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Yes Pilates will help you to build lean muscle. Join me next term.

*New Pilates 4 week courses start from Mon 4th Feb & Book your place Now*

Attending Pilates classes on a regular basis provides plenty of well-rounded benefits. 'The beauty of Pilates is that anyone, at any age can get started. Through the controlled & progressive movements you can totally reshape your body, 'I just fell in love with this exercise system from the very first moment it crossed my path. I love that it employs a rounded technique for both men & women.'

'One important factor to remember is that strength is not bulk. It is easy to get confused between the two since a lot of people nowadays lift heavy weights in the gym. Pilates makes you stop & think about your every move. By focusing the mind, regulating your breathing & making use of internal resistance it is an extremely powerful way to tone the body.' Here are the four ways Pilates changed my body (and my mind) for the better: 1.Pilates & Balance After only a few weeks of Pilates, I noticed improvements in how I performed in other fitness classes that I was instructing in when performing exercises, such as lunges & single leg bodyweight exercises – movements that had previously left me feeling imbalanced. I also noticed greater stability overall. 'Pilates exercises require more thought than other workouts that rely on only repetition, which, of course, has the added benefit of keeping the mind active & alert,' 'You don't just have to learn a series of movements; you must also learn the concept. For example, standing on one leg with your eyes open and then with closed eyes requires a lot of balance. But with slow movements of the limbs while maintaining a strong core, your balance will quickly improve. 'Some exercises within Pilates are more complex because they are based upon the introduction of a more complicated concept than simple physical movement. 'This is because Pilates reintroduces the mind to the body. Coordination is key to the way the exercises flow and it concentrates on working the body as a whole instead of individual parts.' 2. Pilates & core strength Before long I was able to hold the plank & other core exercises for longer & with better form, & noticed improved definition with my stomach muscles. I noticed my posture improved & I became more conscious of my core muscles on a day-to-day basis. 'Many Pilates movements require you to hold your torso in place while moving your limbs in different directions. 'This therefore challenges your body with balance, stability & flexibility. In time, this will strengthen your core & will streamline your body. 'During the ageing process, our bodies have a tendency to become stiff & inflexible. In tail, this creates a poorly aligned body, which causes a stiff neck, headaches back pain. Pilates works on your joints and mobilizes your spine which can prevent problems such as tight hamstrings, bent knees, rounded shoulders and forward-pointing neck.'

3. Pilates and flexibility Another notable benefit after just eight weeks of Pilates was that I felt my mobility & flexibility improve. I was able to settle in deeper to stretches & increased my range of motion in different exercises was noticeable after just two months. I particularly felt it in my hip flexors. So how does this work? 'Pilates focusses on lengthening & expanding the muscles, instead of bunching them up. This therefore allows them to become longer & leaner. You will feel taller & will become longer & leaner. The exercises within Pilates are dynamic stretches, which mean they are active movements. Pilates focusses on lengthening & expanding the muscles, allowing them to become longer & leaner. 4. Pilates & mental health Various studies support the notion that exercise can benefit mental health & for me, Pilates has been no exception. I found the focus on breathing incredibly calming. Breathing performed in Pilates has been shown to cause a reduction in stress & blood pressure. Deep breathing also encourages correct blood flow & helps with sleep.

'Pilates can improve your mood as physical activity causes endorphins to be released causes a positive feeling in the body. Some scientists believe that being active can enhance wellbeing as it brings about a sense of better self-confidence, self-control & the ability to rise to a challenge.' SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR,JOIN ME'

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