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Pilates is a series of controlled movements and strengthening exercises with a focus on the core stabilising muscles which improve general fitness, wellbeing and posture.
Pilates is suitable for people of all ages and all levels of fitness – from the athlete to the complete beginner – and is often taught and recommended by physios for rehabilitation, reduction of muscular imbalances and promoting correct alignment.
The main benefits of Pilates include:
• Improve posture
• Increase muscle tone
• Develop balance and mobility
• Rehabilitate and prevent injury
• Improve flexibility
• Increase strength
• Reduce back pain
• Relieve stress and tension
Pilates classes are taught in most commercial gyms and can be either solely mat-based or involve different (and often rather bizarre looking) apparatus which is specifically designed to accelerate the process of stretching and strengthening.
If you are new to Pilates, attending classes or following an online programme is advisable. As Pilates is largely unregulated in the UK, it is important to make sure that your Pilates instructor is fully qualified and experienced. Performed correctly, Pilates can help athletes accelerate their endurance and sports performance as well as helping those less mobile to live a more active, pain-free life.