What Is Pilates?

Pilates is a system of exercise which involves the whole body through a series of controlled, precise yet flowing movements devised and developed by the boxer, gymnast and circus performer Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century.

People who practise Pilates report increased flexibility, greater muscle tone, better balance, and improved body awareness as being among the many benefits of regular Pilates sessions.

This is often demonstrated in improved posture, flatter stomachs, relief from back pain, and improved sporting performance.

The system is ideal for anyone who wishes to correct bad postural or movement habits; those who wish to condition their bodies for better sporting performance; and those who are seeking a way to prevent injury – or to rehabilitate an existing injury.

Pilates is able to be practised by students with a range of strengths and abilities, from those who have restricted mobility, to professional sports people, athletes, and dancers. Teachers work to provide students of the method with exercises which meet their needs, beginning with mastering the basics of the method, including controlled breathing and precise movements.

As clients develop in their practice and ability, they can build towards the original repertoire of exercises Joseph Pilates taught. Some of these exercises are adapted due to today's greater understanding of the biomechanics of the body, but all provide a challenging and highly effective whole body workout.

Pilates is designed with your needs in mind, it aims to re-educate and re-balance the body to correct ‘ingrained’ bad habits in terms of both posture and movement, and to combat the stress and strain of daily life.

Move Well Pilates matwork classes are limited to a maximum of twelve people per class, but generally contain 6-8 people to ensure that adequate attention can be paid to each client. They are graded as Beginners; Improvers; Intermediate and Advanced.