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About Pilates

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a gentle, holistic exercise method which can be adapted to you as an individual. It is suitable for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level.

Body Control Pilates classes are limited to a maximum of 12 clients, ensuring that your instructor gets to know you and can offer alternatives that suit your body’s needs.

All new clients are asked to fill in an enrolment form, where you can highlight any concerns or problems you may have. Before joining a class you will attend a private session with your instructor where you can discuss these concerns. Where necessary, your instructor may ask to contact your doctor, physiotherapist or other health professional. Any information given will be held in the strictest confidence.

Pilates aims to strengthen the core muscles of the body, and can help to reduce back pain, other muscular pain and stress.

A Brief History of Pilates

Joseph Hubertus Pilates, born in Germany in 1880, was a frail child who suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. Determined to improve his body, he turned to physical fitness programmes and became proficient in martial arts, gymnastics, yoga, skiing and more.

He came to work in England in 1912 with Detectives at Scotland Yard, but when the First World War broke out Joseph was interned as an “alien”. He worked with his fellow internees to improve their health and fitness, often adapting the available furniture into machinery to challenge their bodies. This was the beginnings of Contrology, which we know today as Pilates.

After the war, Joseph returned to Germany, but soon decided to move again – this time to New York. On the journey, he met Clara – his future wife – and they discovered their shared love of fitness. Together they developed Contrology further, and opened a studio in New York. Here they worked with professional boxers and members of the New York City Ballet. Joseph continued teaching until his death in 1967 at the age of 87.

Pilates is now practiced worldwide, with over 1 million people in the UK taking part in classes each week.

Body Control Pilates

Body Control Pilates takes the exercises that form the “Classic Mat” series. We believe that many of these classical exercises are often not suitable for the average person and the average body.

In order for someone to work safely and effectively and to gain the full benefits of Pilates, these classical exercises should be broken down to establish good movement skills thus building the best possible foundation upon which to progress towards the classical, more advanced work. This is the essence of the Body Control Pilates Method.

There are 8 principles of Body Control Pilates:

  • Concentration
  • Relaxation
  • Alignment
  • Breathing
  • Co-ordination
  • Centring
  • Flowing Movements
  • Stamina

These principles underpin all the exercises in a Body Control Pilates class.

The Body Control Pilates Association

To maintain membership of the Body Control Pilates Association, teachers must participate in Continuing Professional Development. This can be through both formal courses and their own practice of Pilates.

Teachers also adhere to a Code of Conduct which includes restricting class sizes to a maximum of 12 participants to ensure a safe and effective session.

Register of Exercise Professionals: Level 3

The Body Control Pilates Matwork course is accredited by, and formed the basis of, the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS) certification for Pilates teachers. REPS are the independent UK body whose role is to recognise and standardise fitness qualifications:

"One of our key functions is to provide a system of regulation for instructors and trainers to ensure that they meet the health and fitness industry’s agreed national occupational standards." (source: REPS website)

You can verify the qualifications of all fitness professionals - including Pilates teachers - on the Register of Exercise Professionals website.

Body Control Pilates is a registered trade mark used under license