pilates1Pilates – What is it?

As a chartered physiotherapist I’ve struggled in the past to get people to comply with maintenance exercises programmes when their pain is gone. Oh we are full of good intentions when we are debilitated or sore, but when the pain stops biting the compliance often goes out the window.

Since discovering pilates we have discovered an exercises course which boosts compliance and so keeps people out of pain, and keeps them fit and healthy.

Pilates was developed in the early 20th century by a German physical trainer called Joseph Pilates. He had several illnesses as a child and as he grew he studied various forms of exercise including body building, yoga and even gymnastics to try and overcome his own problems. He then developed a series of exercises to suit himself which improved his physical and mental well-being and he became exceptionally fit.

Years later in America he began working with dancers, gymnasts and athletes and developed Pilates as a form of exercise for all.

Over the years many organisations have used the same principles of Pilates exercise as established by Mr Pilates, but put their own slant on them hence many very effective and safe forms of Pilates have emerged.

When the basic principles of pilates are taught effectively and safely, Pilates helps to:

·         -Strengthen and tone muscle.

·         -Improve posture.

·         -Improve co-ordination.

·         -Provide flexibility and balance.

·         -Relieve stress and tension

·         -Prevent sporting injuries.

Pilates when Recovering from Injury

Many people who suffer injury or have problems with their back, neck, legs etc will benefit from Pilates. In this case it is best to attend classes given by Chartered Physiotherapists who have a deep understanding of the pathology of injury.

Pilates when Suffering from Chronic problems.

Many people suffer in silence. Some because they dont have time to get sorted, some because they always put themselves last, some because they cant afford physiotherapy, some just put it on the long finger and some just dont realise that help is at hand.
Pilates is a great way of relieving yourself of low grade long term aches and pains without huge cost. It is a form of exercise that, when well mastered, can be used as an effective home exercise programme to maintain flexibility and core strength.

Pilates for Healthy Individuals

This is an ideal form of exercise for building up Core Strength and flexibility to help you with every day activities, improve performance at sport and prevent many sporting injuries.

Men’s Pilates

Yes it is suitable for men. In fact it was designed by a man.  Usually men are just too embarassed to turn up, and think that Pilates is a woman’s thing, but that is so far from the truth, we find that our men work exceptionally hard in the classes and do extremely well in them. Dont worry – there’s no Lyrca involved!!!!

Teen’s Pilates

Special classes to suit teenagers, will involve modified exercises and the use of an exercise ball to keep the interest. Most feel a huge difference in their posture, flexibility and some in their sporting ability especially in reducing injuries.


Pilates for the elderly are designed to get the over 60s, and those with osteopaena or osteporosis working on their posture and inner strength, to delay that downward trend of the elderly spine.

Pre & Post Natal Pilates

Well instructed and structured classes are perfect during pregnancy and just after.

Barre Pilates

This is Pilates with an aerobic element. It’s on your feet and active with a fast pace. It is ideal for people who want to feel the burn and know they did a work out right there and then. It’s excellent

Our Spring Pilates Term gets under way the week after Easter, so just contact the clinic to get your body into shape

By Theresa McGinn, MISCP – chartered Physiotherapist in Kilkenny Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic. 7 Maudlin st., Kilkenny Phone 056 775258 or click here for more information on pilates in Kilkenny