Hi Guys! Thank you everyone for your kind shout outs on my first year anniversary! As I wrote in my Instagram post earlier this week, I am completely shocked and delighted as to what this platform has brought into my life. So many new faces, new connections and new opportunities!
One of the other big changes I have made over the past year has been the addition of clinical Pilates into my practice and boy, what a game changer this has been. I have seen more than a few patient success stories on the mat and reformer this year and it has been a perfect addition into my clinical care. So, today I want to go over the reasons why I love Pilates and why maybe you should too!
So what is it? Pilates is a series of exercises that require a combination of strength, mobility, core control, alignment and breath. Easy right? If your head is already spinning than yes, you’ve got it right. Pilates challenges the mind and the body to work together focusing more on HOW you move rather than just the starting and ending point of an exercise. It is an intellectuals favourite form of exercise as sometimes it feels like you have to think more than you actually have to move!
Pilates can be done simply on a mat or utilizing specific equipment built to aid in the execution of the exercises- reformer, chair, spring wall, barrel or Cadillac. The equipment is awesome and can provide an extra challenge however, I love that for the most part everything can be done by getting down on your living room floor.
Don’t get me wrong, Pilates is deceptively hard. Just because it has low equipment needs and you can do it at home does not make it easy. Often times my patients are breaking a sweat just doing a simple leg lift! Sure, it is not going to feel like a spin class or your regular 5km run but it shouldn’t. Pilates should challenge your focus as well as some stabilization muscles that maybe don’t always get used as often.
This is where Pilates truly shines. While many typical exercises will train your larger, more global muscle groups, Pilates exercises challenge your local stabilization muscles and motor patterns. Injuries are often a result of poor movement patterns and lack of control through our local stabilization muscles so this is why Pilates is great as a cross training option for athletes and weekend warriors as well as for rehabilitation and risk reduction for injury.
I was first introduced to Pilates (though not formally) during my teen years as a dancer. I did ballet growing up and looking back a lot of our strength training was centered around many of the mat Pilates exercises. It wasn’t until 4 years ago that I started doing Pilates more seriously and regularly. It was then that I saw what wonders it did for my own body. So many of my nagging injuries (that as a physio I just ignored…) became non-issues and I saw my body get stronger and move more efficiently. I soon realized that if it was able to help me, it could also help many of my patients.
I have used Pilates with patients from the ages of 11-91 and there is something in it for everyone! For me, I love how it challenges my focus. After a busy day in clinic, I can get on the reformer and be thinking so hard about how I am moving and breathing that everything else melts away. Also, who doesn’t love exercising while laying down?
If you have a nagging injury or want to add Pilates to your training routine I would be more than happy to help get you started! If you are in London give me a shout via my contact page. If you are outside of London message me and I will hook you up with a Pilates pro more local to you.
If you want to get started but maybe don’t have access to a trained Pilates professional or want to test the waters on your own, there are also some great at home options too! My good friend and blog contributor, Jessica Dalliday has a wonderful on demand online Pilates collection offering a variety of beginner, intermediate as well as pre-natal and pelvic floor mat Pilates classes. I LOVE LOVE LOVE her videos and use them twice per week at home myself to compliment my own practice! She offers a FREE 10-day trial which will teach you some of the basics and introduce you to the classic Pilates muscle burn that gets you hooked. She is also offering a special discount for my readers on a one year annual subscription! Use the code: PRESSPLAY at the checkout and pay just $180.00 for a year access to her on demand collection! A typical mat Pilates class at a studio will cost you upwards of $30 (PER CLASS!) so this is a stellar investment to help you get started on your journey. Click HERE or on her logo below to check out her site!