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Pilates vs Yoga

Posted on 19th April 2017 by

We’ve been offering clinical Pilates classes at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford now since 2011. We started with 2 classes and have now grown our timetable to 18 classes a week. To complement this offering and help continue to support health and wellbeing, we are now adding Yoga classes to our studio timetable.

People are often very familiar with yoga and what it may entail but aren’t so sure about Pilates. A question we often get asked is

“What’s the difference between yoga & Pilates?”

Pilates

Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates back in the early 1900’s. It started as a series of physical exercises based on the concept of an integrated, comprehensive system, which he called Pilates classes Chandlers Ford‘Controlology’.

Pilates encourages the use of the mind to control muscles, focusing attention on the core postural muscles that help keep the body balanced and provide support for the spine. In particular, Pilates exercises teach awareness of breathing and alignment of the spine, and strengthen the deep torso and abdominal muscles.

There are many different types of Pilates, the most popular being mat based classes or those using equipment such as Reformers or Cadillacs.

Pilates focuses on:

  • Strength
  • Movement control
  • Core stability
  • Breathing
  • Alignment

People who regularly practice Pilates find that it is a great way to manage and ease many common conditions such as back pain. It is regularly incorporated into training programmes of top athletes as a way of preventing injuries and optimising physical wellbeing.

Yoga

The development of yoga can be traced back over 5000 years. Yoga cultivates physical, emotional, mental and social health and wellbeing. The practice of yoga includes postures and movement, breath awareness and breathing exercises, relaxation and concentration, and meditation. Yoga Pilates Chandlers Ford

There are many different styles of yoga. Familiar ones include Hatha, Bikram, Anusara, Viniyoga or Ashtanga. The styles vary on the intensity, amount of relaxation incorporated into the practice, the flow and philosophy.

Yoga focuses on:

  • Flexibility
  • Broad muscle groups
  • Relaxation and spirituality
  • Balance
  • Strength
  • Endurance

People can benefit from both yoga and Pilates, you don’t have to choose! The most important thing is to try different classes and do something you enjoy, that supports your lifestyle and goals. Both Pilates and yoga can complement each other well.

If you’re interested in joining one if our classes, yoga, Pilates or both, have a look at our timetable.

All Pilates bookings are done directly at the clinic either in person or over the phone. These classes are run as 8 week courses, £100 per course.

Yoga classes can be booked via our Studio Bookings app or website. For these classes you can buy a single class £12.50, 5 class pass £55 (valid for 2 months) or 10 class pass £100 (valid for 3 months). You can buy class passes and book your classes online.


Centering – The Building Block Of Pilates

Posted on 9th February 2017 by

One of the key element of Pilates is ‘setting your centre’. In every day speak that means getting all your deep abdominal & pelvic muscles working together in harmony! This action forms the basis of many Pilates exercises. It sounds easy but can take some practice to get it right!

Start by lying on your back in a rest position and finding a neutral spine position.

Pilates abdominal setting

Finding neutral spine position

  1. Place your thumbs in your belly button, your fingertips on the pubic bone and flatten the heels of your hands onto the bony pelvic bones to form a diamond shape – the pelvic diamond.
  2. Tilt the pelvic diamond away from you to exaggerate the arch in your lower back.
  3. Tilt the pelvic diamond towards you to flatten your back.
  4. Repeat these gentle tilting movement a few more times.
  5. Now position the pelvic diamond in the middle of these two positions – this is your neutral spine position.

Setting your centre with abdominals muscles

  1. Feel your deep abdominal corset by placing your fingertips on your bony pelvic bones and then sliding your fingertips in and down 4cm.
  2. Now imagine your deep abdominal muscles forming a natural corset, criss-crossing the torso in layers. There are 10 notches in this corset, below the belly button, just like a belt. Breathe in to prepare, breathe out all the way and before the next breath in slowly and gently draw in the muscular corset from below the belly button onto the third notch.
  3. You should feel the muscles under your fingertips subtly draw away.
  4. Hold your centre and keep breathing normally. Less is better – the contraction is very gentle so don’t over do it.

Setting your centre with pelvic floor muscles

  1. Gently draw your pelvic floor muscles in and up to hold your bladder from emptying.
  2. Now breathe normally and try to keep that engagement in your pelvic floor muscles.
  3. Now place your fingertips onto your deep abdominal muscles. You may also feel the muscles under your fingertips gently draw away – this is normal!

You should practice both the abdominal and pelvic floor elements and combining them.

Once you’ve mastered it laying down, you can also practice it standing up or sitting.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Pilates or coming along to one of our specialist rehabilitation Pilates classes, just give us a call on 023 8025 3317. We have a full timetable of classes, for all levels of ability.


The Benefit Of Pilates For Winter Sports

Posted on 16th January 2017 by

Winter is upon us and with that, ski and boarding seasons are in fill swing!

We get lots of enquiries at the clinic about how best to prepare for skiing holidays and how to prevent the worst from happening with injuries.

In today’s blog, we’ll look at why preparing for your ski or snow boarding holiday is important and what Pilates is – if you haven’t come across it before

Ski holidays are a big commitment, both physically and financially. They are also time limited, so most people ski around 6-8 hours a day for 5-7 days in a row. This can be a huge increase in demands on your body if you normally sit in an office all day!

Pilates can help to prepare you for the slopes in many ways:

  • Helps to prepare the body for intense period of exercise
  • Reduces the risk of injuries
  • Improves fitness
  • Addresses muscle imbalances
  • Helps you make the most of your holiday!

Pilates is a low impact form of exercise, usually mat based, that centres around the idea of maintaining a strong ‘core’ during dynamic movement patterns. It works on improving balance, flexibility, muscle strength and posture. It incorporates elements of yoga, martial arts and Western forms of exercise.

So how does having a well trained ‘core’ help me on the slopes? 

There are 4 key elements that will help you during your time on the slopes – Posture, Alignment, Control & Muscle Balance.

I’m sure you’ve seen it before, some people struggle to even stay upright! During this struggle their muscles are so tense and working so hard to keep them upright, thinking about posture goes out of the window!

Posture

A crucial part of winter sports is how you stand on your skis or board.

Incorrect posture will force your body to work much harder than it needs to, which is really inefficient. So, you’ll find that some of your muscles will tire much more quickly and your body will generally fatigue.

When you’re on your skis or board, your posture needs to be stable, yet easily adaptable to the dynamic nature of snow sports.

Pilates helps posture by educating the right postural muscles for you. It teaches postural muscles to work effectively and efficiently.

Alignment

This follows on from posture. Alignment is the relationship in your body between key areas like your head, shoulders, pelvis, hips, knees & ankles. So, if you were drawing a line between these key points like a dot to dot – there will be good and not so good patterns of alignment.

Learning to align your body in its optimal position, will reduce the strain on joints and muscles. Correct alignment will improve your control and balance.

We take it for granted, thinking our body will naturally do this, but a lifetime of postural stresses, injuries, sitting at desks, driving etc. will effect our optimal alignment. We may have tight weak muscles or even some that don’t ‘switch on’ when they’re needed.

Pilates really works to optimise your alignment, teaching all those bits of your body to work efficiently in relationship to each other. Being conscious of your alignment will carry over to your time on the slopes and you will reap the benefits in efficiency, endurance and preventing injury.

Control

Being able to control your body effectively allows you to make small changes without over or under compensating. This skill is vital in skiing and boarding. Reduced control results in working harder than you need to, overstraining the body.

All the moves and exercises in Pilates will challenge and educate body control. Practising control off the slopes will help it become second nature when you’re on the slopes! Let’s face it, when you’re hurtling down a slippery mountain with an equally slippery piece of equipment attached to your feet, a bit of control is a nice thing to have!

Muscle Balance

Muscle imbalances are common throughout the body and don’t always result in a problem. But if your body is being put under greater prolonged physical stress (like a week skiing!), imbalances can become problematic. Weak muscles can be forced to use increased tone or tension to help support them, which increases their work load. Other muscles can work overtime to try and compensate. As skiing/boarding is a whole body exercise, it’s important to address any imbalances you may have.

Pilates is a great form of exercise to do this, that really works the whole body. When practising Pilates exercises you can quickly find out which areas are weak or tight!! It will really teach those ares to work and address any compensations your body is making.

So, how exactly can Pilates can help prevent injuries and keep me safe during my trip!

All of the points above are vital injury prevention tips – correct posture and alignment, better control and well balanced muscles will all reduce the risk of injury.

Any area of the body can be injured when skiing, as it’s a whole body sport. This includes joints, bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons. An injury can vary from a minor muscle strain to a major bone/joint injury such as fracture or dislocation.

Pilates specifically can help you:

  • Maintain control
  • Improve balance – reducing the risk of falling
  • Distribute the load evenly throughout your body – reducing the risk of overworked muscles
  • Increase your flexibility – helping you maintain the correct posture and stance
  • Improve your dynamic movement control – allowing you to adapt to your terrain

Pilates will give you the skills needed to have a safe and enjoyable time away – plus it’s a great form of exercise all year round! The benefits are transferrable to everyday life and exercise too, not just extreme winter sports.

If you’re interested in experiencing for yourself how Pilates can benefit you, come and join one of our classes. We run an extensive timetable of classes, including daytime, evening and Saturday mornings – with a range of levels to suit all.

The goPhysio Team also have some top tips to help reduce the risk of injury on the slopes

Fiona – Listen to your body! Don’t keep going if you feel like you need a break.

Kim – Get any pre-exisiting injuries treated BEFORE you go – don’t leave it until the last minute! You really wouldn’t believe the number of people we see at the clinic a few days before they’re due to go skiing, who’ve had an injury for ages and call us in desperation (normally looking for a knee brace to solve their problem!). Think ahead!!

Paul – Pace yourself throughout the day and have regular breaks to top up energy levels with a hot chocolate!

Sarah – Just in case……make sure you have some insurance to cover any injuries or illnesses while you’re away.

We hope you have a safe & happy holiday!

p.s. Obviously, some injuries are totally unavoidable. So if you do find yourself heading home not quite in one piece, we’re here to help you recover too. You can book an appointment online or give us a call. We aim to offer you an appointment within 24 hours, if not the same day so you can get sorted without delay. All our team are keen skiers or boarders, so know exactly what you’re talking about.


Day 14 – Win a 1-2-1 Pilates Session Today

Posted on 14th December 2016 by

Pilates Chandlers Ford

1-2-1 pilates session up for grabs!

In recent years, Pilates has become recognised as one of the most effective ways to maintain a pain free life.

Our specialist, Physiotherapist led classes, will help you learn how to move efficiently, giving you strength, control and physical durability. Enthusiastic exercisers, Mum’s to be, the elderly and anyone that values their body, can all benefit from Pilates. If you’re recovering from injury it’s an excellent form of rehabilitation, training your body to ‘move better’, preventing re-occurrences.

We offer a range of classes to suit all abilities. All of our courses are progressive and encourage you to develop at your own pace. Classes are run 6 days a week, including evenings and a Saturday morning, so it’s easy to find a class that fits in with your diary. Take a look at our latest time table for the current class times.

Unlike other Pilates classes in the area, our instructors are all also qualified Physiotherapists. You’ll benefit from the small class size and the individual attention and expertise the Physio provides, guiding and progressing you through your tailored programme, enhancing your performance.

Like and share the post today and you could win a free 30 minute 1-2-1 pilates session!


Day 13 Countdown Giveaway – Win a Pair of Pilates Socks

Posted on 6th December 2016 by

APPI Pilates socks For today’s countdown giveaway, we’ve got a pair of APPI Pilates socks. These socks are perfect for your Pilates class, offering warmth, comfort and grip.

The APPI Pilates Sock has been designed with a non-slip sole and a seamless toe. The APPI Pilates sock helps with balance, control and gripping of equipment, floor surfaces, and mats.

The Socks design also includes ‘unique reflexology points’ on the sole of the foot.

Like and share for your chance to win!


The New Clinic Countdown Giveaway

Posted on 29th November 2016 by

It’s been a long time coming, but we’re finally nearly ready to open the doors to our brand new Physiotherapy Clinic & Pilates Studio. So, what better way to countdown the days till opening with our own special festive advent countdown giveaway.

From the 1st of December through to the 18th of December, we will be hosting our very own Christmas new clinic countdown giveaway with prizes to be won each day to celebrate the new clinic opening! All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning a prize every day is to like our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page and share each of our giveaway posts.

Visit our Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or Instagram pages from 1st – 18th December to uncover 18 days of giveaways.

So join us as we countdown to the most magical time of the year and see what special giveaways and treats we have in store for you!

You can also follow our hashtag #MoveAndImprove on social media to see what’s happening each day.

See you on 1st December!

Love, the goPhysio team x

goPhysio Moving Date

 

 

 


Improving Flexibility: Yoga From A Physio’s Perspective

Posted on 28th November 2016 by

Physiotherapist & Pilates Instructor, Gemma, recently attended a specialist yoga course for Physiotherapists. On this blog she gives a great overview of yoga and also highlights how it compares to Pilates.

Yoga combines movement, meditation and awareness of breathing through a sequence of exercises. This has many positive effects on the body from improving flexibility and strength, to aiding relaxation, body awareness and self-discipline.

Although originating in India, some 5000 years ago and linked with Hinduism and Buddism, Yoga is a non-religious practice and has been adapted into an exercise class format by Western cultures.

Is it different from Pilates?

Yoga and Pilates share many similarities and some of the exercises are indeed identical. However the philosophy and focus are different. Pilates works on training the core muscles, developing stability and improving normal posture. Whereas yoga focusses more on improving flexibility and mind-body awareness; tending to be a more flowing sequence of movements.

Which is better for me?

Generally if you are very bendy (hypermobile), Pilates will be better for you to help gain stability and strength through your joints, and if you’re stiff yoga is great to improve flexibility. However both types of class can be adapted to suit you so a lot of it comes down to personal preference.

What are the health benefits of yoga? 

Yoga can help improve:

  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Balance
  • Prevent falls
  • Help with arthritis
  • Reduce lower back pain
  • Reduce depression, anxiety and stress levels

Do I have to do headstands?!

No! Headstands are just one exercise from a branch of traditional yoga poses known as ‘inversions’ but other inversions can include simply laying on your back with your feet up against a wall which is much more achievable for most of us!

How hard is it?

Yoga can be as hard as you want it to be… from pure meditation and breathing to an aerobic sweat-inducing power yoga class and everything in-between!

Yoga can be done by people of all ages; from adolescents to octogenarians it can have significant health benefits. It doesn’t matter how flexible you are or how good (or bad) your balance is as all the exercises can be tailored, there are even chair based classes for those less able.

What are the different types of yoga?

There are many different forms, the most common are:

  • Hatha yoga – a simple, slow class of postures
  • Vinyasa – a faster flowing sequence of poses
  • Ashtanga – an intense and athletic ‘pure’ form of yoga postures
  • Hot yoga/Bikram yoga – done in a heated room up to 32degrees C
  • Sivananda – slow, gentle and spiritual, focusing on 12 main poses, breathing, meditation, proper diet and mindfulness

Is it better to do a class rather than use a DVD/Youtube video?

Whilst the internet has a wealth of classes online and DVDs can be a good way of keeping up practice at home, the only way to make sure you’re doing the exercises safely and correctly is to come to a class with a trained yoga instructor. They will also be able to guide you through exercises of the right level, help you develop correct breathing techniques and teach you modifications where necessary to prevent injury.

Gemma is incorporating yoga into her rehabilitation programmes where her patients will benefit. You can read one of her success stories here.

Yoga Pilates


Older People’s Day on October 1st!

Posted on 1st October 2016 by

Older People’s Day takes place on 1st October and this year celebrates the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society and the economy.

With age comes wisdom and life experience that is invaluable when passed on to younger generations. From looking after the grandchildren to volunteering at a local church group or running a community art class, life rarely slows down after retirement nowadays!

People are living longer than ever before with average life expectancy in the UK rising to 79.4 years, but how can we make sure we stay active and continue to enjoy good quality of life into our golden years?

If you don’t use it you lose it!

By keeping active we maintain muscle strength and joint flexibility, as well as keeping blood pressure and cholesterol under control to reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Exercise can also help with weight loss and improve mood and mental wellbeing too…bonus!

Am I too old to exercise?

No! Its never too late.. check out these inspiring examples…………..

Fauna Singh tao Lynch Yoga

Tao Porchon-Lynch, the world’s oldest yoga teacher has just turned 98 and Fauja Singh; the 104 year old marathon runner who only took up running in his 80’s!

Where do I start?

If you haven’t exercised for years, start slowly – older joints will have a tendency to be stiffer, particularly in the mornings and in cold weather.

A physiotherapist can help by assessing your muscle strength, flexibility and balance and create a tailored individual exercise programme to address these as well as treating any aches and pains you may have.

A gentle stretching routine every morning might be all that’s needed to keep you supple enough to chase after those grandchildren!

Ideas for staying active

  • Walking
  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Table tennis
  • Falls prevention classes/Chair based exercise classes
  • Dancing – did you know dancing has been shown to reverse signs of aging in the brain and improve mental and physical wellbeing in an older population, it’s even being used to help treat Parkinson’s disease!

How long do I need to keep it up for?

The key is to find something you enjoy, that makes you feel good so that it doesn’t feel like hard work to keep it up indefinitely. Whether that’s a Pilates class, dancing or gardening the most important thing is that you’re getting out there and getting moving!

It often doesn’t take any fancy equipment and there are no requirements for lycra or leotards but all you need is a healthy disregard for the stereotype of age and a little bit of motivation to stay youthful!


Should I plank during pregnancy? goPhysio Advice

Posted on 21st September 2016 by

There was a great question today over on twitter that I saw,

Should I keep doing planks now I’m pregnant?

Exercise during pregnancy is great. There are so many benefits, which we covered in a previous blog. But what’s important is that you do the right exercise for you and the stage of pregnancy you are at.

Planks probably aren’t the best type of exercise for you to do whilst pregnant. There are so many alternative exercises that are more suitable and appropriate that would still work the areas that a plank does. Many of these are Pilates based, working on deep abdominal and pelvic muscles but in a much gentler way. The trouble with a plank is that it’s a fairly intense exercise and puts a lot of strain through your abdominals.

This work your abdominals really hard (the point of the exercise!) but your abdominals are already undergoing so many physical changes that planking may put too much exertion through them. The problem with doing inappropriate exercises is that you put yourself at greater risk of developing issues such as Diastasis Recti or pelvic girdle pain.

The general rule of thumb with exercise in pregnancy is if you’re already taking part regularly in an exercise pre-pregnancy, then it’s usually safe to continue this during pregnancy. So, if planks are a regular part of your exercise routine and you already have excellent strength and control in these areas, then modifying this exercise as part of your routine is likely to be OK. Just bear in mind the bigger your bump gets, the more strain those muscle are under. Most importantly, listen to your body. Don’t do anything you don’t feel comfortable with and if in any doubt, seek advice from a suitably qualified professional.

The safest option is to join an exercise class that specifically focuses on pregnancy, under the guidance of a specially trained professional you can be rest assured that you are giving your changing body the best workout.


Why’s Pilates so popular? Find out this summer!

Posted on 25th July 2016 by

Have you ever wondered why Pilates is so popular, why so may celebs and athletes have made it a crucial part of their routines? This summer, we’re running a flexible timetable of Pilates classes at goPhysio. To replace our normal 8 week courses, we’re offering ‘drop in’ classes. We’re still running classes 6 days a week, including day time and evening classes to suit all abilities. But there’s no long term commitment – just book the classes you fancy, as you go!

If you haven’t tried Pilates before, you can also take advantage of our special offer of a FREE 30 minute 1-2-1  Pilates session, which normally costs £35 between now and 7th August. We’re offering 10 of these free sessions, to the first 10 people who book.

So, whether you’d like to book your free 1-2-1 or book any of our summer classes, just give us a call on 023 8025 3317 or pop into the clinic and we’d be happy to help you.

Summer Pilates at goPhysio