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So…Pilates, what is it all about?!

Over the last 10 years or so Pilates has become a very popular form of exercise. All varieties of people benefit from Pilates from elite athletes to post-operative rehab patients.

My view of Pilates was that it was for people who wanted to go to the gym but didn’t really want to do much when there and they certainly didn’t want to sweat!!

Whilst working as a physiotherapist in the NHS I was asked to set up a Pilate’s class. So off I went to look for a course. I came across Australian Physiotherapy Pilates Institute (APPI) and went from there. Basically a couple of physio’s from Australia looked into the traditional Pilates method exercises and discovered that a percentage of them were actually bad for our joints (particularly neck and lower back) so they set about modifying them and created the APPI teaching method which was actually safe. Sounded sensible to me so I enrolled!

It turns out there is more to this Pilates phenomenon than I had first realised. I don’t want to bore you all with Latin words and research but if you can retrain specific muscles like multifidus and transversus abdominis (your ‘core’) you are 50% less likely to suffer with back pain. The whole basis of the APPI method is strengthening these muscles in a neutral alignment.

They are very specific exercises sometimes with only small movements but it can have a BIG effect. The APPI method is only taught by Physiotherapists or an equivalent degree therapist which makes it safe! It is useful for almost everyone, no matter how fit or unfit you might be!

The classes can vary in difficulty depending on ability. I bet you would be surprised at how difficult the exercises can be!

We run a variety of different classes at 21st Century Clinic. Why not give it a go, see how strong you really are!


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