PhysioPilates Academy

About Pilates

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a mat-based exercise class, performed with only gentle background  music, using precise movements and breathing techniques to build a strong flexible body. It is a mind body conditioning programme that targets the deep postural muscles of the abdomen, spine and pelvic floor to improve overall central core stability and posture.

Contrology (Pilates) develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit.  Joseph Pilates (1883-1967)

Where did Pilates start?

Pilates is named after its creator, Joseph Pilates, born in Germany in 1880. He spent his childhood fighting rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever. As a child he lived in pursuit of optimum health and fitness. In England he trained as a boxer, circus performer and self-defence trainer before developing his own exercise programme. During World War I he was interned and while working as a nurse taught fellow prisoners his series of exercises. In 1926 he moved to New York and opened his first studio which attracted many famous dancers and athletes.

Why do Physiotherapists teach Pilates?

Teaching exercise is a core skill of all physiotherapists.  For many years the Pilates method has been taught and used by dancers and professional athletes as a form of rehabilitative exercise to aid recovery from injuries. Physiotherapists recognise the benefits of well structured, carefully performed exercises, rather than more frantic jumping and running around activities.

What does a Pilates lesson involve?

Each Pilates session involves 10-15 minutes of standing ‘warm-up’ exercises which concentrate on posture, breathing awareness and balance. Most of the exercises are then performed on a mat, using side-lying, supine or hands and knees positions. If you feel uncomfortable in a position we can change the exercises to suit your needs.

There are 8 principles to Pilates: Concentration, Breathing, Centering, Control, Precision, Isolation, Flowing, Movements and Routine.

Each class ends with 5 minutes of relaxation technique to become aware of how to release body tension and to enjoy some time to be physically and mentally calm.


Is Pilates suitable during pregnancy and after?

Pilates is an ideal way to exercise in pregnancy and postnatally as you do not exercise to exhaustion or outside your comfort zone. Pilates, when performed regularly, positively changes the body. It combines awareness of the deep postural and stability muscles, breathing sequences, and alignment with suppleness and flexibility. The exercises can be modified to allow you to continue to exercise safely and effectively through all trimesters.

Maria Dean of Contento Pilates offers specific Antenatal and Postnatal classes in Stapleford area. Please contact her directly for further information

Do I need to have done Pilates before to join the classes?

If you have not done Pilates before, you are invited to attend an introductory session before your first class. We believe that you will benefit most from classes if you have had the opportunity to learn the basic techniques and principles of Pilates individually or within a smaller group first. You will then be able to participate fully from the first class and enjoy your Pilates lessons more.

Unfortunately there is usually a waiting list to join the classes as we keep our classes small to ensure a high standard of individual care. However, once you have a place in a class you may keep it for as long as it suits you.

What qualifications & experience do you have?

Our class teachers are all carefully selected, experienced and well qualified Pilates Instructors.

We are a growing team.  Initially our team was only Chartered Physiotherapists who had a dual qualification as Pilates Instructors, but we are now also pleased to have several excellent Rehab Pilates Instructors working with us too.

We all have a special interest & expertise in the management and rehabilitation of back problems & musculoskeletal disorders. Alongside our key physiotherapy skills we have all undertaken further post-graduate training through the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (

As Chartered Physiotherapists we can offer our clients the highest standard of care and make individual modifications to take into account your individual medical and physical needs.

Our personally selected Rehab Pilates Instructors, were chosen to be teachers for PhysioPilates Academy because of their extensive experience and reputations for excellent teaching.

We all work closely together to make sure that your needs are met.