What’s all the hype around Pilates and is it for me?

By Melissa Ramoo, Physiotherapist & Pilates Instructor

So you’ve seen all the hype about Pilates and it seems almost everyone is doing it. But you’re not sure if it’s for you. There are typically two types of people pondering this question:

  1. The “want to be healthy but have never done any real exercise” type

So the idea of running makes you want to run away from life all together. And while your best friend trains three times a week and has asked you to join, you were satisfied with sitting on the sidelines and cheering them on. This worked fine when you were young; your weight was in check, you felt good – why on earth would you spend time exercising?!

But as you got older, you started feeling a couple of niggles here and there. Maybe it was back pain for the first time after a long day at your desk job. Or you noticed your shoulders seemed to ache more and your neck felt stiff. Your knees didn’t quite take to stairs the way they used to. And your one cup of coffee a day became six as you tried to make up for the lack of energy you used to have.  The idea of taking up exercise crept into your mind but the thought of a gym full of fit people seemed way too daunting. So you quickly buried the thought of exercise far away, while your body kept telling you something needed to change pretty soon…

  1. The super active who think they are “already doing enough exercise” type

You run three times a week and can hardly sit still. You live in your sweat pants; spent 10K on your bike and you’re the first to want to try and conquer Mount Everest!

But often those who love the endorphins of a cardio workout have hidden strength deficiencies. Perhaps you notice your running form decreases with distance, or that your hips, knees and ankles start to hurt by the end of a workout. Or you’ve been giving each work out your all, but it seems your progress has plateaued; you still wish you could be stronger, run faster and longer.

At times, your joints feel tight and stiff and though your legs are strong enough to kick down a door, your upper body is feeling a bit neglected and is looking a little out of proportion. You sense that some part of your exercise regime is lacking…

You need APPI Pilates!

Pilates is a fun and beneficial way to improve your overall fitness, increase core strength, whole body strength and flexibility, to reduce pain or reduce the chance of pain returning. We use dynamic stabilisation to recondition your body through a range of graded exercises. This allows us to create a program suitable for your level of strength – whether you’ve never exercised or you’re a gym junkie.APPI Pilates are run by physiotherapists who have studied the human body for four years! This makes it different to a gym setting run by a personal trainer. We also limit classes to small numbers so that you can get the attention you need and have exercises modified to an appropriate level for you.

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.

As you can see, Pilates is suitable for men, women, young, old, fit and soon to be fit! If you’d like to find out more about how Pilates can help you, call Melissa on (02) 9743 2311, or CLICK HERE for more info on our classes.

References
Pilates and yoga – health benefits https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/pilates-and-yoga-health-benefits

Pilates-Based Therapeutic Exercise: Effect on Subjects With Nonspecific Chronic Low Back Pain and Functional Disability: A Randomized Controlled Trial
https://www.jospt.org/doi/abs/10.2519/jospt.2006.2144?code=jospt-site