The Benefits of Pilates Classes
Pilates reformer classes can make a difference in your quality of life whether you are a complete beginner, a sports enthusiast or suffer from injuries.
Some of the benefits you can expect with Pilates reformer classes are:
Improved joint mobility
Getting out of bed is easier in the morning when your joints are supple!
As we age our joints lose mobility and our muscles lose elasticity. Especially our spines and muscles that are held in shortened positions will create contractures. (E.g. while sitting for long periods). Pilates exercise aims to mobilise your spine from the neck to the base, in many planes and directions and separate each bit segmentally. Additionally, Pilates reformer classes aims to restore balance in your muscles. The benefits of improved mobility are to reduce pressure on restricted joints and therefore reduce wear and tear on the spine.
“You are only as old as your spine is” Joseph Pilates.
Pilates exercise will aim to move your spine through segmental articulations. This means that you will learn to articulate your spine like a ripple sequentially in various exercises and work in every spinal plane. If you are already practising Pilates and you are not doing the above, then you are likely not really practising Pilates.
Improve back pain
Back pain as a result of joint stiffness, poor stability, muscular weakness and lack of movement can improve with Pilates exercises. (*NICE guidelines for low back pain, 2016). Even spinal injuries can benefit from Pilates reformer classes.
Improved Core Strength
Strengthen from the inside out, because core strength is at the core of Pilates exercise. Pilates exercises aim to work from the core to the periphery, from the inside out. Joseph Pilates original name was “Contrology”. Thus, as the name suggests, you will need to concentrate in order to control every bit of your body.
Improved body awareness and Coordination
Get to know your body and move freely. Discover that you can move in ways you never have and lear to connect with muscles you never thought you had. Complexity is at the core of the Pilates repertoire. Movement is mostly multi-planal. If you learn to move your body in combined planes of motion your quality of movement will be superior. It’s not about pushing and pulling, but about creating mindful connections with your body and becoming aware of how much better you can move.
Discover an intelligent and mindful approach to exercise with Pilates. For years many disciplines have advocated the notion the mind and body are interconnected. Mindful exercise can help to reduce stress and through a focus on breath, bring a calmer state of mind through precise, controlled movement.
As our lives get busier and more complex, leaving us with scarce time to “unplug”, the demands on our busy lives is increasingly growing. More than ever people lack the time to reflect and be present and to be mindful. Learn mindful movement with our Pilates classes.
How long for results?
People often ask how long will it take them to see results with Pilates. As with every discipline, depends on the individual, the times per week spent training, the person’s level of conditioning before starting, body awareness, injuries, restrictions and so forth. However, one can expect to see results almost immediately after starting. The most challenging obstacle I often see with people is making the decision to start. Most people start Pilates after it’s been prescribed for a joint problem, but once they start, they end up loving the workout.
Learning the Pilates technique correctly may take a bit of time, but along the way your body will feel great and you will see the changes surprisingly sooner than expected.
How advanced is advanced Pilates?
In Pilates, you don’t progress by being able to lift more weights or adding more resistance or hold planks for longer periods of time. In fact, most Pilates exercises do not hold positions statically at all. Some exercises, in fact, become more difficult on the equipment by reducing the tension. The difficulty in the advanced Pilates repertoire lies in the complexity of the movement and your ability to control your body without restrictions. By this I mean, short muscles, joint restrictions, or weaknesses. E.g. tight hamstrings, poor spinal movement, limited arm movement, tight hip flexors etc. The advanced Pilates work flows dynamically and was originally created for athletes, dancers, boxers and gymnasts. So, if you think about a gymnast/dancer exercising on a Pilates reformer, that would be what the classical advanced Pilates repertoire looks like.
Pilates can make a true difference in your quality of life and can help you improve your whole body mobility, reduce back and neck pain, improve shoulder movement and reduce pain.
How much do I have to train?
If you put the time in and attend classes at least twice per week, you will see results soon. The best part of starting a Pilates programme is that the improvements you make will help you in your daily life and activities, such as playing golf, tennis, or simply playing with your kids.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends a mind-body group exercise programme within the NHS for people with a specific episode or flare-up of low back pain with or without sciatica as a first line treatment for low back pain.