Pilates is a form of exercise which concentrates on strengthening the whole body, with the core, well, at the core!

Pilates the exercise was invented in the 20’s by German physical trainer, Joseph Hubertus Pilates – hence why it’s always spelled with a capital letter. In childhood in the late 1800s, Joe suffered ailments such as asthma. His father was a gymnast and his mother a naturopath, so he was clearly heavily influenced by them.

As he grew into a ‘sickly child’ with his various conditions, Joe wanted to combat the effects of his ailments and turned to exercise, adapting movements to suit his needs and encompass the Greek theory of balanced mind, body and spirit.

As Joe grew older still, he shared his system of exercise with fellow internees during the war, eventually teaching the German army personnel.

Benefits of Pilates

Typically less spiritual than yoga, Pilates strengthens and stabilises your core. Not just your abdominals; your core includes your back, hips, and thighs too giving you a strong foundation for freedom of movement throughout your whole body.

  • Full body exercise
  • Move better day to day
  • Improve balance and stability
  • Increase mobility of the joints
  • Strengthen and increase flexibility of muscles
  • Improve continence
  • Reduce anxiety and fatigue
  • Increase self-esteem and energy

At Ad Astra I teach mat Pilates, and occasionally introduce simple equipment such as small pressure point balls, small inflatable Pilates balls, tension bands or Pilates rings which provide resistance.

The great thing about Pilates, just like with yoga is that you can work at your own level, gradually increasing your range of movement and repetitions.

Unlike yoga, we use a normal breath to fill the rib cage, not the belly. This strengthens the intercostal muscles between the ribs and is the basis of Joe Pilates’ theory in improving his body’s capability to take in more oxygen to the organs and muscles.

Move better with the beginners Pilates course

Throughout September I am putting on a 4-week beginners Pilates course.

We’ll go through the basics of posture, breathing, balance and then learn and practice the beginner exercises.

The whole course costs £10 and is online via Zoom. Don’t worry if you miss the first class, I can catch you up!

Book your Beginners Pilates Course via the booking page or on Gymcatch, or message me on the Ad Astra Facebook page if you have any questions. I should add that whilst Pilates is well known for strengthening back muscles, this course is not designed for anyone with a chronic back condition or injury.