PILATES MATWORK & BARRE CLASSES
Anna-Marie is a STUDIO PILATES INTERNATIONAL trained and qualified instructor in MATWORK, PILATES FOR BACK PAIN, BALL CIRCLE & BAND CLASSES, PILATES FOR PREGNANCY & RECOVERY AND FLUIDITY BARRE.
Pilates works on strengthening and toning the entire body. It is one of the most effective forms of exercise to change body shape and tone up because it targets all of the muscles in the body. Pilates helps to correct posture through strengthening the postural muscles and correcting any muscle imbalances.
1st 2nd & 3rd Trimester PREGNANCY CLASSES BY APPOINTMENT
PRIVATE LESSONS ALSO AVAILABLE AT $60 per hour
Call 0458 143 575 to book.
Cost $15 per class. Just bring your towel.
Comprehensive Back Pain Initial Assessment with Class Plan and Home Exercise Program – 60 minute private session $85.00
How Pilates Can Help Back Pain
Most people know that strong abdominal muscles help with lower back pain, but just doing regular sit ups is not necessarily the answer – we must be more specific than this and make sure we are activating specific muscles in the correct way for abdominal exercises to have any effect on back pain at all. However, when done correctly specific abdominal exercises can have a huge impact on helping lower back pain.
The most important abdominal muscle in preventing and rehabilitating lower back pain is the Transversus Abdominus (TA). The TA is the deepest core muscle, and is a large muscle that wraps horizontally around the body like a corset, starting from the ribs and continuing down to the pelvis. When the TA tightens, it functions to form a deep internal corset that acts to draw the abdomen in and stabilize the spine during movement. The Pelvic Floor and buttock muscles also help the TA to correct lower back pain by helping to stabilise the pelvis. Many studies have shown that this pattern of protection is disrupted in patients with low back pain, and isolated strengthening of these muscles has been proven to reduce back pain. In people who don’t have back pain, the TA is activated at a low level all of the time. When you go to perform any movement, such as bending forwards or lifting something, the TA tightens before you perform the movement to protect the spine. In people who have back pain, the TA does not tighten, leaving the spine vulnerable.
Food for thought – does back pain cause the TA to become weak and lazy, or does a weak TA cause the back pain in the first place? It is like the chicken and the egg and it works both ways. If you have a weak TA, then you are much more likely to injure your back or have pain in the first place. However, once you have back pain, the pain itself causes the muscles to become inhibited and not work properly. So it is a viscous cycle, and unless you break this cycle by strengthening and retraining the muscles, you are set up for a life of chronic back pain. So what is the best way to strengthen these muscles? Specific retraining of these muscles is very important, as you can actually perform abdominal exercises without even using your TA. A lot of people think they are doing sit ups, or plank style exercises and using their abdominals correctly, when in actual fact they are only strengthening their more superficial abdominal muscles and not using their TA at all.
Pilates is the best way to retrain your core muscles, as with every movement you perform you first have to activate your TA, and keep it tight throughout the movement. Pilates starts off with basic exercises in which you are learning how to activate the TA correctly, and progresses from there. In Pilates you strengthen the TA by not only directly working the abdominals specifically, but also when working other areas of the body as well such as the arms and legs, as we need to retrain the TA to tighten before we do any movement in life, not just whilst performing abdominal exercises.
Pilates was the brainchild of Joseph Pilates who was born in Germany in 1883. He developed a system of exercises during the first half of the 20th century, which were intended to strengthen the mind and body. Joseph Pilates believed that our mental and physical health are inter-related.
The Pilates method seeks to develop controlled movement from a strong core and it does this using a range of apparatus to guide and train the body. Each piece of apparatus has its own repertoire of exercises and most of these exercises take the form of resistance training, given their use of springs to provide additional resistance.
“Contrology” was Joseph Pilates’ preferred name for his method and it is based on the idea of muscle control. Nothing about the Pilates method is haphazard and the reason you need to apply great concentration during the movements is so that you can remain in control of every aspect of every moment. The practice of Pilates teaches you to be in control of your body and not at its mercy – the muscles work to lift against gravity and the resistance of the springs, and thereby control the movement of the body and the apparatus.
The Principles of Pilates
The centre is the focal point of the Pilates Method. It encompasses your abdomen, lower and upper back, hips, buttocks and inner thighs as the “core”. All movement in Pilates should begin from the core and flow outwards to the limbs.
Precision is essential to Pilates. By concentrating on the correct movements each time you exercise, you will realise all of their vital benefits. The ultimate goal is for this precision to eventually become second nature, and carry over into your everyday life as grace and economy of movement.
Once precision has been achieved, the exercises are intended to flow within and into each other, resulting in your increased strength and endurance. As above, Pilates is flowing movement outwards from a strong core.
Breathing is important to the Pilates method. Proper full inhalation and complete exhalation are key. In fact, Joseph Pilates advised people to squeeze out their lungs as they would wring a wet towel. Pilates breathing is described as a posterior lateral breathing, meaning you need to try to breathe deep into the back and sides of your rib cage. Pilates attempts to properly coordinate this breathing with movement.
As there are many things to do at once (breath, movement and muscle engagement) full concentration and commitment to the exercise will result in the maximum value from Pilates.
Every Pilates exercise is done with complete muscular control. During the sessions you try to focus on every part of your body.
Pilates emphasises the concepts of core strength and stability. As Joseph Pilates called it, the “powerhouse” is the center of your body or its core and if strengthened, it offers a solid foundation for any movement. The core provides the basic control and stability in the lumbopelvic region, which furthermore consists of the pelvic floor muscles, the transverses, the multifidus, the diaphragm, the muscles of the inner thigh, and the muscles encircling the sitting bone area.
The natural curves of your spine are interdependent. In Pilates, the aim of most stabilising exercises is to maintain these natural curves and create a neutral position for each joint that is close to its optimal alignment, to create perfect posture. In a neutral position, the deep muscles of the spine (Multifidus and Transverses abdominis) can be recruited effectively, thus strengthening each vertebrae in alignment to reduce stress on the spinal tissues and inter-vertebral discs.
The extensive benefits of Pilates include, but are not limited to, the following;
- Increased health, fitness and sense of wellbeing
- Greater core strength
- Muscle conditioning, strength and flexibility
- Long and lean muscle tone
- Improved posture and alignment
- Enhanced balance and co-ordination
- Weight loss
- Effective programs focusing on the areas of pre and postnatal pregnancy and incontinence
- Enhanced performance in your chosen sport whether football, golf, dancing or running
- Gentle rehabilitation after injuries like hip replacements, knee re-constructions or back pain
- Reduced stress