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Many people discover the benefits of pilates when recommended classes by their physiotherapist. For people with injuries, pilates is a fantastic way to strengthen opposing muscles and stabilise the injured joint, without undertaking a high impact exercise regime that could further aggravate the problem. But pilates should not just be the go-to post-injury activity. Pilates focuses on local muscle training, which is so often neglected by traditional forms of strength training, so is is immensely effective in reducing the risk of injury. Pilates is a crucial component of a dancer’s regime, ensuring that muscles stay mobile and strong, whilst maintaining an aesthetically lean physique. It is also popular with many other athletes, as it stabilises bones and joints and can prevent injury in high impact sports. A sport like rugby, with 1 in 5 professional players injured at any given time, has only recently realised the significant advantages that pilates brings. Most professional rugby teams now participate in weekly pilates classes, in order to fine tune their muscular strength, increase stability and provide them with an improved range of motion. For those that sit hunched over a desk all day, spend their time chasing after toddlers or perhaps doing heavy lifting, these repetitive tasks will also take a toll on the body’s posture and alignment. By doing pilates, you will stand taller, walk smoother and feel less pain in your day to day life, no matter what your occupation, age or fitness. Whether you’re a top athlete or an inactive mortal, you are sure to reap the benefits that pilates can bring.
Bootcamp Pilates: Old Street
This military style operation offers dynamic reformer classes conducted by enthusiastic and experienced instructors. The reformer machines use a series of springs and pulleys to enhance and add resistance to a workout, without overly loading up the joints. The “dynamic” element of the class refers to the invigorating, energetic pace and atmosphere, where the instructors will not only help you tone and stabilise but also get you sweating! Their other pilates classes include HIIT, Cardio Pilates and Freedom HIIT.
Times: Bootcamp Pilates holds numerous hour-long reformer classes every day, with plenty of slots in the pre and post work rush.
Facilities: There are showers, towels and a spacious changing room.
Prices: Seasonal intro offers are available, so check the website for details. A single class is £21, but they can be bought in bulk for much cheaper. A monthly membership entitles the client to 20 classes each month and costs £180.
Just a turn away from one of the busiest station in London, Moss Pilates not only teaches average Joe Soaps, but also trains pilates instructors, so you know you’re getting the best of the best. They primarily offer reformer classes, but also incorporate other fitness props such as the jump board, which offers an element of cardio and strengthens the legs, ankles and feet, and studio circuit pilates. The classes are 50 minutes long and attack every single muscle in the time.
Times: Throughout the day, with no classes on Saturdays and just mornings on Sundays.
Facilities: Changing facilities.
Prices: Pilates classes are expensive but Moss offer a little more bang for your buck, with group reformer classes starting at £13.50.
The Light Centre: Moorgate
As one might fathom from its title, The Light Centre is a peaceful oasis in the busy hub of Moorgate. They offer a range of pilates classes in their fully equipped studios, such as mat pilates, pregnancy pilates, dynamic/ standard reformer classes and private tuition. The centre has a large number of regular clients who are devoted to the compelling classes that the experience instructors provide.
Times: A choice of up to 10 pilates classes on any given weekday. No classes on weekends.
Facilities: Changing facilities and showers, Crussh Fit Food Bar, Healthy eating takeaway boxes, Massage, therapies, Educogym.
Prices: 5 class pass £95 (£19 each).
Other Locations: Belgravia.
Ten Health and Fitness: Farringdon, Liverpool Street
Ten’s unique selling point is their introducing of weights, circuits and spin to traditional pilates classes. With these additions the workout is intense, demanding full body activation, with results appearing quickly. They offer separate classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced where people are categorised regardless of fitness but by pilates experience. The springs on the reformer will provide enough or as little resistance as any bodybuilder or elderly participant would need, but the more difficult classes require a further awareness and experience of the techniques.
Times: Plenty of daily class spanning the early morning to late evening in 45 minute or hourly sessions
Facilities: Changing and shower facilities with towels available.
Prices: The classes are best bought in bulk, with class prices working their way down to £16.50 for a yearly pass. Individually a class is £30, or a 10-week pass can be bought for £195 (£19.50 per class). They also have seasonal offers which provide an increased value for money.
Other Locations: Notting Hill, Chiswick, St. James’s, Mayfair.