Pilates General Information

What is pilates?

"After 10 sessions you will feel better. After 20 sessions you will look better. After 30 sessions you will have a completely new body." - Joseph H. Pilates

What is Pilates?

Pilates is an exercise system that has been specifically developed to improve your muscle tone, flexibility and posture. Pilates is incredibly effective if you want to lengthen, shape and stretch all your muscles and improve your breathing. Through regular Pilates you will create a longer, leaner look, better posture, and greater poise and grace in your movements.

Pilates will work every muscle in your body - even the ones you can't see in the mirror! After a session you will feel energized, balanced, and toned. You will stand taller; you will move more effortlessly, and your mind will be focused and relaxed. Pilates is a complete, balanced system of movement and health, not just a "get fit" class.

"I must be right. Never an aspirin; never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They'd be happier." - Joseph Pilates, in 1965, age 86

 How does Physiotherapy enhance your Pilates?

 Physiotherapists are at the cutting edge of how the body coordinates your muscles (Motor Control). We are able to assess whether you have a good "core contraction" or not. If you don't have an efficient core contraction, we can diagnose why this is. We are then able to treat the cause of your problem and then prescribe the correct exercises that will make your "core contraction" more powerful and effective.

The most common reason why people have problems is because they use muscles that are movers to hold and their holders are inactive or poorly coordinated. A simple explanation is this:

"You have muscles that will support each joint in your spine individually ("holders"). These muscles work very well at low loads (<5%) for a long time without tiring out. When they work properly, you don't even realise they are working!

You also have muscles that are very strong and generate a lot of power ("movers'). Obviously these muscles are designed to move your body around and to interact with the environment around you. They are powerful but get tired easily. They work best "phasically" - that is on and off in short bursts. When these muscles work too hard for too long, you "feel the burn".

When these "movers" try to do the job of the "holders", they use up muscle strength just trying to "hold" so there is less strength left to "move" - that is why you can feel "weaker"."

What we do as physiotherapists is to re-train your "holders" so your "movers" can get on with the job of "moving". We are often able to show you within the session how you can "magically" become stronger! We are simply coordinating your movements so you can become more efficient at moving.