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Pilates & Structural Integration

Thea Gudgeon

TheaReformer1When most people think of Pilates they picture floor based mat exercises using bodyweight for resistance. If you have ever visited a Pilates studio you will have seen the range of equipment that Joseph Pilates invented to assist his students. At first it can be quite an intimidating sight!

The innovative exercises of Joseph Pilates focus on strengthening and lengthening muscles that create a vertically lifted and horizontally balanced body. He designed a series of machines to assist his students by providing resistance to take them through full ranges of motion and help them get strong enough to do the Matwork properly.

The most recognised Pilates machine is a Reformer. It has a sliding platform attached with springs at one end, and is moved by pulling on ropes or pushing off from a stationary foot bar.

The springs are used for variable resistance instead of weights. The springs offer more resistance at the strongest point of muscle contraction and less resistance at the starting and finishing point. This creates less stress on the tendons and ligaments in the body. The reformer can be adjusted in many ways so ensure it accurately fits the person working with it. The repertoire of exercises is performed in different positions: standing, sitting, kneeling or lying down. Movement patterns introduced at the basic level are learnt and enhanced through the intermediate and advanced levels.

The Benefits
A strong, challenging workout without unwanted stress on the joints
Correction of muscular-skeletal imbalances
Exercises can be specific and customised for rehabilitating injuries.
Reformer exercises assist athletes with improving performance efficiency
Relief from fatigue and stress
Improved body awareness and understanding
Improved breathing patterns
Spinal, pelvic and ribcage alignment
Suitable for the initial stage of pregnancy under the guidance of an expert
Suitable for many conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes and heart problems with the consent of a medical doctor and under expert guidance
Suitable for all ages from children to older adults
A great introduction and understanding for the strength and control required for the Matwork

What is a Pilates Reformer?