Pilates is a popular way of working on ‘core stability’. The deep stabilising muscles of the neck and shoulder lie over the back of the body, whilst on the front of the body, the deep abdominal muscles support the lower back. When we experience neck or back pain, research shows that the muscles closest to the painful joints tend to switch off. It is very important to reactivate and retrain these muscles both to recover from injury and prevent further injury. Even if you don’t have a specific injury, holding a static posture for a long time can lead to excessive strain being put on certain parts of the spine. Pilates can help with these problems.
Pilates principles include ‘neutral alignment’, ‘centering’, ‘lateral breathing’, ‘concentrating’ and ‘fluidity of movement’. These core components allow you to become more aware of your body position, initially learning to engage your deep stabilising muscles and allowing you to move your arms and legs without losing the neutral alignment. It takes about 6 weeks to really understand and put these core principles into practice. The exercises are designed to become gradually more difficult as time goes by, but you can work at your own pace.
Jo Murphy is a qualified Pilates Instructor. She teaches Pilates using the methods developed by the APPI (Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute) which breaks down each Pilates exercise into 5 different levels. By combining their unique range of manual therapy skills with the Pilates methods, the physiotherapist can effectively rehabilitate injuries through a very specific exercise programme.. Pilates is intended for all age groups with the only prerequisite being that you are able to get up and down off the floor unaided.
Jo currently holds Pilates classes in Colman Middle School, South Park Avenue, Norwich, on Wednesday nights at 18.15 and Thursday nights at 17:45 and 19.00. The cost for 6 sessions, payable in advance, is £38.00.