How Pilates Can Help You Gain Strength & Flexibility

Find out how you can fix some health and posture issues through pilates.

By Steve Thio      24 November 2021

Move with ease and gain a better understanding of your body through pilates. Michel Velasco of UMove fitness studio at SAFRA Mount Faber explains how pilates can help us with a host of health issues (no more body aches and pains!), and shows us a few movements and exercises you can expect from his classes.

What are some of the benefits of the exercise routines and courses at Umove?

Pilates will help you fix your posture, eliminate aches and pains, help you develop a good amount of total body strength, and decent flexibility.

Calisthenics will strengthen your upper body, lower body and core using bodyweight exercises. The common ones are bodyweight squats, lunges, pull-ups, pushups and leg raises.

Tell us more about the pilates course you teach at Umove.

The pilates method is a system of exercise that focuses a lot on the details of the movement. The method was founded by a guy named Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s. He was a very dedicated practitioner of many disciplines including gymnastics, wrestling, boxing, martial arts and even performing in the circus. He put together a series of exercises so everyone can preserve their body as they age. These exercises incorporated breathing, fluidity of movement, and introduced the core as the powerhouse, and it became known as pilates.

What can I expect from the pilates classes?

You will be working a lot on your posture, alignment, and how to control your movements as you go through the sessions. It is a very centre-based exercise with a lot of focus on the spine – which makes it a very good workout for developing your core strength.

Pilates is popular as a core workout exercise,  but it is actually a full-body workout that targets the upper body and lower body flexibility, and strength as well.

What can a beginner expect in his/ her first class and how tough is it?

At UMove we adopt a step-by-step approach to guide you from the very beginning all the way to the advanced level. We have carefully studied the progressions of the exercises so even a 50-year-old person can do it safely.

This class generally starts slow and the focus in the first few sessions will be on posture and alignment. You will then go into a series of core exercises, alignment drills, and flexibility work for the whole body.

As a result of all these exercises you can expect soreness in your core and and even in muscles you never felt before!

Can anyone do this class?

Yes, anyone can do this class, but this class is especially beneficial to working adults who have not been doing any exercise for a long time. This will be a good starting point for them regardless of which programme they choose to follow in future.

What are some of the benefits?

Because of its very detailed approach to the movement, pilates exercises are very well known in rehabilitation and are used by physiotherapists to help patients with spine problems build their strength.

Doing pilates will help you develop better awareness of your body and your posture, develop good core strength and improve your overall flexibility.

You will also learn to move in a more controlled manner and it can help eliminate general aches and pain caused by desk-bound postures. You also gain overall leanness, along with more toned muscles.

Note: Do not attempt any of the suggested actions or instructions in this article without first consulting with a medical professional. 

Already well-versed in pilates? Progress to calisthenics, which you can read about here.

For more information on UMove Fitness classes, go to www.safra.sg/amenities-offerings/umovesg

About Michel Velasco

Michel Velasco is a qualified physiotherapist/physical therapist and has been teaching pilates for over two decades. He also teaches the calisthenics and handstand classes at UMove Fitness SAFRA Mount Faber. His calisthenics class incorporates Ido Portal Movement concepts and teachings. 


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