Why are the basic exercises so important?

If you have been to one of my classes, you’ll now that at the beginning of every session, I recap how to stand tall with excellent posture, so you are ready to exercise. It’s so important to recap this, because, let’s face it, ten minutes after leaving an exercise class you forget what you were doing, and don’t often carry those ‘standing tall’ principles with you every day.

The same applies to the basic exercises. You can think of them as re-training your bodies movement patterns, and over time, muscle memory takes over, and suddenly, the exercise becomes easier. The basic exercises also give us time to think about everything that we’re doing. Focusing on your breathing makes the exercise easier to perform, co-ordinating your arms and legs to work together, but most importantly learning how to engage and control the ‘core’ muscles. These muscles are your powerhouse. They are the deep underlying abdominal muscles which help you to control all your movements, ensure that you are well supported around the centre of your body and avoid any injury, especially to the lower back, while exercising.

I feel that everyone should have that solid foundation of basic exercises that they practice regularly when first starting out, even if it seems very repetitive, each time you perform that exercise you’ll learn something new, or you’ll be able to add in different elements easily.

You may watch one of my beginner exercises and think it looks really is. But even the easiest of exercises can be challenging if done correctly.

What is Pilates?

As far as I’m concerned, Pilates is the best type of exercise you can do. It’s great for everyone, regardless of your age or fitness level, there is always something suitable for you.

Pilates is a mat based practice that teaches you how to use your stabilising muscles (the core) to control movement through the arms and legs. It can be a great full body workout, as it helps to build stability and strength throughout the body.

It’s a form of exercise that’s suitable for everyone, including seniors, helping to change the way you look, feel and move. It is not a”quick- fix” and you do need to persevere, but the results will be worth it in helping to improve strength, flexibility and decreasing stress.

Your power and strength come from your ‘core’ or ‘centre’, working the deep abdominal muscles to allow following movements while exercising. Pilates focuses on improving your posture, so when you finish a workout, you’ll feel like you’re standing up taller, and overtime the strength in the postural muscles will improve making it feel easier to stand up tall and help reduce any muscular discomfort.

Pilates is excellent for the rehabilitation of injuries and can help relieve pain and muscular discomfort. Pilates works all muscle groups in your body, teaching you to focus, gaining better awareness of your body and release any muscular tension.

Pilates encourages you to perform movements in a flowing and controlled way which co-ordinates mind, body and breathing. Quality of movement is vital, re-learning correct movement patterns and postures, improving balance, mobility and co-ordination.