Help and advice regarding Pilates exercise

- It’s far more beneficial to do a basic exercise well than an advanced exercise badly. Pushing your body to do advanced exercise before your body is ready will only cause you to strain and perhaps use the wrong muscles.

- Try not to use more effort than is necessary. If you’re not used to exercising, and don’t have much body awareness, it’s going to take time to localise the small, deep muscles of the body, let alone begin to learn how to use them….be patient!

- Remember that it’s very easy to cheat with Pilates exercises. It’s often easier to bring the wrong muscles into play. Certain muscles have a tendency to overwork. Remember that switching off overactive muscles can be just as important as increasing muscle work.

- Listen to your body. Don’t exercise through increasing pain.

- Don’t compare yourself to others around you. Concentrate on your own personal progress.

- It is only with perseverance that long-term changes happen. Do not expect a ‘quick fix’. Changes to postural habits that you may have had for years and years will not happen overnight. Re-educating the body can be a mammoth task.

- At first, you may feel that you’re not doing very much but you will soon start to see improvements in your posture and a general sense of well-being. You may start to feel taller and ‘lighter’. Your muscles begin to feel more toned and your joints more supple.

- Perceived disability and the anticipation of pain contribute significantly to loss of function. Often the anticipation of pain rather than pain itself is enough to limit activity and create protective behaviours (Zusman 1998).

- Sugery is effective in only a small group of low back pain patients (Waddell 1987). The patient’s role should change from one of resting and being a passive recipient of treatment to an active role of sharing responsibility for restoration of function.

- Regular practice gives results. Even if an exercise appears to be a very simple one, it can be more complex than you realise.