Our Pilates studio

The Main Reasons to Practice Pilates

Pilates is an exercise method taught either as matwork or studio classes, privately or in groups. Originally designed by Joseph Pilates his method has continued to develop after his death and now encompasses the latest in biomechanical thinking.

At the heart of his method are the Pilates Principles which when used with his exercises combine to make an intelligent exercise method that is now recommended by many GPs, osteopaths, chiropractors and physiotherapists for help in overcoming a variety of injuries and postural problems.

Pilates Principles

  • Breathing
  • Centre
  • Control
  • Precision
  • Co-ordination

As classes become more advanced the exercises will flow from one to another. The emphasis of the exercises is to work on the deep stabilising muscles of the trunk and to create long, lean muscles. The deeper muscles stabilise us and help us to stand up tall, giving proper support to the spine and encouraging good joint mobility. Pilates exercises also promote physical awareness which is a prerequisite to making postural improvements and moving more freely.

Benefits of Pilates

  • Improves your posture
  • Improves mobility and flexibility of the spine
  • Delivers muscle tone and flexibility
  • Promotes a more efficient and supportive core
  • Increases stability for the pelvis and shoulders
  • Complements training for athletes

Why not join the beginners class and see for yourself what Pilates is?

Should I take a Pilates Matwork or Studio Equipment Class?

We recommend that all new clients start with Pilates Matwork classes before joining a Reformer or Equipment class so you can begin to understand the Pilates Principles and how to apply them to your own body. Once you are familiar with them you will be better prepared work on the equipment and will see the benefits quicker.

If you are having 1:1 sessions your teacher will work according to your aims or goals and likely incorporate the Principles within the sessions.

Pilates Matwork Classes

Pilates Matwork classes are a great way to get in touch with your body.  Our classes focus on creating a balance in the body, strengthening the core postural muscles and working on co-ordination and stability. They can also make you feel great!

Pilates Matwork exercises rely upon your own body weight to provide the resistance for your muscles to work against. This way you are able to achieve a toned & lengthen body instead of a ‘pumped’ look. We will sometimes use small pieces of equipment in the class such as soft balls, resistance bands, wobble cushions or Yoga blocks to help emphasise or enhance the exercises.

There is a very important mind-body element in Pilates classes which helps to develop muscle memories and reconnect with long forgotten parts of the body.

To join a Pilates matwork class you must have either been to the beginners Pilates class here at Bristol Movement Space or taken classes recently elsewhere.

Classes are not suitable for beginners – please see the Beginners Pilates class.

Pilates Reformer Classes

Pilates Equipment classes uses the Reformer, Cadillac and Stability Chair which have springs, pulleys, bars and straps to assist movement, create tension and allow muscles and joints to lengthen and move in ways not possible on the mat.

This allows us to either increase the challenge of a Pilates session or it can help move joints and muscles beyond their normal range and assist in rehab.

While the classes are more expensive than Matwork, the class is limited to a maximum of four per class which offers a more individually tailored workout than Matwork Pilates.

We work with a wide range of clients, from rehab focused to extremely challenging for even the most seasoned athlete.

We encourage clients to take both Matwork and Equipment classes and believe that lessons learnt on the equipment help inform your Matwork Pilates and vice versa.

Equipment sessions offer high-quality tuition with the added benefit of group camaraderie.