Warming up

Preparing yourself and warming up your body before you start to exercise is always beneficial.

Warming up encourages your circulation to get going, which warms up the muscles to make them more pliable, helping them to work more effectively later on. You will also be preparing your joints, so they become mobile and less stiff, making movements feel easier.

In Pilates, you can use the warm up to become more aware of your body. You have chance to check your posture, stand in the correct body position, focus on your breathing and check that you are gentling engaging through your core abdominals.

You can do your Pilates warm up in standing. This is a good way to warm up the whole of the body easily, and take your joints through a good range of movement. You can also use some of the basic exercises that are done lying on the mat as part of a warm up routine as well. Whichever option you choose, a warm up routine is general done at a slow and steady pace with controlled movements, so you don’t hurt yourself.

All of this prepares you mentally, setting yourself up to have a really good workout.

Although Pilates may seem easy and lower in intensity than other forms of exercise, it still asks a lot of your body.

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.