Saturday, 7 July 2012

Pilates - guest post from Carly Day

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a conditioning intervention that challenges the body and the mind. It combines mat exercises with the use of specialist equipment and aims to activate the deep, stabilising muscles of the body that many of us have 'forgotten' how to use properly. Humans have two layers of muscles, the deep, stabilising muscles that are located around the joints and the bigger, mobilising muscles on the outside of the body. If our stabilising muscles don't activate when they should do, the mobilising muscles have to do twice as much work causing fatigue and tension. Pilates aims to reinstate the neural activation of the stabilising muscles, making us more aware of how we move in every day life.

Carly Day Pilates Hemel Hempstead
Stabilise your body from within
STOTT PILATES® practiced at Revive Sports Rehabilitation & Acupuncture Clinic is a contemporary approach to the original exercise method pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates. During his lifetime, Joseph Pilates studied many forms of exercise such as yoga and weight lifting as well as the innate movement of animals to develop a set of exercises to promote natural, tension free movement. The contemporary approach used in STOTT PILATES® includes modern principles of exercise science and spinal rehabilitation, making it one of the safest and most effective methods of Pilates available.

Pilates converts the way you look and feel about your body by eliciting core postural muscles to create a centre of strength, to stabilise and support the body from within. It is intelligent exercise with profound results.

Who will benefit from Pilates?

Pilates is great for those with movement difficulties but will be equally challenging to well trained athletes. This exercise method develops strength from within which means that tired, over used muscles of the back, shoulders and neck don't get overworked any more. It can help with reducing back pain and instability aggravated by occupational movements, is great for expectant and new mums as it promotes activation of the deep pelvic muscles and it can be combined with a regular exercise program for sports men and women to prevent injuries. Pilates is endorsed by many health professionals including GP’s, Physiotherapists and Osteopaths. Through regular practice, Pilates will help you restore more efficient and natural movement and can have profound results in relieving muscular tension, correcting altered alignment, breaking bad movement habits and improving posture. It’s used by rehab and prenatal clients, athletes, celebrities and everyone in between.

What does a typical session involve?

Carly Day Pilates Hemel Hempstead
A holistic workout that will leave you
relaxed and rejuvenated
Pilates can be practiced in one to one, small group and larger group sessions. Private one to one sessions are a brilliant way to maximise each and every workout as the instructor can give absolute attention to every movement produced. These sessions involve a full postural analysis, outlining areas of tension, weakness and muscle shortening. You will then be taught the 5 basic principles of Pilates that are built upon throughout all of the exercises. Exercise modifications are then given to suit your own posture type and you will quickly learn what movements are beneficial and which are of less use to you individually. You can then use this knowledge of your body in future classes as well as during day to day activities.

Pilates can also be done in a group session which involves initially learning the 5 basic principles and then going through the repertoire exercise by exercise, working at a beginner, improver, intermediate and advanced level. Each exercise can be modified to challenge and support you depending on your goals for the session. Most exercises in the matwork repertoire are done in a lying position either on your front, side or back but it's not as easy as it sounds. Pilates involves the connection of the mind and body with breathing, so it's a holistic workout that will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, walking taller and with more confidence.

Carly is a Rehabilitation Specialist and Pilates Instructor, based in Apsley, Hertfordshire.

If you would like to talk to Carly about Pilates, or arrange a session, you can contact her on 07739 005874 or visit

Carly Day Pilates Hemel Hempstead


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