What is Pilates?

Pilates is a unique mind – body exercise system.

Developed over 80 years ago by Joseph Pilates to build strength, flexibility and body alignment.

What are the benefits of Pilates?

Pilates is renowned for developing core strength, improving posture, mobility, flexibility and balance, as well as being an aid to overall general wellbeing and relaxation. The benefits can be numerous and wide reaching, a number of medical professionals recommend Pilates for reducing back pain that can be associated with poor posture and weak core muscles. If you’re recovering from injury, looking to further strengthen the body after physiotherapy, trying to prevent an old injury from reoccurring or reduce the risk of new injury: Pilates can help you. If you want to get active, or complement other training or specific sports such as running, golf, cycling, gym training or weight lifting; Pilates can help you build a balanced body that performs better than it did before.

Who can do Pilates?

Pilates is effective for all ages, body types and fitness levels. It is suitable for just about everybody, and every body!

I’m new to Pilates, what is the best way to get started?

It is recommended that you take a private session first. This will allow you to learn the principles of Pilates, how the exercises should be performed with correct technique as well as any modifications or adaptations that may be required to suit your body. If you then choose to move to a group class, you will receive greater benefits from knowing the principles behind the exercises, the proper techniques for the exercises as well as the modifications to prevent possible injury.

How often should I do Pilates?

Once per week is beneficial, and two to three times per week is ideal to gain maximum benefits. The most important thing is consistency.

How soon should I start to see results?

Exact results will vary depending on the individual. Joseph Pilates said that ‘In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body.’ If you have specific goals I am always happy to assist you in achieving them.

I’m pregnant, would Pilates be beneficial for me?

Pilates is low impact, and exercises are performed slowly and in a controlled way. It also focuses on core strength and stability and aligning the deep postural muscles. Sessions focus on strengthening the abdominals and pelvic floor muscles and promoting relaxation and breathing, exercises are modified and adapted to suit each individual stage of pregnancy.

I have recently had a baby and I’ve heard about the benefits of Pilates, how soon can I start?

Pilates can be a very good way realigning and strengthening in the post-natal period. It can also promote calm, focus and reenergise the body. However please check with your medical practitioner as it depends very much on the individual when it would be suitable for you to start Pilates.

What should I wear?

Please wear appropriate clothing, as long as it is comfortable but not overly loose and baggy so that the alignment of your body can be easily seen it should be fine. Please contact me if you’re unsure.

What do I need to bring?

Please bring a bottle of water and a small towel. If you have a mat, please also bring this along. Some spare mats are available, or can be purchased by contacting me. We will also use equipment to enhance sessions, again spares are available but your own equipment can be purchased by contacting me.

Caroline Hopkins