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Pilates & Structural Integration

Thea Gudgeon

Well and truly ahead of its time, Pilates produces results without the need for hundreds of repetitions or long workouts. The Pilates Method improves muscle control, flexibility, strength, co-ordination and tone.

The main principle of a Matwork class is core control, which results from strengthening deep abdominal and back muscles – often referred to as the ‘power house’. Correct and regular repetition of the Pilates repertoire can alleviate back and neck pain and result in correct postural balance.

Pilates was quoted as saying: "After 10 sessions you will feel a difference. After 20 sessions you will see a difference. And, after 30 sessions you'll have a whole new body"

Classical Pilates Matwork is a series of 34 flowing interconnected movements, each with it’s own purpose and breathing pattern. It integrates mind and body resulting in increased energy and relaxation. Muscles are used deeply without stress and tension. Because of its precise nature anyone, regardless of age, fitness level, or ability can enjoy and benefit from Pilates Matwork, and the classical exercises can be adapted to suit the individual.

It is often said that the Matwork was the most challenging of the Contrology repertoire, and Joseph Pilates would only allow his students to go to the Matwork once they were proficient on his equipment. This is often why group Matwork classes fail to have the impact they should. While I agree with this reasoning, I work with both a Reformer and Mat, so my clients experience the work with resistance, and then learn how to create this in the Matwork so they have something they can take away and practice between sessions. Individual tuition is key in the early stages to attain a real understanding.

What is a Pilates Matwork?