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What level of Pilates should I do?

Posted on 8th April 2020 by

A question we get asked a lot at goPhysio, as people become familiar with Pilates or have been coming for some time, is

What level class should I do?

We offer 3 levels of mat based Pilates classes, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. This follows the APPI training concept, which all of our Instructors have completed.

Now there is access to so many online classes, with less in person and face to face support, it is even more important that people are advised what level of classes to take part in.

At goPhysio, if you’ve been attending any of our Pilates classes for a while, we keep an eye on you and will suggest when we think is the right time for you to try and progress up a level. Without that guidance, Physio & Pilates Instructor, Roz, has put in place fantastic guide to help you identify what you.

So, are you ready to progress and challenge yourself with the next level?

Follow the diagram below to see what skill set you require to start each level.

Challenge yourselves during this time of isolation with our online Pilates classes

Then book a 1:1 review when the clinic re-opens and see if you have met that challenge and are ready to progress to the next level.



5 Key Elements of Pilates

Posted on 24th March 2020 by

All of our Pilates classes focus around 5 important, key elements. These elements help to underpin all the exercises we do, connecting your breathing, posture, mind and movement.

Many people are now taking part in our online Pilates classes in their own time, or starting Pilates for the first time. We would normally always go through these important underlying steps with you on an individual basis, before you start Pilates. And remind you on a regular basis. So, we thought it would be useful to provide a reminder of these 5 Key Elements.

Key Element #1: Breathing

  1. Lie on your back with your hips and knees bent up (the rest position).
  2. Place a folded towel under your head if you feel that your chin is poking upwards.
  3. Place your hands across the lower half of your ribcage with the tips of your fingers slightly interlaced.
  4. Breathe in and allow your ribs to expand widthways.
  5. Let your fingertips draw apart from one another slightly.
  6. Breathe out and allow your ribcage to sink inwards and downwards.
  7. Your fingertips may interlace slightly as you empty your lungs.
  8. Watch that you do not lift your breastbone as you breathe in. Instead imagine the back of your ribcage spreading wide into the mat underneath you 

You can repeat this in standing or sitting to truly understand your Pilates Breathing.

Key Element #2: Centering

Lie in the rest position.

FINDING NEUTRAL SPINE POSITION.

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, AKA – the pelvic diamond. Tilt the pelvic diamond away from you to exaggerate the arch in your lower back. Tilt the pelvic diamond towards you to flatten your back. Repeat these gentle tilting movement a few more times. Now position the pelvic diamond in the middle of these two positions – this is your neutral spine position. 

SETTING YOUR CENTRE WITH ABDOMINALS MUSCLES.

Feel your deep abdominal corset by placing your fingertips on your bony pelvic bones and then sliding your fingertips in and down 4cm. 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. You should feel the muscles under your fingertips subtly draw away. 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.

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

Key Element #3: The Rib Cage

Lie in the rest position, with your arms resting over your ribcage. Find your neutral spine position and set your centre. As you take a deep breathe in, feel the movement of your Ribcage expanding laterally and upwards. Breathe out and notice the movement of your ribcage back to its start position. Repeat this movement about 6 times.

Key Element #4: Shoulder Blades

Lie in the rest position.

SHOULDER BLADE RETRACTION AND PROTRACTION

Keeping your arms long, float them upward vertically to the ceiling. Imagine you are holding a helium balloon between your hands. Breathe in and reach upwards through your fingertips, allowing the helium balloon to lift your arms further upwards and glide your shoulder blades gently apart from one another. Breath out and gently draw your shoulder blades back towards one another without pinching them together. Repeat several more times and then lower your arms to the mat.

SHOULDER BLADE ELEVATION AND DEPRESSION

With your arms resting long beside your body, breathe in and glide your shoulder blades gently upwards, keeping your arms on the mat. Breathe out and gently glide your shoulder blades down away from your ears (this movement is produced by the lower trapezius muscle). Repeat several times.

Key Element #5: Head and Neck

If you have neck pain or headaches, always commence this exercise lying down to reduce the load through your neck.

Lie in the rest position. Place a small folded towel under your head if your feel that your chin is poking upwards. Place a shiny magazine on top of the towel to reduce friction. Feel the bony area on the back of your head resting on the magazine. Now lengthen this bony part of your head away from the base of your neck. Hold for a second or two and then relax. Repeat several times. Alternatively, imagine that someone is gently pulling the hair on the crown of your head to lengthen the back of your neck.

Less is better – the contraction is very gentle so don”t over do it. Place your hands on the muscles on the front of your neck. The muscles should remain soft.

The Rest Position

In the rest position your muscles are relaxed and your joints are in neutral alignment. You should try to incorporate the key points of the rest position into all postures throughout your day.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent up and you head supported on a small cushion or folded towel.
  2. Relax the weight of your head into the support.
  3. Lengthen the back of the neck by reaching the crown of the head towards the wall behind you.
  4. Gently draw your shoulder blades down towards your waist to relax the neck and shoulders.
  5. Soften the ribcage into the mat to connect the back of the ribcage on the mat.
  6. Place your feet and knees hip distance apart.
  7. Make sure that your weight rests on the six key points of the feet: the base of each big toes, each little toe and the centre of the heel on each foot.
  8. Imagine your pelvis is a bucket of water. Tip it backwards to spill some water out the back of the bucket and you will feel your back gently flatten onto the mat. Now tip it forwards to spill some water out of the front of the bucket and you will feel your lower back arch slightly. Find your ‘neutral spine’ position by resting the bucket halfway between these two movements. There should be a small space between your back and the mat, and your pubic and hip bones should form a small flat triangle.
  9. Maintaining the neutral spine position, INHALE wide into the sides and back of the ribcage and then EXHALE. At the end of your exhale, slowly draw up through the pelvic floor muscles to engage these and your deep abdominal muscles.
  10. Hold this gently contraction and keep breathing for up to ten breaths,

If you’d like to join us for some online Pilates classes, head on over to our Pilates Facebook community group.



Pilates Exercise of the Month – Roll Up

Posted on 1st January 2020 by

Each month we’re bringing you a different Pilates exercise to practice and focus on, as recommended by one of our Pilates Instructors. This month, Roz recommends the Roll Up.

This is a more advanced abdominal exercises that ensures you continue to activate all the layers of abdominal muscles together.  If the deeper ‘core’ muscles are not working effectively your feet will lift off the floor, giving you the perfect feedback as to how well you are doing the exercise.  As your control improves you simply increase the range you move through.

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you, hip distance apart. Bend your hips and knees a little. Ensure that your pelvis is in an upright, neutral position. Lengthen your upper spine and back of your neck. Lift both arms to shoulder height, keeping the arms long.
  2. Breath in to prepare.
  3. Breath out and roll off the back of your sitting bones to round your lower back and tilt your pelvis backwards. Continue to move in this direction as far as you can maintain control, allowing your back to form a C shape curve. Keep the head upright.
  4. Breath in and maintain the C shape curve of your spine and bring your shoulders over the hips, then roll your pelvis forwards onto the sitting bones and re stack your spine, one bone at a time to resume your starting position.
goPhysio Pilates Instructor

Enjoy this month’s exercise! Roz, Physiotherapist & Pilates Instructor



Meet Your Team – Hello Charlotte!

Posted on 16th December 2019 by

As our team has grown over the last year or so, we thought it would be a great time to introduce you to the team that we have to help you, re-introducing the more familiar faces and welcoming the new ones!

Today we meet Physiotherapist, Charlotte.

goPhysio Pilates Instructor

What are your qualifications?

I studied at the University Portsmouth and gained a BSc in Sport Science from 2000-2003. I then went to the University East London and qualified as a Physiotherapist, with a BSc Physiotherapy from 2004 -2007.

What areas have you previously worked in?

I have worked with the Rugby England ladies selection days, London wasps and Beaconsfield RFC.

I have worked in private practice since 2007, initially based in Chiswick, Twickenham and Camberley and now in Chandlers Ford.

Do you have any special areas of interest in physiotherapy?

My specialism is in assessing, diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal injuries, so those that affect muscles, bones, joints etc.  

I am qualified to use acupuncture with the AACP and also a Level 1 and 2 APPI Pilates Instructor (soon to complete Level 3!).

What you’re most proud of?

 Without a doubt, My Family 

What’s the best thing about being part of the goPhysio team? 

The team are wonderful and highly motivated. It’s a great atmosphere working at goPhysio – I’m over the moon to be a part of the team.

We asked………

If you could invite any 3 people in the world round for dinner, who would they be?

  • Peppa Pig – to entertain the Children
  • Micheal Mcintyre
  • Lee Mack

Where in the world is top of your list to visit?

Orlando, Florida

If you were going to space and could only take 1 thing, what would it be?

A Spacesuit to explore

What’s the 1 thing that may surprise people about you? 

 I share the same birthday as Nicole Scherzinger, (not year!)


Charlotte works at goPhysio on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. If you’d like to book an appointment to see Charlotte, you can give us a call on 023 8025 3317 or book an appointment online here.


More Pilates Exercises In Standing

Posted on 1st October 2019 by

Mat based Pilates exercise are carried out in a variety of positions, including lying on your back, front or side, sitting and kneeling on hands and knees. In addition to these positions, there are many popular Pilates exercises you can do in standing.

Here’s a few of our Pilate’s teams favourites!

#1 Mermaid Standing

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Imagine your head is a helium balloon to lengthen your spine. Imagine your pelvis as a bowl resting upright to align your pelvis in the neutral position. Gently set your centre. Glide your shoulder blades downwards towards your waist. Place your hands on the brim of your pelvic bowl.
  2. INHALE and lift the left arm to the side and overhead.
  3. EXHALE and lengthen the curve of the spine to the right while maintaining the neutral position.
  4. INHALE and return back to upright starting position.

#2 Corckscrew Warm Up Move

  1. Standing upright, back of the neck long, shoulder blades set, neutral spinal position, knees soft, weight placed evenly through the feet. Arms resting long beside the body. Centre set.
  2. Inhale, circle the arms outwards and upwards overhead. Keep the arms within your peripheral vision and the shoulder blades set, so pulled back and down.
  3. Exhale, fold the arms and place the hands at the base of the head. Keep the back of the neck long.
  4. Inhale, glide the shoulder blades upwards. Keep the collarbones wide.
  5. Exhale, glide the shoulder blades downwards. Keep the collarbones wide.
  6. Inhale, reach the arms overhead. Keep the arms within the peripheral vision and the scapulae set.
  7. Exhale, circle the arms outwards and downwards to return to the starting position.

#3 One Leg Circle

  1. Start in a natural standing posture. Hands on your waist.
  2. Put your feet and heels together. Keeping your heels together, turn your feet outwards slightly.
  3. Inhale, slide your right leg forwards keeping the toes on the mat.
  4. Exhale, circle your right leg outwards, placing your foot directly behind your right hip. Keep the toes in contact with the mat.
  5. Inhale, slide your right leg forwards, placing your floor directly in front of your right hip. Keep the toes in contact with the mat.
  6. Repeat up to ten times in this direction and then reverse the direction of your leg circles on both sides.

#4 Clam Level 3

  1. Start in a natural standing position.
  2. Bend your right hip 45 and the knee to 90 degrees, keeping your legs a hip distance apart.
  3. Put your hands on your waist. Inhale to prepare.
  4. Exhale, rotate your right hip outwards, keeping your pelvis stable.
  5. Inhale, rotate your right hip back to the middle, keeping the pelvis stable.
  6. Repeat up to ten times on the right leg and then repeat on the opposite side.

#5 Roll Down

  1. Stand in a natural standing position. Engage your core.
  2. Inhale to prepare.
  3. Exhale, lengthen the back of the neck and curl the head and neck forwards. Continue to curl the body forwards, one bone at a time. Wheel the pelvis forwards and continue to roll the body downwards as far as comfortable. Allow the head and arms to relax forwards with gravity and keep the knees soft.
  4. Inhale and hold the roll down position.
  5. Exhale, draw the tailbone downwards and wheel the pelvis upwards. Continue to roll the spine upwards one bone at a time. Lengthen the upper body upwards and widen the collarbones to return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat 3 5 times.

Read More 

We have lot’s of informative and educational Pilates articles over on our blog, which you can find here

If you’re interested in finding out more about joining our specialist Clinical Pilates classes at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford, take a look at the details of what we offer, our timetable of over 20 classes a week and more information about getting started with mat Pilates.

Read More

Top 3 Pilates exercises in standing


The goPhysio Pilates Team

Posted on 24th September 2019 by

Specialist Clinical Pilates is one of our core (excuse the pun!) services here at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford. We are unique in the area in that all of our Instructors, in addition to APPI Pilates Chandlers Fordbeing specially trained Pilates Instructors, are clinically qualified, so have a degree in Physiotherapy or Sports Therapy.

This level of qualification and specialist experience enables then to incorporate Pilates with rehabilitation and recovery of injuries, and/or using Pilates for injury prevention.

The Pilates qualifications that all of our Instructors have is from The Australian Physiotherapy & Pilates Institute (APPI). This is the world leading provider of Pilates education.  The APPI has developed a unique modified Pilates technique. This technique has been developed specifically for rehabilitation settings. It ensures that safe and scientifically researched movement patterns are learned and taught to be part of effective Rehab, retraining of alignment, correcting posture, improving range of motion, supporting the spine and for safe sport and strength training.

All our Instructors are a minimum of Level 2 qualified with APPI. 

Meet Our Instructors!

We are so privileged to have 6 fantastic Pilates Instructors in our team. As they all work clinically too, this helps provide seamless care if you are moving from physiotherapy, sports therapy or rehab to Pilates or via versa.

So, whether you’ve heard great things about Pilates and would like to start, are looking for small, supportive classes to help with prevention or recovery from injury or want to do Pilates as part of a regular exercise routine, look no further!

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Here’s all the information you need to know about:

Clinical Pilates

Our regular timetable

How to book a Regular Pilates at goPhysio

How to book PAYG Pilates at goPhysio


Back To School Pilates Offer

Posted on 20th August 2019 by

It’s coming to the end of the school holidays, time to start thinking about YOU again!

September can be a great time to start something new, it’s a time of natural change and fresh starts, new timetables and schedules. Maybe you have more free time for yourself with a little one starting school or gaining more independence going to senior school or college, or even university!

Have you thought about starting or re-starting Pilates? Perhaps you used to do Pilates and would love to get back to it? Pilates is a fantastic form of exercise. It’s a whole body workout, helping you get stronger, leaner, more flexible and helping you invest in your health. Even better, it’s sociable and fun!

We’ve got a very special offer for you and a friend!

What’s the offer?

For the total price of £300, you and your friend will both recieve:

  1. A 30 minute 1-2-1 Pilates session to get you started
  2. 3 consecutive months of Pilates classes, with a dedicated space every week in your chosen class from our timetable
  3. A pair of Pilates socks
  4. Access to our special Pilates membership (5% discount off all services, special offer of the month, monthly Pilates newsletter with exercises for home practice)
  5. The option to continue Pilates at a special reduced monthly rate of £55/month (normally £60/month).

That’s £300 between you – so only £150 each! A saving of over £150 off our normal price. If you haven’t got a friend to join you, you can pay £150 for an individual package.

We only have 10 of these special offers available, so be quick, once they’re gone they’re gone.

Read more about our range of specialist Pilates classes here. You can also take a look at our timetable.

Our Pilates classes offer:

  • 20 classes a week for all abilities
  • A dedicated place in your chosen class every week
  • A ‘make up’ class system, so you don’t loose any missed classes
  • Small classes, so you get individual attention and guidance
  • Clinically trained Instructors, specialists in helping and preventing injuries (with on hand advice every week!)
  • A spacious, fully equipped, air conditioned studio

To take advantage of this offer, please call us on 023 8025 3317 to have a chat, book your 1-2-1’s and find out what classes we have spaces in.

T&Cs

  • Offer only open to new members, existing members do not qualify for this offer
  • Payment of £300 for 2 people (or £150 for 1 person) is to be taken upfront. This is non refundable
  • Offer expires 30th November 2019
  • 3 month’s of classes include September, October and November 2019
  • Any unattended classes can not be carried over, however, you can ‘make up’ unattended classes as long as 24 hours notice is given
  • Classes are non-transferable


Getting On The Ball With Pilates

Posted on 1st July 2019 by

This month, Physio and Pilates Instructor, Kim, has chosen her top 5 Pilates exercises you can do with an exercise ball.

We will often bring the ball into our Pilates classes. It adds another dimension and an extra challenge with it’s natural instability. You can pick one up online or in shops such as TK Max, Argos or Sports Direct (just make sure it’s an anti-burst one!).

#1 Scissors in Sitting

  1. Sit up tall on your sitting bones on top of the ball. Position your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Balance your weight evenly through each foot. Relax your arms by your sides or place them on the brim of your pelvis.
  2. Lift your right leg and hold keeping your weight even through your sitting bone.
  3. Lower your leg and foot to the floor and repeat on the opposite leg.

#2 Swimming Level 3

  1. Kneel in front of the ball. Gently walk your hands forwards along the floor until your pelvis is resting in top of the ball. Balance with your fingertips and toes on the mat. Align your pelvis in the neutral position and gently set your centre.
  2. Simultaneously lengthen and hover your right arm and left leg from the mat.
  3. Hold and then lower your arm and leg to the mat.
  4. Repeat alternating sides.

#3 Bridge Hip Dips

  1. Sit on top of the ball and engage your centre. Slowly walk your feet forwards and lower your back until you are in the bridge position. Support your head, neck and upper back on the ball. Bend your knees to 90 degrees. Keep your centre engaged and gently engage your gluteal (buttock) muscles.
  2. Stabilise in the bridge position.
  3. Lower your hips and pelvis downwards without arching your lower back.
  4. Lift your hips and pelvis returning to the bridge position.

#4 Shoulder Bridge Level 1

  1. Lie on your back with your legs in the tabletop position, resting on top of the ball. Position your hips knees and ankles into parallel lines. Align your pelvis into the neutral position.
  2. Gently roll your pelvis and peel your spine away from the mat, one segment at a time rolling up to rest on your shoulder blades.
  3. Hold the shoulder bridge position.
  4. Roll your spine back down on to the mat, one vertebrae at a time to return to the neutral pelvic position.

#5 Plank Walks

  1.  Kneel in front of the ball. Gently walk your hands forwards along the floor until your pelvis is resting in top of the ball. Balance with your fingertips and toes on the mat. Align your pelvis in the neutral position and gently set your centre.
  2. Walk your hands further forwards along the floor. Simultaneously, lengthen your legs and lift your feet off the floor. Your body will align into the ’plank position’ where your spine and legs form a horizontal line. Only walk out as far as you can control.
  3. Hold the plank position.
  4. Walk your hands back along the floor and lower your toes to the floor, keeping your arms and legs long.

Read More 

We have lot’s of informative and educational Pilates articles over on our blog, which you can find here

If you’re interested in finding out more about joining our specialist Clinical Pilates classes at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford, take a look at the details of what we offer, our timetable of over 20 classes a week and more information about getting started with Pilates.


Pilates: It’s more than the core!

Posted on 1st July 2019 by

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“You need to strengthen your core!”

“You’ve got a weak core!”

“Pilates will help your core!”

Sound familiar? Particularly if you’ve ever had back pain, these may be comments or messages you’ve heard quite frequently.

The buzz of ‘the core’ started back in the 1990’s, when targeted exercises towards the deep core muscles were thought to be the best way to help with back pain. It was thought that low back pain may have been caused by weak deep core muscles and that by working and ‘strengthening’ the core muscles, you could help back pain. Therapists and exercise pro’s leapt on this ‘theory’ and you will still read and hear people talking about this all the time, despite there being no link ever having been found between back pain and core muscle ‘strength’!

The current thinking and evidence surrounding ways to both prevent and help people with back pain (an in fact many other common injuries, aches, pains and long-standing conditions) is that it’s movement, activity and any exercise is the best way! The key is that you find something you enjoy, fit’s in with your daily life, you can commit to regularly and that challenges your body in some way.

There is a common misconception that all Pilates exercises do is work your ‘core’.

But there’s a lot more to Pilates than the core!

So, although Pilates exercises will focus around exercising your ‘core’ tummy and back muscles, doing Pilates exercises will also work and benefit your body in many other ways! This makes it a fantastic form of exercise if you do have back pain, a long-standing condition such as arthritis or other aches and pains.

A Pilates class will challenge and work on:

  • Your balance and flexibility
  • Strength in your arm and leg muscles
  • Breathing techniques
  • Movement and body awareness – so becoming aware of your posture and how your body moves and rests, important in helping you be mindful of your body and connecting with it
  • Relaxation and time invested in you
  • Co-ordination

Our specialist classes here at goPhysio will further support you, by providing access and support from our dedicated team of Clinical Instructors – so you can be rest assured you will be in great hands! Being Clinicians, our team can integrate their knowledge and experience of not only how the body works and moves, but also injuries, aches, pains & MSK conditions for which you might need specific support.

Read More

Pilates at goPhysio

Pilates Articles


5 Elements of Posture and how Pilates can help

Posted on 1st June 2019 by

Having an awareness of your body and posture is a great way to help maintain a healthy, well-functioning body.  Sustained postures that your body isn’t used to or a lack of awareness of how your body feels in certain positions can lead to low back pain, neck pain, headaches, injuries, shortness of breath and even digestive problems. Being aware of your posture can help with maintaining the body’s natural spinal curves, reducing muscle tension and improving movement.

The APPI (Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates institute) method of Pilates taught at goPhysio is based on 5 key elements which are the focus of postural awareness:

5 Elements of Posture How Pilates helps
  1. Breathing
  2. Centering (engaging the core muscles whilst maintaining the neutral spine)
  3. Rib cage alignment
  4. Shoulder blade placement
  5. Head and neck position

Through these 5 key elements, Pilates can really help us become more aware of and in tune with our body. Ultimately, this can help encourage us to move more, move better and prevent injuries from occurring.

Whether you work at beginner or advanced level, Pilates exercises focus on maintaining an optimum postural position throughout all exercises regardless of the specific muscle group a particular exercise may be targeting.  Always looking for optimal alignment and movement control of the pelvis, spine, ribcage, shoulders and head whilst maintaining good breathing patterns. With practice, this is transferred through into daily life as you are moving around.