The body benefits of practising pilates

Kool School fitness

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Kool School fitness

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Pilates is for everyone whether you are an athlete or a pure beginner, even if you have never done any type of exercise, you can benefit from pilates.

Pilates is for everyone whether you are an athlete or a pure beginner, even if you have never done any type of exercise, you can benefit from pilates.

Pilates is a non-impact resistance workout and it minimises the stress on your joints, therefore pilates is extremely safe.

People take part in pilates for a number of reasons, for example: due to injury, day-to-day wear and tear of muscles, maybe they are just feeling achy, or even just to relax and get out of the house for a while! All of these people can take part in the same class and even if you have never taken part in pilates before, you are considered a beginner no matter what your level of fitness is.

From a pilates class you can expect to see an increase in strength, flexibility, mobility, balance and body awareness, as long as you practice pilates two to three times a week. Taking part in a class once a week is great to learn the exercises but to see these major improvements, exercises must be practiced outside of the class time. If you think about it, it is like anything else - you only see the benefits if you work hard for them.

One of the main benefits if pilates is strength and this strength will come from your core. So if you have a strong core, how will this benefit you?

This is for everyone - male or female, young or old - if your core is strong, your posture improves and we all need to improve our posture, even the fittest of us. Day-to-day activities affect our posture, for example, driving, sitting at a desk, slouching while watching TV, carrying the kids, bending down. There are so many things we do each day that impacts on our posture.

Another benefit is the relief of stress in the joints and muscles, this is why so many people who have back pain have been urged to take a pilates class. Also with a lot of practice you will have increased flexibility, muscle tone, and an increase in balance.

People do not always take part in a pilates class because of injury however. It can also be used to help athletes with other sports or activities they are involved in. If you think about it, you do need strength, flexibility and balance for many activities and all these can help you to stay injury free for other activities.

Lots of poeple do not know what is involved in a pilates class and are afraid to try it out because of fear of the unknown. So many people ring us asking if they are the too old and will they be able for it. As I have already said, if you have never taken a class before, you are therefore a beginner, no matter what your 
level of fitness is. You have to start at the start and this means taking a five to six week course of 
beginners’ pilates which involves learning the basic movements and breathing exercises, and as you move through the weeks, the exercises become more difficult. The content of the class incudes: ten warm-up exercises which you learn on the first night. These exercises are repeated each week and they prepare your body for the main part of the class including some stretches, and this is the with any type of exercise class you take part in. Then we move onto the main part of the class and there are roughly 40 exercises that run in a certain order and must be followed this way. For example if you are working on the tummy muscles, you must then work on the back ones. Your core includes your tummy and back and to have good posture, you need strength 
in both.

Throughout a pilates class you do most of the exercises either lying on your back and then onto your tummy, some on your hands and knees and then a couple standing. All of the exercises can be modified to suit each participant, again depending on the their ability and reasons for taking part in the class. There would never be any more than 15 people per class, as this allows the instructor to concentrate on individuals without singling anyone out.

When the beginners’ course is complete, you can decide to move onto the intermediate class where more exercises are learned and I suppose the class moves that little bit quicker. Some people decide to repeat the beginners’ class.

All of the instructirs at Kool School in Clonmel are fully qualified pilates instructirs and take great pride in instructing safe and effective pilates classes. If you would like any further information on this topic, call Kool School on 087 9152377 or 086 1572336