I am delighted to make the classes in the Masonic Hall Kinross and Orwell Church Hall Milnathort the 'exercise element' of my 'Flutterby' business. I am a fully qualified Pilates teacher whose focus is on a evolutionary style of Pilates known as Fitness Pilates. Fitness Pilates has evolved from the original matwork programme of founder Joseph Pilates and I hope the following information will give you an idea of what this particular type of exercise programme is all about.

What is Fitness Pilates? Fitness Pilates is a group exercise programme –it is functional training with its roots in the original matwork exercises and teachings of Joseph Pilates. Fitness Pilates is for the 21 century as it utilises the best of the old Pilates ideology combined with modern techniques/modifications based on research and current knowledge of human movement to bring about a more functional approach. It is training that focuses on the body as a human kinetic chain with a major focus on the ‘deep core’ (abdominal) muscles of the body.By applying the fundamental Pilates techniques and exercises, Fitness Pilates aims to offset musculoskeletal imbalances. It is a group exercise programme designed to enhance posture, strength, balance and stability in the healthy adult. It is not a clinical, diagnostic or remedial programme however it is well documented that it is effective in helping maintain good postural alignment of the spine and is often advised by physiotherapists as an excellent form of exercise for those with some types of back problems. I would advise that those with medical issues of any kind first ask their GP/health care professional for permission to participate in Fitness Pilates. Those attending class will be asked to fill in a brief PARQ form (Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire) to ensure that this type of exercise is suitable for them.

What happens in a class?

In a Fitness Pilates class we are training the body to move ’functionally’ through all planes of movement – it is effectively exercise in 3D. We are training the body to move in all planes of movement experienced in everyday life – for example when we twist around in the car to check the toddlers in the back, when we bend to tie a shoelace, when we tee off in golf –we are moving forwards and backwards, side to side and rotationally with the expectation that the body will automatically cope with all of these postural and muscular movements day in day out.

By training in Fitness Pilates we can give ourselves stronger more functional abdominal/core muscles and this will allow us to coordinate motion between the pelvis and the thorax (the trunk area of the body) much more effectively and functionally. You are less likely to experience the ‘tweaked back’ if the musculoskeletal system is used to performing movements correctly.

A typical Fitness Pilates class consists of the following components whilst incorporating the basics of the original Pilates exercises which involves finding and maintaining the ‘neutral spine position’ during standing, prone and supine movements and sequences. Exercises can be adapted or modified to meet client needs.

1. Warm up/Mental and Physical preparation

2. Standing Fitness Pilates Functional Work

3. Mat work Fitness Pilates Exercise

4. Cool down and relaxation

Equipment is used as clients progress and to add variation and challenge to the mat exercise programme. We use large core stability balls, small weighted toning balls or handheld weights, small soft ’Bender ‘balls, Pilates fitness circles.

What are the benefits of Fitness Pilates?

'Fitness Pilates will bring about positive changes

both physically and mentally'.

  • Overall it aims to offset musculoskeletal imbalances by re-educating the mind and body to ‘recruit’ core muscles – enhanced core stability
  • Increase muscular strength and improve balance
  • Improve core and back strength with increased flexibility and strength in the lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine
  • Improves muscle tone and postural alignment
  • Maintain stabilisation of the core muscles whilst being challenged by movements of the limbs
  • Improve the client’s ability to function at an optimum level occupationally and recreationally.
  • Breathing technique is a crucial part of Pilates training and by encouraging proper breathing techniques there is better oxygenation of the blood.
  • Better breathing also helps muscles to relax and avoid tension
  • A relaxed and full breath pattern helps focus the mind and allows concentration on each exercise. Deep exhalation can help activate the deep abdominal muscles.
  • Correct movements patterns will become automatic in everyday life creating a general feeling of health and well being and the body feeling less stressed.

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For class enquiries please contact Val on 01577 864020 or 07739827735

Email [email protected]