Pilates strengthen the body in an even way, with particular emphasis on improving core strength to improve your wellbeing and general fitness.
Pilates has something to offer people of all ages and levels of ability and fitness, from beginners to elite athletes.
Pilates is a series of exercises inspired by callisthenics, yoga and ballet.
Pilates improves flexibility, strength, balance and body awareness by stretching and lengthening all the major muscle groups in the body. It does this in a balanced fashion, never working your muscles to exhaustion. There is no sweating or straining, just intense concentration. The workout consists of a variety of exercise sequences that are performed in low repetitions, usually five to ten times over the session.
Pilates is considered both an aerobic and non-aerobic form of exercise. It requires concentration and focus because you move your body through precise ranges of motion. Each exercise has a prescribed placement, rhythm and breathing pattern.
Floor mats and specialised equipment for resistance are used.
Fiona Healy O’Connor is an APPI certified antenatal and postnatal Pilates instructor.
Antenatal Pilates can help mums-to-be to build strength in preparation for pregnancy and labour. It also helps to maintain posture, flexibility and general fitness throughout pregnancy.
Postnatal Pilates is ideal to help recondition the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles and can be used as part of a rehabilitation programme after giving birth.
There are many reports on the health benefits of Pilates.
Practitioners say regular Pilates can improve posture, muscle tone, balance and joint mobility, as well as relieve stress and tension. For elite athletes, including dancers, Pilates can complement training by developing whole-body strength and flexibility, and help reduce the risk of injury.
Another health benefit to Pilates is that it can be done anywhere, from online pilates in the comfort of your own home or in a group session.
The health benefits of Pilates include:
- Improved flexibility
- Increased muscle strength and tone, particularly of your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks (the ‘core muscles’ of your body)
- Balanced muscular strength on both sides of your body
- Enhanced muscular control of your back and limbs
- Improved stabilisation of your spine
- Improved posture
- Rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
- Improved physical coordination and balance
- Relaxation of your shoulders, neck and upper back
- Safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries
- Prevention of musculoskeletal injuries
- Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
- Improved concentration
- Increased body awareness
- Stress management and relaxation
If you would like to enquire about clinical Pilates, antenatal or postnatal Pilates please contact the clinic on (064) 6670960.