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25Mar

Many Health Clubs offer a range of exercise classes these days and often members are put off by the thought of trying something new. The thought of not knowing what the class will involve or being unable to “keep up” are two main reasons for not participating. I would always suggest seeking advice from the class instructor or staff before you do take part, trying a new class can be great fun so just check it out before and go for it if your happy with the content and the ability. There are a few classes that i would class as “for everyone”. Aqua Aerobics, Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates.

Enter Pilates. I teach Pilates in the Hampshire area for 10 years, since 2003 and i can honestly say it is for everyone. Whether you are an athlete or sports person, just starting an exercise programme or have a number of injuries, hip or spine shoulder or knee, it really is for you. Teaching clients on a one2one basis is very rewarding and the benefits speak for themselves. I remember one client very well indeed. She came to me with back pain and was at the point of considering surgery, we spent a week practising pilates morning and night, after the fourth day, she mentioned to me that for the first time in 5 years she woke up and didn’t have any back pain! 

What is pilates? Pilates is a precise intelligent exercise system. The emphasis is on Quality not Quantity. In pilates you are taught to align your body before starting, isolating muscle groups working them without any stress or strain on other areas. Building a strong functional inner unit of strength before moving onto more complex movements or stretches. Stretching short tight muscles while keeping them strong and strengthening long weak muscles with keeping them supple helps improve posture and create more efficient body movement.

There are many “styles” of pilates. Micheal king, Body Control, Yogalates, the Alexander technique is mentioned in general conversations in my experience. The aim of these are all the same focusing on breathing techniques and posture to help your body move more efficiently. I teach in a classical style trained by Alan Herman. Who is Alan Herdman?

Alan has worked with Carola Trier and Bod Fitzgerald two instructors who were trained personally by Joseph Pilates himself in New York and is a leading world expert. Alan brought pilates to the UK in the 1970 and Britains first ever Pilates studio was born! Read more here. www.alanherdmanpilates.co.uk I was trained by Alan while working as a senior fitness consultant for Champneys Health Resorts. www.champneys.com

Pilates is perfectly suited to all groups of people so do i need to do anything else to keep me in shape? Pilates is not an aerobic exercise so a safe aerobic programme should be followed to help improve the cardiovascular system.

 

If you are thinking of trying Pilates or would like to start up a regular class or have a one2one session yourself in the Hampshire area i would like to hear from you. Personal Training, Group Training, Weight loss solutions and Fitness Consultations are also available.

mark.westbrook@yahoo.co.uk

Tel. 07947 280 146

 

  

4 Responses to Pilates

  1. Pilates has been suggested for my partner who has knee and ham-string issues. Would it be good for me and would / could it help strengthen me in terms of my running performance? Thinking particularly of the Basingstoke half in October?!

    • Mark Westbrook

      Hi Deb. Pilates would help runners by keeping them supple and improving posture meaning more effective running. Quicker times and less strain on joints.

  2. Thanks Mark – perhaps I should consider it?!

  3. Mark Mark

    If you can get to a class. Definitely do 🙂

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