See below for answers to questions you may have.
Pilates is a fitness program created by Joseph Pilates. As a child he suffered from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever. He dedicated his entire life to improving his physical strength; he went on to become a gymnast and boxer. He developed a series of exercises to focus on precision and control, core strength, flexibility, balance, and posture.
Many of us sit still all day. We sit when we are working, watching TV, eating dinner and using our computer. We all know that being sedentary is one of the worst things we can do for our health. Unfortunately, sitting is all too common in our modern world of conveniences, indoor living and “screen time.”
Pilates is an innovative and safe system of exercise using a floor mat, or a variety of equipment, which targets the deep postural muscles of the abdomen and spine to improve your overall core stability and posture. It can dramatically transform the way your body looks, feels and performs. Pilates builds strength without excess bulk, creates a toned body and a strong core.
It is a safe, sensible exercise system that will help you look and feel your very best. It teaches body awareness, good posture and easy, graceful movement. When looking at spinal health, we must consider the health of the muscles and tissues surrounding the spine. It is important that both the back and core muscles stay strong. Pilates also improves flexibility, agility and economy of motion to keep the body limber. A balance in these characteristics is the foundation of a healthy spine which Pilates exercise promotes.
Pilates can also reduce the risk of injury in other sports. Developing a strong core makes athletes more agile and increases sports performance. From weekend warriors to elite professionals, athletes looking for a competitive edge are discovering that Pilates helps. Just ask the likes of Andy Murray, David Boudia, Lolo Jones, Victoria Pendleton, Kerry Walsh-Jennings and Allyson Felix to name but a few. It is a well-known fact Pilates is incorporated into training regimes for our top rugby players and footballers.
Pilates is a safe form of exercise that not only makes the body feel good, but it will look good as it teaches the joints to perform in their correct range. The exercises are slow and controlled and the entire body is addressed. Your teacher will be working on building your ‘core strength’ without creating excess bulk, gently re-balancing the body to maximise its performance. The focus is on posture and core strength.
Sitting at a desk all day is good for flexibility and core strength, said no-one ever!
After hours of sitting at your desk, your shoulders are completely overloaded with the tensions of the day and your poor hamstrings are begging to be stretched, not to mention your back.
When you work hard, the thought of more hard work in the gym just isn't appealing. I can promise you a fun session which will leave you feeling stretched, relaxed, very limber, strong and most definitely smiling.
How much difference will I see after a six week course?
Pilates should always be considered to be “work in progress”. If you are brand new to this form of exercise it takes a while to learn how to isolate the core muscles. Once you do find them, you will be able to work yourself harder even when performing basic moves. This may not happen during your first course although many do feel an improvement in their standing and sitting posture which helps decrease back pain and other niggles. Once you have identified the core muscles you will feel stronger.
Will I become more toned?
Pilates, when performed regularly, positively changes the tone and shape of the body, improves core stability and posture. How long this takes depends on how often you practice Pilates. Pilates is not a quick fix; it will significantly improve your abdominal muscular endurance because you will spend much of a Pilates class performing abdominal, lower back and core specific exercises. If you are starting at a lower fitness level or with a weak core, you can definitely make these areas stronger with Pilates. It can also help you focus, breathe and move with more grace and flexibility.
Will I burn calories/lose weight?
While Pilates has definite benefits, its strongest suit is certainly not weight loss. A 2006 study found that body weight and body fat was not significantly affected in adult females using a regular Pilates routine. A 2004 study found that Pilates does help improve flexibility but does not significantly affect body composition, even after six months of training. That said, Pilates does such a good job strengthening your core, reducing risk of injury and improving your flexibility, it will help keep you from getting sidelined with an injury — which means you can work out more consistently.
Is Pilates suitable for men?
Because it does a good job strengthening lower abdominal and pelvic muscles that are important for a woman’s childbearing, reproductive and urinary function, or because it doesn’t involve heavy steel, grunting or large amounts of weight, Pilates is often perceived as a “women’s only” activity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Firstly, Pilates was invented by a man (Joseph Pilates). Plenty of male athletes use Pilates moves as a perfect complement to weight training and cardio. Want more proof? How about Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Hugh Grant and many other male athletes and celebrities? They use Pilates to maintain core strength, flexibility and function.
Is the routine the same each week?
I teach a different routine each week to keep you motivated. You will become familiar with certain exercises over a six week course, which are varied in level and style, so you can monitor your progress. Classes are primarily mat-based although we do combine exercises with small equipment – resistance bands, small weights, exercise balls – which all target the deep postural muscles of the abdomen and spine.
Can I transfer missed classes over to the next course?
Classes cannot be transferred from one course to another and fees will not be reimbursed for missed sessions. If you do miss one of your sessions, I am always happy for you to make it up on another day/time so you can be sure of completing six classes during the course.
Can I try a class before committing?
If you would like to try a class or cannot commit to attending for six consecutive weeks you can drop-in and pay a £7 fee/session.
Can I bring my baby?
Non-mobile babies are welcome to attend postnatal classes with mum. Please note there are no childcare provisions at any class; infants brought to postnatal classes are the sole responsibility of the parent attending class.
I don’t like larger classes.
Evening classes are large; with our busy working lives this is the most popular and only time available for many to attend classes. There are currently three afternoon classes suitable for Beginners and beyond. Class numbers for these sessions are limited to 12; this also applies to pre- and postnatal classes.
Do I need to bring a mat/equipment?
I do bring mats to classes but you are welcome to bring along your own if you prefer. The mats I provide are fairly thin so if you want to double up I advise bringing your own. I provide any other equipment we use in classes, apart from Stability Balls for prenatal sessions.
Is there parking at the venue?
There is on street parking available at Stuart Road Primary School and Stoke Damerel Church. There is paid parking in Royal William Yard although you may find a free two hour slot on the roundabout immediately outside the entrance, in Cremyll Street car park or at various points on Admiralty Street. Parking at St Paul’s Church is free inside the church gates. There is also free parking available at Edgcumbe Court.
Do I need to complete any paperwork?
Everyone attending classes must complete a basic health questionnaire. This information is kept purely for my own records so it is not shared with any third parties. I require certain information so I am know whether any exercises will need to be adapted to accommodate certain conditions. It is also necessary so I can ensure you are working at an appropriate level so you do not incur any injury. There is additional paperwork for pre- and postnatal clients to provide information relevant to pregnancy and childbirth. Once you have booked and paid for your course I will send paperwork for completion and return before starting your course.
How do I book a course?
Click on the “Book Online” button under each class description. If a course you would like to join has already started you will need to contact me via the Contact Form.