What is Pilates?

What is Pilates?

Pilates in St Albans with foam roller

Small equipment is used in some of our Pilates classes

We are often asked, “What is Pilates?”  Originally called ‘Contrology‘, Joseph Pilates (pronounced Pi-lah-tes) developed a system of exercises during the first half of the 20th century which were intended to strengthen the mind and body.  Joseph Pilates believed that mental and physical health are interrelated.

Pilates is one of the most popular exercise systems in the country.  One of the best things about the Pilates method is that it works so well for a wide range of people.  As all of the exercises can be modified, it is suitable for almost anyone from athletes and dancers to seniors, pregnant ladies and people at various stages of physical rehabilitation.

Benefits of regular Pilates exercise include stronger, longer and leaner muscles, decreased aches and pains and a feeling of wellbeing.

Core strength is the foundation of Pilates exercise.  The core muscles are not just the deep, internal muscles of the abdomen and back.  Instead they literally run from head to toe with abdomen and back being our ‘powerhouse’.   When the core muscles are strong and doing their job they support the spine and movement allowing the body to move more freely and efficiently.

The Six Pilates Principles:

Centering, Control, Flow, Breath, Precision, and Concentration:
These principles are essential ingredients in a high quality Pilates workout. The Pilates method has always emphasized quality over quantity, and you will find that, unlike many systems of exercise, Pilates exercises do not include a lot of repetitions for each move. Instead, doing each exercise fully, with precision, yields significant results in a shorter time than one would ever imagine.

Additional benefits of Pilates classes are:

  • As well as fewer aches and pains, better posture is achieved
  • Increased performance in other sports (horse riding, golf, football, etc)
  • Improved balance and co-ordination
  • Improved mind and body awareness

Find out all about our Pilates classes and check out the Pilates class timetable.  Remember if you don’t see a time which suits you then contact Clare as we will try to accommodate you wherever possible.