You’ve probably heard people rave about Pilates. Perhaps one of the physiotherapists here at Philip Wood Physiotherapy recommended it to you. But you have doubts – it’s all a bit weird looking and intimidating. Why should you place yourself on a thing that looks like an ultra-sleek medieval torture device? Why? Because cultivating a strong core is at its core. Read on to find out more…

What Is Pilates?

Originating from the mind of Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, this exercise regimen has gained widespread recognition for its ability to enhance strength, flexibility, and overall body awareness.

Quick history lesson: Joseph Pilates was interned during the first world war. Most of us might consider that a good excuse for missing leg day, but Joseph believed strongly that exercise, health, and happiness were inextricably linked. With limited resources available, Pilates ingeniously crafted exercise apparatus using materials like bed springs and scraps of wood found in the internment camp.

Pilates focuses on core strength, alignment, and breathing techniques, making it suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. Every movement starts from the core and every movement should be mindful. While you can develop quite extraordinary flexibility and strength through this discipline (it’s beloved by dancers) it’s a regime that meets you where you are: whether you’re recovering from an injury, managing a chronic condition, or simply aiming to enhance your fitness, Pilates offers a versatile and effective solution. So, it can be incredibly gentle and therapeutic, AND challenge gym junkies. It tailored to suit you!

One of the key benefits of Pilates is its potential to complement physiotherapy treatment. We wrote above about how it’s mindful, focused on balance and starts from the core. Nobody is surprised that we come back to it again and again! Many physiotherapists integrate Pilates exercises into their rehabilitation programs to help patients recover from injuries, improve posture, and prevent future issues. By targeting specific muscle groups and promoting balanced movement patterns, Pilates can aid in addressing muscular imbalances and promoting optimal biomechanics. Bonus points for Pilates: exercises completed on the reformer (that’s the machine that looks like a medieval torture device for those who don’t know) take gravity out of the equation, which can help a lot during those first steps back to exercise after injury.

Not Convinced?

We think Pilates is great, but at Philip Wood Physiotherapy we’re realists. We know that the best exercise regime is one you enjoy and will commit to. So we’ll also suggest other adjunct therapies that may complement your goals. Yoga, for example, shares similarities with Pilates in terms of promoting mobility, flexibility, strength, and relaxation. Incorporating yoga into your routine can provide additional benefits such as stress reduction, improved balance, and enhanced mental clarity.

Tai Chi and martial arts offer alternative approaches to physical fitness and well-being, focusing on fluid movements, breath control, and mindfulness. These practices can improve balance, coordination, and mental focus while promoting a sense of calm and inner peace. And if you really need the adrenaline hit of fast paced exercise we’ll help you find one that fits your fitness/rehab goals there too.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the choice of safe exercise will depend on your individual preferences, goals, and physical condition. Whether you opt for Pilates, yoga, Tai Chi, martial arts, or rock climbing, the key is to find activities that resonate with your mind and body, while supporting your overall well-being.

If you’re unsure whether Pilates is right for you or if you’d like to explore other complementary therapies, we invite you to contact us at Philip Wood Physiotherapy to book an appointment. Our experienced physiotherapists can assess your needs, discuss your goals, and recommend personalised treatment options tailored to your body and goals!