confidence.

Exercises can also be modified or progressed to suit everybody’s needs so anyone can participate whatever their age, gender, fitness levels or conditions. 

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"The Pilates Method teaches you to be in control of your body and not at its mercy." - Joseph Pilates

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