Pilates was first started in the 1920’s by Joseph Pilates, who formulated a method of strengthening certain muscle groups in different positions and with different resistances. Pilates has evolved into a comprehensive method of exercise focused on correct muscle activation patterns, correct posture and appropriate breathing. It is used as a rehabilitation tool to assist and prevent injuries and can be performed on the floor (mat work) or using specialised Pilates equipment.
Are you new to Core Exercise?
If you are wanting to start in either the mat work or equipment classes, but you haven’t participated in any previous Pilates or Core Classes with a Physiotherapist or haven’t seen one of our Physiotherapists recently to understand your core strength needs, then we’ll need to see you for an individual assessment prior to class. If you have participated in our BounceBack course or core stability classes, you can start the mat work classes without an individual assessment.
The individual session is a 30-minute assessment is with a trained Pilates and Core Class Instructor. This includes an assessment of your lower back and any injury that is recent or relevant to the Core Classes. During the session, you will learn the importance of appropriate posture and how to find the neutral position of your spine as well as breathing properly while maintaining that position.
You will also learn about the muscles that are important in core strength including: the transverse abdominals, pelvic floor, gluteal and lower trapezius muscles and how to correctly activate them. Having this extra information will increase your knowledge of your core strength and abilities and allow you to better understand why we do certain movements during the classes. All this information is summarised in a handout and you will be started on some basic exercises which will be further built on in the classes. Part of the individual session is identifying your goals for these classes, so that even though it is a group setting, you own personal goals are the focus.
The Hoys Allied Health + Wellness mat work class is a 60-minute in duration and incorporates muscle activation and core strengthening Physiotherapy techniques combined with appropriate breathing and stretching on the ground. The exercises vary from week to week with the ultimate goal of progressing the exercises as you become stronger and improve your ability to perform the movements correctly.
During the class varying positions will be used, including standing, lying on your back, tummy, side and kneeling in order to strengthen muscles in different positions and use gravity to our advantage. If any particular position is uncomfortable or painful you will be provided with an alternative, pain-free position.
Additional equipment including swiss balls, resistance bands, chi balls and magic circles maybe used to progress certain exercises and add complexity. The classes are limited numbers, so that the instructors can monitor each person and correct any positional or activation faults.
After your initial assessment you will be placed into the appropriate level. The mat work classes are divided into three different levels:
Most people will start in a beginner class which has a focus on technique and control. The beginner classes aim to ease you into the Pilates system in a way that won’t aggravate your injury or symptoms. Beginner classes incorporate the principles of Pilates and aim to build a basis of strength that can be progressed in the higher levels.
Intermediate classes are suitable for people who have had previous experience with Pilates. Intermediate classes involve more repetitions, more strenuous positions and require a higher level of balance and coordination. This class is appropriate for people who have a good understanding of the Pilates principles and appreciate a faster-paced class setting.
Advanced classes are appropriate for people with sound technique and are injury-free. This class is suitable for relatively fit people, athletes and heavy manual workers. The class is designed to be challenging, however still maintains the core principles of Pilates.
These classes include the use of specialised core equipment including: a reformer and trapeze table which will further challenge your deep core muscles and posture control in more positions then in a mat work class. This equipment uses the principles of Pilates combined with different resistances and slightly unstable positions to facilitate recruitment of the stabilising muscles in order to increase overall strength. The versatility of the equipment means these classes are suitable to anyone, regardless of injury. The equipment is highly beneficial for those who struggle to get on and off the floor and thus aren’t appropriate for mat work classes.
Trapeze Table (Cadillac)
A trapeze table includes a firm table with a trapeze mechanism over it that allows the addition of springs with varying strengths to facilitate and progress exercises. It is used for general strengthening as part of a rehabilitation program as well as for advanced core movements.
A reformer is made up of a sliding carriage that is suspended on a smooth gliding track within a rectangular frame. Different resistances can be added to the sliding carriage to target certain muscles groups for a more specialised rehabilitation program. The reformer allows the stabilising core muscles to be challenged while also allowing the range of motion of your legs and arms.
The Wunda Chair is another popular piece of Pilates equipment that allows a lot of functional, upright strengthening. It has a split pedal which allows the user to strengthening her neck, shoulders as well as core and leg muscles.
What should I wear?
Comfortable exercising clothes
How many times a week should I attend?
Generally, between 1-2 sessions a week is ideal.
What if I can’t get on the ground?
If you struggle to get on and off the ground for a mat work class, then an equipment class would be more appropriate for you.
Do I need an individual assessment, or can I just start the classes?
You can start in the mat work classes without an assessment if you:
Is Core Exercise Classes suitable for my injury?
Yes. Core Exercise Classes at Hoys Allied Health + Wellness is designed by Physiotherapists who have an extensive knowledge of injuries and pathologies and have the ability to alter exercises in a way that won’t aggravate your injury.
Book an appointment online or phone 02 6652 7355 to speak to a friendly team member today.