Clare Blackwell Pilates

ABOUT PILATES

Pilates is a safe sequence of exercises that combines mental & physical conditioning that develops a strong body & a sound mind. The pilates method focuses on using our deep core muscles that support the spine to build strength from within. With regular practice pilates will strengthen your spine, help your posture, keep you perfectly balanced, flexible and strong.

Pilates is designed for all levels of fitness to improve general health and well being.

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About Clare Blackwell Pilates

I am a fully qualified Body Control Pilates Level 3 & REPS (Registered Exercise Professional) Matwork Teacher. I am also fully pre and post natal trained in Active IQ Level 3 to design safe exercises for pregnant and post natal clients.

Body Control Pilates (BCP) was established in 1995 & has been at the forefront of international growth in pilates, ensuring everyone at all levels can have access to the benefits pilates offers. BCP offers safe, effective teaching of the highest quality & is Europe's largest professional pilates organisation.

"Our mission has been to bring the benefits of Pilates to everyone. To this end we have created a method that is effective, safe & challenging, a method that is taught by teachers with unrivalled skills, knowledge & integrity."

I follow the 8 principles of Body Control Pilates:

* Breathing

* Centering

* Alignment

* Concentration

* Co-ordination

* Stamina

* Flowing Movement

* Relaxation

In each class I ensure every individual understands these fundamentals of the pilates method:

Alignment:

Neutral alignment is where the joints in the body are correctly aligned & the muscles are in the correct place to move correctly & safely. So we gain the maximum benefit & avoid causing any harm.

Neutral Spine & Pelvis:

In most start positions we start with a neutral spine & pelvis. Where the natural S-Shape curves of the spine are aligned & present and the pelvis is neutral and level to create a stable base to work. This is the most balanced position and promotes correct muscle balance. The neutral position minimises stress on the muscles, joints and spine. Centering is used to maintain the body in this position.

Centering:

Centering is when you recruit a group of muscles in the centre of your body that consist of your abdominals, your back muscles, your diaphragm (breathing muscle) and your pelvic floor to help you move correctly and with control. Centering helps you stay in correct alignment. Using these core muscles is essential to help support your spine and give you core stability.

Core stability:

Centering helps us find our core stability. Our core stability is using the trunk of your body as a strong and stable base whilst moving your limbs. Using your core gives you control over your body and stops joints moving that need to be stable.

Dimmer Switch:

Using our centering like a dimmer switch helps us avoid any bracing and stress on the muscles as we move. So as the intensity of the exercise increases we can increase our centering and aid support to our body and maintain our pelvis and spine in neutral if needed. If we over recruit our centre muscles when we are only doing a light movement we have no where to go as the exercise difficulty level increases.

Breathing:

Correct breathing is essential to the Pilates method. We practice Lateral & Thoracic breathing where we breathe wide into the side of our ribcage. We practice this in neutral alignment so we are not slumped and our organs are not compressed or restricted. Synchronising breath to Pilates exercises helps us move correctly. We use the inhale and exhale as we move in Pilates. Normally to give us more stability as we inhale and more movement as we exhale.

Lateral breathing engages with our abdominals and allows stability and centering within the exercises. It also promotes flexibility in the thoracic spine, delivers oxygen to our muscles and helps encourage concentration.  

Lateral thoracic breathing is the most efficient way to breathe.

"Never slouch, as doing so compresses the lungs, over crowds other vital organs, rounds the back and throws you off balance."

"Above all, learn to breathe correctly."

Joseph Pilates

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