What Is Pilates?
Named after its originator Joseph Pilates, the method is a series of exercises designed to strengthen the whole body, restore joint function and improve posture, with a particular emphasis on spinal health. The exercises were to be performed on both a mat and specialist equipment designed and patented by Joseph Pilates himself.
Core strength is a popular term nowadays, implying that it consists solely of the abdominal muscles. However, the abdominals are only a part of the core, which also comprises the deep spinal stabilisers and buttocks - basically everything that wraps around the pelvis and spine. When working in harmony they support a healthy spine and pain-free movement. However, poor posture, injury or repetitive movements (for example golf or running) can disrupt the balance between these muscles, resulting in pain and dysfunction. So when a person believes that he or she has a ‘weak core’, a better description would be an imbalance within the core muscles.
Why Equipment Pilates and Not Mat Work?
Although mat work is a fundamental part of pilates it comprises a small part of the entire repertoire leaving a large amount of exercises that require equipment.
The equipment also provides after further function: it assists with strengthening necessary muscles in order to perfect the right work better.
The spring resistance on each machine can be adjusted to provide either challenge or support, depending on individual ability. In a group setting participants of varying abilities can perform the same exercise whilst being challenged or supported appropriately. Most people who experience pilates classes on the Reformer report a deeper connection to core muscles that they were unable to access on the mat.
All our small-group classes are Reformer-based with a maximum of 6 participants to ensure first-class teaching supervision and attention to detail.