Monday, 5 August 2013

Pilates holidays - training tips to success

Flavours Pilates instructor, Janine Quirk, shares her top 5 training tips to achieve the best results on a Pilates holiday.  

1. Find a good teacher who is fully qualified. The recognised standard is NVQ level 3/4. Check out the teacher on the Register of Exercise will list all teachers and studios closest to your home or place of work.
Drop in classes (where you don't have to book and pay in advance) are not the places to learn. 12 should be the maximum number in a class. The teacher should be on his/her feet, teaching, watching and giving hands on guidence, not lying on a mat throughout the lesson. It is your workout, not theirs.
2. Have a 1:1 session (or a series of 1:1's) so that your teacher can get to know your body and sort out any problems. When you are then in a group situation he/she will be able to help you more. Even when you are more experienced, book a 1:1 every few months so you can 'stay on top'!

3. Don't expect to 'get it' straight away. To begin with Pilates is a bit like patting your head and rubbing your tummy. It takes concentration and time. You are trying to change existing, unbenificial movement patterns and replace them with new ones. The body is reluctant to change; your muscles have memories and you repeat learned behaviour. But slowly you will change and your body will rejoice as it regains that ease and grace you had as a child. The method builds into 'The Full Mat', a challenging series of exercises which flow from one to another. Pilates takes your re educated body through a comprehensive system of strength and stretch.

4.Never be afraid to go back to basics. Pilates is a method. Good practise relies on your body 'knowing' these basics. Revisit them and remind your body. All buildings need good foundations; good pilates practice relies on them.

5.It is never too late or too early to start Pilates. It allows you to get the best use out of your body whether you be an athlete or a senior citizen. Beginners classes always start gently. A good teacher will guide you into the most suitable class for your needs.

If you want to find more about why to indulge on a Pilates holiday and get answers on the most common questions click here    

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