Exercise doesn't need to be stressful; it can be relaxing but efficient in improving your strength and posture to help prevent back pain. These are just some of the reasons why Pilates has become so popular and why in recent years we have seen such an increase in the opportunities to start Pilates classes across Edinburgh.
So what's all the hype about? We asked Amy French, a Chartered Physiotherapist and qualified Pilates instructor who is well known to the McNaughton Physiogrange Clinic.
What is Pilates?
It takes its name from the late Joseph Pilates, who developed exercises that focused on developing the body's core muscles to improve body awareness and posture. These exercises are based on biomechanical principles backed up by medical research.
Mat work Pilates is mainly performed lying on a mat and involves specific controlled strengthening exercises for the muscles that support your spine from your neck to your pelvis. It uses breathing to coordinate each movement.
There are five elements of the Pilates method ……
- Postural awareness - to help reduce pain from poor postures
- Effective breathing - to release any tension and stiffness in the body
- Deep abdominal and pelvic control - to help retrain muscles to prevent or treat low back pain
- Concentration - to help focus the mind on how the body works
- Movement coordination, flow and stamina - to teach the body to move more freely and efficiently
Joseph Pilates was quoted as saying "In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, 20 you will see the difference and in 30 you will have a whole new body!".
Why not get started and then you, too, can see why Pilates has become so popular - remember practice make perfect!