With new fitness trends coming and going, Pilates has stood the test of time. This ubiquitous system of exercise is brilliant to lengthen and strengthen your muscles and heavily emphasises working with the core which can drastically reduce lower back pain. As a mind-body exercise Pilates teaches you to bring your attention to various muscle groups and over time you learn to refine this connection and develop greater body awareness.

So what is Pilates all about?

As a current favourite of celebrities and athletes alike, you could be forgiven for thinking that Pilates is a new concept, however this system of exercise was in fact developed in the 1900s! Pilates originates from a rehabilitation programme developed by personal trainer and namesake Joseph Pilates. Some of the first people treated with Pilates were veterans of World War 1 and dancers. Though having been modified over the years the basic principles of the Pilates system remain true to their origins.

Pilates is a system of exercise that combines low-impact flexibility, core strengthening exercises using your body weight and calisthenic training. Classes can be mat based, use specialized equipment (dubbed a reformer or Pilates table), or some combination of both. During a Pilates session, whether it’s on the machines or the floor, your instructor will continuously prompt you to concentrate deeply on your core muscles, as well as on your breath, the contraction of your muscles, and the quality of your movements.

The Health Benefits of Pilates

  • Pilates strengthens abdominal and spinal muscles, referred to as your core. A strong core will improve posture and reduce lower back pain, as well as tone your tummy!
  • Pilates lengthens and strengthens muscles, so you can tone without adding bulk.
  • By emphasising the mind-body connection you will develop greater body awareness leading to safer and more efficient movement.
  • Regular practitioners will see improved flexibility, reducing your risk of injury.

Pilates is a system that will benefit all, from rehab patients to elite athletes. As a low impact resistance workout, Pilates minimises stress on your joints and is a safe, versatile and effective method for a range of fitness goals.