"A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion." Joseph Pilates
This course is summed up so well in this quote. I have seen clients transform their bodies in a few short months by following the complete Pilates matwork sequence. Although the physical changes are astonishing in such a short time, the benefits to their health are equally amazing. Most become more body aware within 3 classes, chronic back pain disappears, energy levels improve, sports injuries are less frequent and clients report that they feel calmer and less stressed.
Anyone can do Pilates: you don't have to be young or a contortionist, so once you have learned the sequence, you have it for life.
The workshops teach the basics of Pilates and so this is where you start and refer back anytime you need a reminder.
The classes teach you all the exercises you will need for the matwork sequence and each prepares you for the next. You should practice each class until you feel comfortable to move on. The sequence should be repeated at least 10 times, every other day. You will then be ready to move on to the next level.
It is possible to complete this course within 3 months for the fit and injury free; 5 to 6 months is achievable for most people.
"In 10 sessions you will feel the difference. In 20 you will see the difference. And in 30 you will have a whole new body." Joseph Pilates
19 minutes: You will learn the all important neutral position for the pelvis and spine, the ideal posture. You will learn how to find it, how to find and utilize your core muscles and how to breathe correctly for Pilates, thoracic/lateral breathing which allows you to breathe efficiently and maintain a core contraction. We will also discuss pelvic/shoulder stability and start to create some body awareness.
Now that you have found your core muscles, strengthen them in preparation for the classes. Become more aware of pelvic and shoulder girdle placement and challenge yourself with some simple drills.
Learn the correct alignment for the starting position of most of the Pilates exercises. The more quickly you can set up, the better the flow, the safer the exercise and the better technique makes the exercises more effective.
Although you have learned the correct type of Pilates breathing, this workshop teaches you when to breath. This changes as you progress through the levels, so come back to this workshop from time to time if you need a reminder. Correct breathing helps exercise performance.
What sets Pilates apart from many other forms of exercise is the mind/body connection: you can go through the motions or you can employ each of the 8 principles to make every exercise efficient and highly effective. Revisit this workshop often: these principles may not mean much to start with, but will transform your advanced practice.
26 minutes: This first lesson tests and consolidates all that you learned in the workshops. You will feel stronger through the core and become more aware of your posture.
35 minutes: Practice what you learned in the previous lesson and start to learn some of the side lying exercises to work the hips, thighs and obliques.
32 minutes: Start to increase mobility through the spine and strengthen your back with flexion and extension.
30 minutes: Start learning to find neutral in mid-air which requires increased body awareness and strengthen the upper body.
35 minutes: Introduction to rotation. There are a few exercises in Pilates where we twist at the waist, so you will learn the safe way to do this in this class.
28 minutes: The last class in the beginner course and an insight into how we can vary some of the exercises to increase intensity, ready for the next level.
60 minutes: This is the complete sequence, putting all the exercises you have learned into an ordered flow and more of a workout. Repeat 10 times, every other day (more if necessary). This marks the end of the Beginner Course and you should really have started to feel the difference in your body and mind. When you are ready, move on to the Intermediate Course.
28 minutes: Learn some more advanced versions of familiar exercises and start to increase repetitions to increase intensity.
23 minutes: Focus a little more deeply on the Oyster, Side Bend and Single Leg Kick. Remember your modifications from the previous level and build repetitions gradually.
18 minutes: 2 new challenging exercises for you to try in this lesson with the Teaser, a classic Pilates exercise and moving on with the Rollover to give your spine a great stretch. Both require core strength and control.
33 minutes: Feel how the intensity increases when you move from single leg to double leg exercises.
18 minutes: Test your balance with the Side Leg Passe and start to string exercises together to get a feel for the Complete Sequence.
25 minutes: Finding the correct alignment for shoulder stands and taking an interesting leg position for rolling which will definitely test your core control, breathing and balance.
48 minutes: This sequence strings together everything you have learned in the Intermediate Course to give a challenging workout. Repeat 10 times or until you feel comfortable. You should be feeling and seeing the difference by the end and ready to move on to the Advanced Course.
21 minutes: It may feel like a jump up in intensity, but just take your time and work at your own pace.
20 minutes: Picking up the pace with the transitions so that more exercises can be performed in each lesson.
19 minutes: Side bends up on your hand rather than on your forearm increases the range of motion, challenging balance, strength and core control. Take care of you wrist and come back to a low position if necessary. The Teaser from Boomerang is a really good way to learn control and feels good too.
21 minutes: Stringing a few sets of exercises together to help prepare you for the complete sequence, but take rests whenever you need them.
23 minutes: A new position for working the outside thighs so you may need a block or thick book if you are tight into the hips. The Control Balance is a very good stretch, but balance is the key to protecting your neck, so take care.
20 minutes: A couple of advanced exercises in this final class mixing flexion and rotation, which once mastered, feel amazing.
44 minutes: Your final sequence and a workout you have for life. By the time you have practiced this sequence 10 times, you will see just how much your body has changed: you will feel stronger, more balanced, fitter, more toned & sculpted, fitter, healthier and calmer. Practice 2 or 3 times a week for the rest of your life.
I have over 30 years experience in the health & fitness industry. I started out as an aerobics instructor in London, taught all types of studio based classes in the growing number of health clubs and trained as a Pilates and yoga instructor towards the end of the 1990's. From then on, I built up a large portfolio of clients and ran private classes in the London area and in Abu Dhabi, UAE. I now live in Dubai. I also write a Lifestyler column for Sport360, a Dubai based Sports Newspaper. I am passionate about people's wellbeing and have dedicated my life to helping them improve their health through a healthy lifestyle.