Pilates is a method of exercise that consists of low-impact flexibility and muscular strength and endurance movements. Pilates emphasises proper postural alignment, core strength and muscle balance. It can be done on the mat or on specialist Pilates large equipment such as The Reformer, Cadillac, ladder Barrel & Split pedal chair.
Pilates was developed by German-born Joseph Pilates, who believed mental and physical health were closely connected. His method was influenced by western forms of exercise, including gymnastics, boxing and wrestling. Pilates emigrated to the US in the 1920s and opened a studio in New York, where he taught his method – which he called contrology – for several decades.
Joseph Pilates originally devised more than 500 exercises for his system, of which 34 were mat exercises. Mat work may involve traditional pilates equipment such as magic circles or hand weights, as well as resistance bands, gym balls and foam rollers. Mat and apparatus pilates can be adapted to suit different levels of fitness and ability. Pilates can be taught on a one-to-one or group basis
A Pilates routine generally includes exercises that promote core strength and stability, muscle control and endurance, including exercises that stress proper posture and movement patterns and balanced flexibility and strength.
Regular Pilates practice has been shown to achieve a number of health benefits, including, Improved core strength and stability, Improved posture and balance, Improved flexibility, Prevention and treatment of back pain.
What is the Reformer?
Invented by Pilates founder Joseph Pilates, the reformer is a bed-like frame with a flat platform on it, called the carriage, which rolls back and forth on wheels within the frame. The carriage is attached to one end of the reformer by a set of springs. The springs provide choices of differing levels of resistance as the carriage is pushed or pulled along the frame.
At the spring end of the reformer, there is an adjustable bar called a footbar. The footbar can be used by the feet or hands as a practitioner moves the carriage. The reformer also has long straps with handles on them that are attached to the top end of the frame.
They can be pulled with legs or arms to move the carriage as well. Reformers parts are adjustable for differing body sizes and differing levels of skill.
Exercises can be done lying down, sitting, standing, pulling the straps, pushing the footbar, perched on the footbar, perched on the shoulder blocks, with additional equipment, upside down, sideways and all kinds of variations.
All kinds of exercises are done on the reformer to promote length, strength, flexibility, and balance. Most Pilates reformer exercises have to do with pushing or pulling the carriage or holding the carriage steady during an exercise as it is pulled on by the springs.
The reformer offers all the famous benefits of Pilates including overall strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance.
And the reformer creates a unique and varied exercise environment.
The reformer is large enough to accommodate full-range motion which is wonderful for increasing flexibility while building strength.
Pushing and pulling with legs or arms against the resistance of the springs, carriage, and body weight is generally strength building. The exercises provide enough resistance and movement variety to help build strong bones. And there is a special feature, eccentric muscle contractions. The reformer is a set-up for eccentric contraction. That is one of the keys to achieving the long, strong muscles without bulk that Pilates is known for.
The instability of a rolling carriage with the springs set at different levels of resistance provides all kinds of stability challenges that develop core strength and promote better balance. Paradoxically, when the springs are on a lighter setting, some exercises are more challenging for the centre because it has to work harder to control and stabilise the movement.
Exercising with the reformer is possible for anyone, at any level of fitness.
Why choose North Coast Pilates and Physiotherapy?
North Coast Pilates & Physiotherapy was established in 2009 by Chartered Physiotherapist and Fully Certified APPI Pilates Instructor Lizzy Caldwell. It is the leading provider of Physiotherapy led Pilates in the Coleraine and North Coast area where all of the instructors are experienced Chartered Physiotherapists trained in the APPI Pilates method. They have a shared passion and love for Pilates and are dedicated to providing the highest quality of instruction, helping you to meet your individual health and fitness goals.
Two newly renovated state of the art Pilates studios offer over 20 classes per week. Matwork Pilates Classes using a whole variety of props eg soft ball, circle, foam rollers, tube bands, balance pads, weights, Reformer Pilates Classes, Cardio Jump (HIIT on the Reformer using the Jump Board), Childrens’ Matwork, Teens Reformer and Mum & Baby classes. Private and bespoke groups can be organised and individualised to a specific client group. They are the only provider of Group Refomer classes in the area.
Strict limits to numbers of participants in each class ensures meticulous attention to detail and specialist individual instruction, enhancing the benefits of your Pilates session.
One to one sessions are also available catering for anyone and anyone! From the very fit aiming to perfect technique to clients who have or had a medical condition that requires very individualised and specialist tuition.
In addition to Pilates we have a Private Physiotherapy Clinic, headed up by Lead Clinician Lizzy Caldwell. Lizzy is a highly skilled and trained Chartered Physiotherapist with over 18 years’ experience assessing and treating musculoskeletal, orthopaedic and sports conditions/injuries in both the NHS and private sector. She has specialist training in manual therapy, acupuncture (including Electro Acupuncture and dry needling), The Bowen Technique, Ergonomics & myofascial techniques.
We are also the NI Regional Training Centre for APPI Pilates – teaching the teachers!
North Coast Pilates & Physiotherapy can take you from rehabilitation to full fitness and beyond. Catering for a wide spectrum of the community with uniquely specialist knowledge, equipment and passion.