Pilates is a programme of exercises which aim to strengthen the body in an even way, with emphasis on core strength to improve general fitness and wellbeing. Pilates exercises are done on a mat or using special equipment, such as the Reformer, the Cadillac and Wunda Chair. Anyone can call themselves a Pilates teacher as there is currently no legal requirement to be registered or have a Pilates qualification. There is a nationally recognised level 3 qualification for mat-based Pilates teaching, but no qualification for teaching Pilates using apparatus.
Pilates originated from Joseph Humbertus Pilates, who was born in Germany in 1880. Mr Pilates suffered rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever as a child. Through studying yoga, zen meditation and Ancient Greco-Roman wrestling, he overcame these ailments and went on the excel at a number of sports including skiing & gymnastics. He believed that physical and mental health were closely connected.
Through World War 1 (WW1) he worked as an orderly on the Isle of Man. While there, he devised a series of exercises for the patients to help speed up their recovery. He even used the springs of old hospital beds to provide progressive resistance for some of the exercises.
After WW1 He returned to Germany where he continued to develop his exercises with dancers. In the 1920s, He was asked to train the German Army, but declined and left for America. He opened ‘The Pilates Studio’ in New York where he taught his exercise method known as ‘contrology’ for several decades. He boasted many famous clients and had a strong relationship with the New York Ballet. In the 1950s and after Mr Pilates’ death, some of his students went on to open their own studios and added their own touches to his original repertoire. Pilates continues to evolve and bring its benefits to thousands around the world today.
Clinical Pilates is a form of modified Pilates taught by Physiotherapists, based on research into segmental spinal movement and stabilisation. The traditional Pilates repertoire is broken down into clearly defined levels to ensure a standard, gradual progression towards normal functional movement. The exercises are then selected and taught by a Physiotherapist for the individual depending on their specific issues.
As such, it is suitable for people of all ages and abilities, from beginners to elite athletes. Clinical Pilates can be used to address muscle control, movement patterns, flexibility, stress & tension and nerve mobility issues. For elite athletes and performance artists, Clinical Pilates can complement their training by developing whole body strength and flexibility, and help reduce the risk of injury. It is also a fabulous way to keep agile during and following pregnancy.
At Agile Therapy, all participants will need to complete a short medical questionnaire prior to starting a programme, so that the Physiotherapist can provide appropriate support and maintain safety throughout the session. Clinical Pilates is delivered in small groups or 1:1, so that each Client receives close supervision and a unique bespoke programme.
At Agile Therapy we also run weekly 3:1 and 12:1 classes. These fantastic bespoke sessions are booked in advance and usually run in 6 week blocks. If you are unable to commit to the 6 weeks we also offer drop-ins. Please call or email us to book a place.