Pilates is a popular, core-strengthening workout involving a series of controlled movements combined with a breathing patterns. It will make you feel relaxed, elated and in seriously fit shape.
It’s no wonder that celebrities like Madonna, Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz are such big fans. And just look at the bods on those babes! Keen to find out more, we chatted to Pilates specialist Louise Hughes at Fluid, a lady who really knows her Pilates stuff.
Can you tell us a little about the two types of pilates class – mat pilates and reformer pilates?
Mat Pilates is a floor based exercise program or series of progressive positions, based on the teachings of Joseph Pilates. He discovered that by combining perfect anatomical alignment with breathing techniques and core (abdominal) engagement, the ultimate strengthening, mobilising and rehabilitation goals could be realised.
The Pilates Reformer machine essentially a bed with a moving carriage and system of springs and cables that allow a person to push and pull against different levels of resistance. This allows an individual to safety achieve their maximum range of stretch without compromising stability. this is especially beneficial to those who have a weakness or injury as it allows a gentle mobilisation of joint, speeding up recovery and re-balancing the body.
More recently, the Reformer and the subsequent programs have been taken to the next level, which seek to combine all of the above into a dynamic and challenging exercise regime that quickly builds core strength, whilst lengthening and strengthening muscles. The result, a beautifully toned, well postured body and a dramatic increase in fitness levels.
We regularly see individuals who have office-based jobs who have limited time to get fit and correct bad posture from leaning over a desk and working at computer all day. Our 55 minute sessions look to do all of this together making it a convenient and efficient way to address many issues at the same time!
So how does it work?
The joints, muscles and ligaments in the body are designed to function in a certain way and so generally it is common to run into difficulties when we throw our body out of balance or alignment. This may simply occur carrying heavy bags or kids on one side the whole time or slouching when working over a desk at a computer, or of course through some kind of injury or trauma. Correcting this alignment can help dramatically reduce inflammation and discomfort and assist the body in functioning in way it was designed to function.
Pilates uses a carefully constructed range of exercises that work through, correct and strengthen our alignment allowing us to achieve perfect posture, which can be incorporated into the clients daily life. The more it is reinforced the more beneficial and behavioural it becomes.
Breathing is also essential to this end. By exhaling through the mouth each time an exercise is performed an ‘abdominal pressure’ is created, therefore working the deep core muscles which assist us in standing up straight, supporting the spine (especially the lumbar spine which is a common source of trauma and discomfort) and reduce excessive stomach fat, which has extensive health benefits.
Learning to breath deep into the lower rib cage also helps activate these stabilising muscles whilst relaxing the neck and top of the shoulders, which many people tense when exercising.
Who can benefit from pilates?
Everyone can benefit from Pilates!! It really does address and resolve everything from injury to alleviating tight hamstrings which most runners, cyclists and walkers suffer from. In our case it is also an excellent and incredibly efficient way if getting fit!
Does pilates really reap benefits? Can you feel the burn?
We continually seek to challenge by introducing more complex sequences of movements as clients get fitter and more confident. Lest we forget, we also support every session with stimulating soundtracks to keep everyone motivated and up to the challenge.
At Fluid Pilates Bootcamp, we understand that the majority of our clients are pretty time poor and therefore expect the see tangible results quickly. Workouts are dynamic, energetic, invigorating and inventive, allowing our clients to experience something different with every visit, keeping things fresh and enjoyable.
Check out their beautiful, Manhattan-style studio, conveniently located on the The Promenade opposite imperial Square, perfect for those who live and work near the centre of town and offering plenty of on-street parking for those who drive in. They use state of the art equipment, imported from LA, guaranteeing the Rolls-Royce of workouts, plus all of their instructors have trained in the dynamic/bootcamp-style of reformer Pilates, whilst each bringing their own flavour to their sessions, whether it be strength and conditioning or maybe a cardio focus. Take a look at the timetable at www.fluidpilatesbootcamp.com.
*** HOT OFFER*** As a welcome to their studio Fluid Pilates would like to offer Muddy Stilettos readers 15% off their first class pack using the code MUDDY15 !