Pilates has become a household name and is an incredibly powerful form of exercise which lengthens and strengthens your muscles without stressing your body. It can look very easy and indeed it is easy to “cheat”.  To get it right takes practice and time. Stay with it though and your body will thank you for it as you begin to feel and see the benefits. It becomes more rewarding when others comment on your improved posture, improved muscle tone perhaps even looking taller.

Technique is important You have probably heard of “the core” and certainly Pilates works this, helping you to achieve a flatter tummy whilst also working on other important muscles, eg your glutes i.e. your bottom which if properly worked can help with reducing /avoiding back pain.

In Pilates you work from the inside out by using your deep abdominal muscles and stabilising your spine so you move, walk and look so much better. It often means changing what our bodies have become used to following years of incorrect posture, lifestyle and occupation, stresses and injuries to name but a few.

Pilates helps to re-educate the brain and the muscle recruitment with the result of restoring good posture and alignment; the body is then able to move more efficiently and effectively. The exercises are progressive so you continue to improve.

Pilates is an empowering method of exercise and suitable for most people and especially those suffering from back conditions. Pilates is excellent also for the older person  (see below) and may be helpful for individuals with Parkinsons, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia although there will need to be some specific exercise prescription. Pilates can also be a beneficial form of exercise for people with cancer and the medical profession is now beginning to recognise this. There is an interesting article on the Mesothelioma.net website (click here for the article) about the benefit of exercise. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer and their website has much information about this.

Pilates for children is also very beneficial helping with movement, co-ordination, motor skills development and self esteem and confidence. (Currently I work with children only on a one on one basis or a small group of 2 or 3 rather than in a larger group setting).

All Pilates exercises do not suit everyone and so in class or in private sessions I will give alternative exercises where appropriate. I treat you as an individual and encourage you to work at your own pace, motivating you to do more where appropriate.

Effects on Older adults.

There has been a recent (2015) review of the effect of Pilates on older adults by Bergamin et al and this has provided several clear and positive outcomes. The age range in the review was 60-80 years. However the practise of Pilates is also likely to have similar benefits on younger age groups .  From the Bergamin review there is good evidence to show Pilates is effective;

  • on improving strength and maintaining this over long periods
  • improving dynamic balance
  • improving flexibility and range of motion
  • improving walking patterns and gait
  • may help to prevent falls in the elderly for all the above reasons

There are 8 principles of Pilates: CENTREING, PRECISION, BREATH, CONCENTRATION, ISOLATION, CONTROL, FLOWING MOVEMENT & ROUTINE. Understand these and learn well and your Pilates practise will progress well.

So, a little about me with my Pilates hat on;

I am a fully qualified and insured Pilates instructor and continue to update my knowledge through additional training and workshops. You can never know enough about how the human body works. I’ve found over the years that you cannot rely fully on theory and text books, you have to look at the person in front of you and understand the individual. The body is very adept at compromising and adapting which can only work well for so long.

I also have a level 4 qualification in Low Back Pain which ensures you are in safe, knowledgeable hands if you are being referred by a physiotherapist/osteopath (or other medical professional) to Pilates to help manage your back condition. I am also qualified in children’s Pilates and pre & post natal Pilates including advising on exercises for those who have experienced a diastasis ( abdominal split,tear) or SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction in pregnancy).

I teach Pilates as a course (click for details) in Wokingham and Sindlesham, Reading and I can provide individual or small group tuition. The emphasis is always on technique; it has to be. Whatever level you are, at the end of a Pilates session you will feel lengthened, stretched and relaxed. In this frenetic paced life this is truly beneficial. All courses limited to 12 persons. Some courses are fewer in number.

Corporate Pilates or Pilates in the workplace is also offered.

NB If you are familiar with Pilates, it may be possible to join a course part way through. Just phone or email to discuss.

For further information call Wendy on 07951 922750 or
email: info@challengefitness.co.uk