Pilates and Exercise Rehabilitation

Pilates is a form of conditioning exercise that places particular emphasis on core strength to improve general fitness and wellbeing. It helps to build strength, flexibility, restore skeletal function and neuromuscular coordination. Focusing on the core: abdominals, pelvis and back it promotes optimal spine alignment and posture and evidence shows it can provide pain relief to people with non-specific lower back pain. Pilates also emphasises correct breathing and practising Pilates helps maximise oxygen flow to the internal organs and muscles, helping to alleviate pain and restore the body’s ‘balance’

Pilates is a highly adaptable exercise method where each movement can modified to the needs of the individual. As such, it is a form of exercise accessible to everyone regardless of age, mobility or experience and one of the safest forms of exercise, beneficial for just about everyone. It can be gentle enough for pre- and post-natal ladies, but can equally be intense and vigorous for athletes seeking functional conditioning – so chaps – don’t be put off! It is a regularly used by many to prevent injury as well helping to repair post-injury and can be undertaken by those with medical conditions and other limitations and as such is often an advisable approach to reintroduction to exercise.

Pilates was developed by German-born Joseph Pilates, who believed mental and physical health were closely connected. He devised system of pulleys and springs, handles and straps, to create apparatus that can provide either resistance or support, depending on an individual’s needs. His method was influenced by western forms of exercise, including gymnastics, boxing and Greco-Roman wrestling.

Pilates may be performed on a mat or using special equipment, such as the Reformer, Cadillac and Chair. The Stott mat-based method taught by Fit2you incorporates small equipment such as the foam roller fitness circle, theraband and toning balls.

Written by: Jo Gaskill

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