Pilates Mat classes incorporating Ball, Circle, Band and Roller

Welcome to you Best Balance Health & Fitness where I (Simon Duncan) will be teaching Pilates (based on the Studio Pilates system).  Click Here to read more about pilates principles and methods (2 min read)

Pilates is one of the most effective & trusted forms of exercise to improve “core” strength. Pilates also focuses on improving muscular strength & posture. It is a full-body functional workout for all levels used to rehabilitate people from injuries to conditioning elite athletes.

Simon runs group classes at his Brookvale Studio on Tuesday morning at 10 am & Wednesday night at 630pm.

See full timetable here. TIMETABLE. These classes are also available online via Zoom.

Simon has workouts available for purchase. See the full list of workouts in the shop. SHOP

Principles of Pilates

1. Concentration: The number one Pilates principle is concentration. A Pilates workout involves complete concentration on what our bodies are doing and how they are moving. This includes concentrating on correct posture and body positioning, movement patterns, muscle activation and breathing. We are trying to retrain the brain and the body to function more efficiently which takes a huge amount of concentration. Even when this posture and muscle activation patterns become more automatic, you still need to concentrate on the muscles which are working to increase the effectiveness of the exercise.

2. Centring: Every Pilates exercises focuses on the activation of the centre of the body or the core of the body, the abdominal region. Not only does tightening these core muscles improve the posture and prevent injury, but they also provide a stable base for the rest of the body to work from to produce movement and strength.

3. Breathing: Every Pilates exercise involves a particular breathing pattern which improves the effectiveness of that exercise. The breathing patterns help to activate the correct muscles required for the exercise, help supply oxygen to the muscles and remove waste products and prevent holding the breath.

4. Control: Maintaining control of every movement is very important. Pilates is not only about strengthening the muscles but also about controlling the way they contract and the way the body moves. Uncontrolled, jerky movements lead to injury and don’t effectively tone and strengthen the correct muscles. To control a movement, usually correct activation of the smaller stabilising muscles is required rather than large gross movements of the larger superficial muscles.

5. Precision: The movements need to be precise with purpose and direction. For each exercise, we will describe a precise body posture, position, muscle activation and movement that is imperative to achieving the goals of that particular exercise.

6. Flowing movement: Banish the thinking of repetition and start thinking of the duration of the exercise and the total time the muscle is under tension. Movements need to be continuously flowing so there is no stopping throughout the exercise and no distinct start and finish between each movement. Sometimes in a practical environment, you may prescribe repetition numbers but that doesn’t mean the movement has to stop each time. The flowing movement means that there is often more eccentric control involved to control the movement in all directions.

7. Isolation: Concentrate on isolating the particular muscles that are required to perform the movement. This often means isolating the stabilising muscles from the larger muscles that like to take over when performing a movement. Or it can also mean isolating the larger muscles you want to strengthen. Isolation ensures that the correct muscles are working to perform the movement so the desired outcome of the exercise is achieved.

8. Routine: Regular practice is essential to ensure the brain and muscles don’t forget the new patterns of movements that are being taught each session and to ensure gains in strength and flexibility continue to happen. One session a week does provide some results but nowhere near the results that can be achieved if the frequency is increased. 3-4 days per week of training is recommended but keep moving every day.