I thought I would take this opportunity to write about pilates. Pilates is an exercise method designed to strengthen and restore the body to balance.  It is based on an understanding of the body’s muscular and skeletal systems.

While it can be done at home, taking a pilates class is usually the best way of starting. Classes focus on specific areas individually, whilst also using exercises to re-educate the whole body to restore it to optimum muscular and skeletal function.

It is this approach that sets Pilates apart from many other forms of exercise. It is generally recommended by osteopaths, physiotherapists and General Practitioners and is one of the safest forms of exercise today. Like all exercise, pilates helps us become more aware of our bodies, especially alignment and posture.

Over time, pilates may also help us to combat tension and pain. Pilates concentrates on our core strength, which is the foundation to the pilates exercise regime. When the core muscles are strong they work alongside other muscles to support the spine and stomach.  Developing stability throughout the torso is a fundamental part of Pilates.

It is particularly good for people who struggle with bad backs. Pilates can be beneficial for just about everyone, regardless of age and fitness level. Some say it can even be fun.

9 Nov, 2011

14 thoughts on “Pilates

  1. I really ought to try Pilates having struggled with a bad back for years.

    It sounds like that sort of exercise could help with my core muscles which as you say, support the torso and the back muscles.

    I have tried the usual sit ups; Power Plate etc but I think they have been too strenuous and I’ve usually ended up in more pain than when I started.

    Do you have to do a class or could I just do this at home, say with a DVD for instruction?

    1. I am sure Pilates would help. For complete beginners I would suggesting attending a Pilates class with a view to continuing Pilates at home.

      DVDs will of course help, but someone showing us the ropes is always an advantage. That way we have less room for error with injuries.

  2. I have mild Cerebral Palsy and have been practicing Pilates pretty regularly for almost two years now. I find that my strength and balance have improved dramatically. I limp less on my left side and pull muscles less frequently due to increased core strength.

    I would recommend seeing a Pilates instructor a least once a week to learn the exercises and make sure you are accessing your core and breathing correctly.

    Pilates is a bit on the expensive side, but well worth it if you can do it. It is a slow process, but definitely will begin to pay off.

    1. Thanks for the tips Kerri. I am sure your advice on Pilates will be helpful for others including those who struggle with CP.

    1. I believe it would make a difference to your posture even in a wheelchair. Any form of exercise makes us aware of how we sit or stand, but have to agree they can be expensive.

  3. Great blog. I agree completely, I have been doing Pilates for two years and it has helped my bad back more than anything else I have ever tried.

    I work with children with Cerebral Palsy and would like to include some Pilates exercises in our daily activities. Can you recommend any specific exercises you have found most beneficial or useful?

    1. Thanks Leela. If you get back in touch via the Contact form I will be happy to send you some Pilates exercises through.

      It’s great that you work with children who have Cerebral Palsy.

  4. I definitely agree that Pilates is great. I am a physiotherapist and a Pilates and fitness instructor. However, any exercise should be considered like medicine or dietary supplements; what is good for one person is not necessarily good for another.

    Especially Pilates… it is not what you do, but how you do it. Using DVDs and books should only come way after you have had supervised personal instruction. Otherwise, the least that will happen is you move, which is still good, but the worst is that you get hurt, bored and miss the point entirely.

    Pilates is not primarily about the core, it is the beginning of understanding how to move with safety and efficiency and Yes you can have FUN.

    1. Thanks Kim and welcome to the site. I agree.

      It’s how we incorporate exercise into our life that is important. Unfortunately though, too many will become obsessed with exercise in a bid to change their body shape and/or their weight and end up getting injured in the process. Exercise needs to be built up over a longer period of time in order to avoid injuries.

      Exercise should also be fun, but not something we become obsessed by. As you have eloquently said in your response exercise is the beginning of understanding how to move safely and efficiently.

      If we exercise correctly we can have FUN.

  5. I have heard about the wonders of Pilates. A lot of actors in Hollywood swear by it. Of course they also have private instruction and can afford the one on one attention.

    They all really look great, so in addition to a nutritional program, it looks like a good exercise to follow.

    1. Thanks Maria. I think you’re absolutely spot on. It’s a culmination of both. A healthy lifestyle (exercise) and a good diet. Pilates alone doesn’t help if you’re eating all of the wrong foods.

      It’s both gentle and effective. I would recommend it.

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