What is the perfect body? The age old question that has fascinated women (and men) the world over for centuries. We go gung-ho for the latest exercise craze or fad diet, in a desperate bid for perfection, but nothing ever really works; at least not in the long term.
What you’ve been looking for isn’t the latest dance-ercise, fist pumping, weight-lifting spin class. It doesn’t require a gym membership or expensive equipment. And it may surprise you to know that it’s been around since the early 1900s. I’m talking about Pilates.
Ever wondered how Jennifer Aniston stays so lean in her 40s? Pilates. How Cameron Diaz maintains her toned torso? Pilates. And how Elle MacPherson earned her reputation as “The Body”? You guessed it; it’s Pilates.
And it’s not just an exercise for the rich and famous, it can transform your body, too.
One of the best things about the Pilates method is that it can work so well for so many people.
Most people take it on as a hobby or in a bid to get a body like Jennifer Aniston. But it also has rehabilitative powers for injured athletes, people who suffer from back pain, and new or expectant mums.
You may have heard the expression “working your core” before, and this is the backbone of Pilates. The core muscles are the deep internal muscles of the abdomen and back. When they’re strong, the core muscles work to stabilise the body and support the spine. Not only will you tone up and build muscle strength, these exercises will also get rid of back pain and help the body to move more freely.
Sounds good, right? But before you go rushing out to buy a new mat…What can you expect from your Pilates class?
Pilates is a mat-based class, with one instructor. Your class will usually be filled with people of a similar ability. As you progress, some instructors may introduce small equipment to intensify the workout.
Benefits of Pilates
1. Whole Body Fitness
Pilates doesn’t overdevelop certain parts of the body and neglect others. It focuses on the core, but by doing this promotes full body muscle development and flexibility.
2. Promotes Weight Loss and Long, Lean Appearance
It’s the best body-toning tool around. Pilates creates a long lean figure, as well as improving posture. You’ll still have to eat less calories and exercise more to lose weight, but Pilates will change your body shape.
3. Strength without Bulk
Nobody wants biceps like Madonna, and Pilates will help you avoid that bulked up look while still giving the effect of stronger muscle tone.
4. Increases Flexibility and Core Strength
Pilates gives a safe increase in length and stretch of the muscles and range of motion within the joints. Working on that core will also give you that washboard stomach effect…if you work hard enough!
5. Increases Awareness
Pilates is the complete coordination of the body and mind. Practicing will enhance your concentration, control, and breathing.
Preparing For Your First Class
It’s no coincidence that the Hollywood names who swear by Pilates look better and better each time they step out on a red carpet, and they’re not afraid to share their secret. If you’re going to take Jenifer Aniston and co’s advice, then make sure you’re prepared for your first Pilates class:
- Wear loose and comfortable clothes; mat based classes are performed in bare feet or socks.
- Be sure to bring a towel for your mat, and one for yourself. You might not think it, but Pilates really gets the sweat pumping.
If you have any health concerns, talk to your instructor before attending a class, and if you’re unsure if an injury might prevent you from doing Pilates, it’s advisable to have at least one 1-on-1 session to assess your needs.
Once you’ve done all that, you’re ready to go! If Pilates sounds like the thing for you, get booking now!
PILATES CLASSES WITH ALISON HOGAN RESUMING APRIL 13TH
For more information or to book your place, contact:
Alison – 086 0603986