Archive for category Exercise & Movement

Introduction To Hatt Pilates

Interested in doing Pilates?

Take a look at this video to get an insight into how you could benefit from doing Pilates at Hatts.

 

Ready to start Pilates? If you’d like to book or find out more, please call us on 01380 730473 or book online here

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Why I Do Pilates (And Maybe You Should Too!)

I’m Marilyn, one of the Pilates Instructors at Hatt’s and I’d like to share with you the journey I took to find Pilates and how it has benefited me. I was always the sporty kid at school; an all-rounder that liked to get involved in most sports.

I wasn’t very competitive but loved all things sport which is what lead me into a career in fitness. I spent most of my late teens and twenties teaching pretty much every fitness fad under the sun, I was very fit…. Or so I thought!

True that I could power through teaching 4 spin classes in a day and up to 25, Boxercise, aerobics, circuits or any other type of exercise class in a week, but by the age of 26, I was starting to wonder ‘why is my back aching and what is this  shoulder and neck pain all about?’

I then realised that if I was going to continue to stay active, not least make a living out of it, I needed to understand in more depth, the importance of using better technique when exercising and how to do so.

That way, I could find a way of keeping fit that worked with my body instead of working against it. This is when I started to develop an interest in Pilates.

As a movement practice, Pilates is about gaining and developing an understanding of how to control your body and movements. It’s about developing motor control and improving your joint stability, core stability and posture.

Because of Pilates, I was able to avoid what could have been a nasty shoulder problem in my late 20’s and have spent the best part of the last decade refining and understanding how my body moves through Pilates and subsequently feel like if I wanted to I could take up any activity with confidence.

Think about your day to day movements, either in sports like golf or cycling or your daily routine around the house, in the garden or in the car. Although these activities have many benefits, they all have repetitive movement patterns which can put stress on certain body parts. If you repeat these movements on a daily basis, the muscles around your joints can become imbalanced which over enough time can contribute to injury.

However, if the foundation of your body is strong, stable and mobile then not only will you reduce your risk of injury, you’ll be able to excel at any activity you choose to do and feel much stronger doing it and Pilates is a great way to achieve this.

What is it you would love to take up or feel more physically capable in?

Maybe it’s time to give Pilates a go so that you too can enjoy all the benefits of Pilates like I do too.

Click here to find out more about Hatt Pilates, or call 01380 730473 to become a Hatt Pilates member.

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The Importance Of Keeping Active & Moving As You Age

We’ve all been told how important it is to keep active and moving to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but as we get older, it’s common to become less motivated to exercise for various reasons. Perhaps we don’t feel we have enough energy to exercise like we used to or maybe it’s the idea of exercise causing niggles or injuries that puts us off.

 

Either way, it’s important that we find a way to conquer these feelings as when aches and pains start to increase or tasks that once seemed easy become difficult, exercise becomes more important than ever.

 

Why?

Research shows that keeping active improves your physical health, emotional well being and overall life expectancy. Regular exercise can also improve your quality of sleep, help you maintain a healthy weight and help you manage your stress levels.

 

How do I get started?

National guidelines supported by Physiotherapists recommend that every individual should participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.

It’s recommended that you exercise at a pace that makes you feel warm and slightly out of breath. This is usually the case when you can just about hold a conversation without needing to stop for a breath during exercise. Your pace may be different to others, particularly as you get older, as you might find that you don’t walk as quickly or as far as you used to. However, that really doesn’t matter – what matters is that you exercise at the right level for you.

 

At Hatts, it’s our priority to keep you active and moving throughout your life, so if you need any advice or support, please give our friendly team a call on 01380 730473.

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Forever Fit – Get Fitter, Feel Younger

Do you want to keep fit and healthy but struggle to find a type of exercise that suits your needs? Well you’re not alone!

 

That’s why we’ve created Forever Fit, an exercise class for men and women over 60 to help you keep fit and active in a sociable environment.

 

Forever Fit classes are run by our Strength and Conditioning coach Garrath, who designs the classes to leave you feeling energised, stronger and more confident.

 

So what does a typical Forever Fit class include?

· 1 hour class – 10 minute warm up, 40 minutes of the main exercises and 10 minute cool down

· You’ll experience a mix of exercises that focus on improving your strength, balance, mobility and cardiovascular health

· You will be guided by a fully trained instructor who will make sure you’re using the right technique and provide you with feedback throughout the class

· With small class sizes and a friendly atmosphere, Forever Fit really is the perfect way to keep active

 

Watch this video for a sneak peak into a Forever Fit class 

 

 

“The Forever Fit Class really hits the mark for me. The attention I receive from the instructor and the friendly atmosphere makes it a fun way to achieve greater fitness. Due to the small class sizes I feel like I have my own personal trainer.”

To try a Forever Fit class, give our friendly Patient Services team a call on 01380 730473 or visit our Forever Fit page for more information.

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Spring Is Here, Are You Ready To Get Out And About?

Spring is finally here! The mornings and evenings are getting lighter which is when most of us start to feel motivated to get outdoors and start moving again.

But where to start?

Popular seasonal hobbies like Tennis, Cycling or even Gardening all have physical demands and those cosy evenings hibernating have left us stiff and deconditioned.

Tennis and other racket sports require direction change, complex movement and are by definition very one sided. Injury such as ankle sprains and shoulder pain can be common.

Cycling is repetitive, in a consistent bent over position meaning neck and low back pain are often an issue.

Gardening can involve kneeling, bending and lifting at odd angles as you get on with caring for your flower beds.

But don’t worry it’s not all doom and gloom, just a little focus on preparing your body and improving your movement capabilities can not only help you cope with the demands of sports and active hobbies but it can also make you even better at them.

Pilates is a type of exercise that is focused on improving posture, core stability, movement, mobility and control. In short it’s about HOW you move.

By working on the specific movement patterns needed for your hobbies, our Pilates classes will help you develop more control, a greater range of usable flexibility and a better foundation for strength and sports activities. As a result, you will have a much lower risk of injury and be guaranteed to enjoy your hobbies much more

What’s not to love about that?

After all if Serena Williams can credit Pilates as part of her grand slam winning regime there may be hope for all of us this summer.

At Hatts, our qualified Pilates instructors  focus on you as an individual and what you’d like to get out of your classes. The classes are sociable, fun and easy to fit around your busy schedule. We also offer two exciting versions of Pilates – Reformer and Matwork

If you would like to become a Hatt Pilates member, or would like to ask any questions, give us a call on 01380 730473.

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Is Pilates Right For Me?

With so many exercise classes available, how do you choose which ones is best for you?  Our Pilates instructor and Physio Jill has put together an introduction to Pilates, to help give you a better idea of whether Pilates is for you.

Pilates was originally designed by Joseph Pilates many years ago as a method to improve his own fitness and this has been modified to give us Pilates as we know it today. Pilates, in a nutshell, helps improve your flexibility, posture, and core strength. Your deepest abdominal muscle, when working, should contract very gently and act like an inner corset helping to maintain the alignment of your spine. This should be working whether you are sitting at your desk, doing your housework, your gardening, or your sport.

As to whether it’s for you – there really aren’t many people who wouldn’t benefit from Pilates. If you’re used to fast-paced high-impact aerobic exercise, then this will be quite a change for you but it does beautifully complement this sort of exercise. I’ve seen many a runner or triathlete who think they are very fit but when it comes down to it, their core stability is nothing short of shocking and they wonder why they keep acquiring injuries. If you’ve suffered from back pain and stiffness, as many of us have at some time, Pilates is the perfect choice of exercise. Whether you are new to exercise and don’t know where to start or would just like to build up some core strength and flexibility before venturing into other activities, there is no doubt you will get great results from Pilates.

Pilates is also good for your mind as well as your body – concentrating on engaging the correct muscles and moving in and out of different exercise positions, leaves little time for thinking about what’s for tea or your lengthy to-do list. So step off that whirling merry-go-round and slow life down for an hour of ‘you time’. It’s also a great opportunity to exercise in a group environment making it a more interesting and dynamic experience.

At Hatts we offer Matwork and Reformer classes and cater for beginners through to advanced levels. Always check with your GP and inform your Pilates instructor of any health issues that may affect your ability to do Pilates before joining a class. We also offer 1:1 Pilates classes for those who would prefer this to a class environment.

If this sounds like the class for you,​ speak to one of our patient services team about the options available. You can either try a single class or take advantage of our QuickStart programme, where you’ll get one 1:1 session plus 3 group classes with our specialist Pilates instructors for £110 in total (usually £180). For more information, visit our Pilates web page or give us a call on 01380 730473.

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How Reformer Pilates Can Help Build Your ​Core Strength

Building your core strength is vital to preventing injury and improving the way your body moves. Here, our Pilates instructor Danny explains how Reformer Pilates can help build your core strength. 

 

What is the core?

The core is often mistakenly thought of as just the stomach muscles – the abdominals. Although the abdominals play a part in core strength there is a lot more to it than that.

The core is the muscles of the torso, so pretty much everything apart from your arms and the legs. These core muscles need to work in synergy to provide you with stability and control of movement. I’m sure you know someone who has hurt their back picking up a child or putting a suitcase in an overhead locker. A strong core will greatly reduce your risk of such injuries.

 

The role posture plays on your core strength

Posture adaptations can cause a change in the length of your core muscles. If the muscles of the front of your torso are ‘pulled long’ they are in a weak position and therefore inhibited. If the muscles of the back are ‘shortened’ they can become overactive and feel tight. Attempting to improve your core strength from a compromised position can do more harm than good.

By fixing posture your core muscles return to their preferred length, this allows them to work together as a unit, improving movement quality and reducing pain.

 

How Reformer Pilates can improve your posture and therefore, core strength

At Hatts, our Reformer Pilates classes focus on correcting posture in order for you to then integrate the core muscles effectively through a wide variety of ranges and planes of movement.

This approach prepares your body for other activities, meaning you can lift, twist sit and stand pain-free and continue to do so in the future.

 

So, improving your core strength with Reformer Pilates can help you move better, feel better, and can even help you look better. For more information on how to become a Pilates member at Hatts, check out our Pilates page. 

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How Reformer Pilates Can Help With Back Pain

At least 80% of people will suffer at least one episode of back pain during their lifetime. Reformer Pilates is a fantastic way to re balance the body and reduce back pain. In this article, our Reformer Pilates Instructor, Danny, explains how.

 

Restoring Flexibility

Reformer Pilates is more than just stretching. The springs and sliding carriage of the Reformer will guide you with exercises ranges of movement you don’t use (but should) in your normal day. This can help relieve the stiffness built up through your daily routine and ease back pain.

 

Activating and strengthening muscles

Where tight muscles affect posture and cause pain, there are also muscles in a weak or underactive position. Typically we see weak core (muscles of the stomach and around the spine) and Gluteals (buttocks). Strengthening these muscle groups will help keep your body in a better posture which will put less strain on your back. Reformer Pilates can be used to isolate these weak points and ensure they activate during exercises to help strengthen them quicker.

 

Improved Movement

Reformer Pilates will also help you move better. Poor posture can cause imbalances in your body which can lead to back pain. The Reformer’s sliding carriage and springs help you build good movement habits by gradually decreasing the amount of assistance and gradually increasing the resistance.

 

Low Impact

Reformer Pilates is low impact and a very controlled exercise. A lot of the exercises can be taught lying down or seated, giving you support and confidence to perform the exercise without putting your back at risk

 

Progressive

Reformer Pilates is as relevant to athletes as it is to a retired gardener. As you progress and your back pain reduces, your exercises can progress too – making them more challenging and taking your strength, flexibility and fitness to new heights.

 

If you’re suffering from back pain, why not give Reformer Pilates a try. We run enjoyable, fun and dynamic classes at convenient times through the week at our studios in Devizes, Marlborough and Frome. Find out more >

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What are the benefits of Reformer Pilates?

At Hatt’s, we offer Reformer Pilates classes in all three of our clinics – Frome, Devizes and Marlborough.

 

Reformer Pilates is a Pilates class that’s done entirely on a piece of equipment called a Reformer, where you’ll work through an exercise programme to increase your core strength & flexibility, improve your posture and help you build resistance to injury.

 

Our Reformer Pilates Classes are suitable for people of all ages and abilities and you can benefit from:

  • Better posture
  • Improved overall conditioning
  • Ease of back pain & build resistance to injury
  • Feeling energised & refreshed

 

We are one of the very few places in Wiltshire and Somerset where you can do Reformer Pilates. All of our classes are always led by a fully trained Reformer Pilates instructor and being part of a small class of 6 means you’ll always get personal attention and guidance from your instructor.

 

All classes stay open over holiday periods, so you’ll be able to attend your class all year round as well as having a flexible booking option that allows you the freedom to move between classes and work around busy schedules.

 

Due to popular demand, we’ve recently added even more Reformer Pilates classes in Devizes, Marlborough and Frome have increased.

 

If you would like to know more about Reformer Pilates classes or would like to book onto a class, then feel free to give us a call on 01380 730473.

 

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What is Strength & Conditioning?

Strength and Conditioning, or S&C as it’s more commonly known, is the selection and development of dynamic exercises used to improve physical performance. Whilst it originally benefited athletes, S&C is now widely used in both the sporting world and more generally.

 

S&C is used to develop every area of your body and improve the way you move, with the intention of enhancing your sporting or physical performance.

 

Research demonstrates that correct and appropriate training can improve physical performance. It also shows that incorrect and inappropriate training can be very detrimental to the way your body moves and performs, whether that’s in your daily life, such as walking the dog, or at your hobby or sport.

 

The skill and experience of an S&C coach will enable them to design and guide you through a bespoke training programme to help you achieve your specific physical goals.

 

Here at Hatts, you will begin your journey with a Quick Start programme where we will understand and set your physical or performance goals, develop your bespoke programme and get you started on your training. This will initially be achieved through three 1:1 sessions where you’ll get all the support and guidance you need to really understand your training programme.

 

In addition, our expert S&C coaches will teach you the correct exercise techniques, so that you can get the most out of your training. Following your Quick Start, you can continue with 1:1 sessions or join a small group S&C class where you’ll continue progressing towards your goals with a high level of individual attention.

 

To get started with your own Strength and Conditioning Programme and fast track to great results, give us a call on 01380 730473 to book onto a Quick Start Programme.

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6 Reasons Why You Should Do Reformer Pilates

There are numerous benefits of doing Reformer Pilates. Here, our Senior Pilates Instructor Danny picks the top 6.

 

1. Better posture

A major part of Pilates is maintaining good posture. Reformer Pilates will help bring balance to your muscles to help you stand taller and straighter. Moving in a more neutral position your body will be under less strain and less likely to develop aches and niggles – did you know for every inch forward your head is it weighs an extra 10 pounds?

 

2. Stronger muscles

The Reformer’s sliding platform and choice of springs provides an environment where you can challenge your muscles without putting undue strain on your joints. Also, if you enjoy lifting weights, Reformer Pilates can help you lift more in the gym too by improving your body’s mechanics.

 

3. Decreased risk of injury

Injuries often come from poor movement, lifestyle habits, and muscle imbalances. Reformer Pilates classes will help you address any underlying movement imbalances to help you move better and improve your resilience to injury.

 

4. Better performance

Whatever your sport or activity Reformer Pilates can help. Muscles working in synergy create more efficient movements. More efficient movement improves athleticism by allowing you to generate more force, or perform for longer with less fatigue.

 

5. Reduce or eliminate everyday aches and pains

In the same way, Reformer Pilates can help reduce the risk of injury, it can help relieve a lot of common aches and pains such as lower back or neck pain.

 

6. Look and feel great

If you’re stronger, have better posture, move better and you’re not in pain you will absolutely look great and feel fantastic!

 

Find out about Pilates at Hatts here >

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What is Reformer Pilates?

Reformer Pilates is a variation of Pilates using a piece of equipment called a Reformer.

 

The Reformer is a versatile machine that uses a moving carriage, spring resistance and pulleys to allow you to exercise your body in different ways – you can lie, sit, kneel or even stand on it. By adjusting the level of resistance or assistance that the Reformer provides, each exercise can be tailored to the appropriate level of difficulty.

 

Whether you’re an elite sportsman that wants to improve performance or someone that wants to be able to tend to the garden without back pain – Reformer Pilates can help.

 

Each session will aim to re-balance your body by targeting and isolating typically weak muscle groups. You will then integrate the use of these muscles into larger movements with more carry-over to everyday activities. This approach helps to change the way you move and improves your daily habits permanently.

 

These improvements include but are not limited to:

  • Better posture
  • Stronger muscles
  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Better performance
  • Reduction or elimination of everyday aches and pains

Become a Hatt Pilates member today. Find out more here >

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Excel at your sport with S&C

Are you serious about achieving a personal goal or excelling at your sport? Our  Strength & Conditioning Programme is the perfect way to drive your physical performance to new heights.

 

What is a Strength & Conditioning Programme?

It’s a programme designed specifically to help you achieve your performance goals – whether that’s getting better at your sport, completing a physical challenge or increasing your activity levels.

 

Is it relevant for me?

If you’d like to take your physical performance to new heights in a safe, structured and supportive environment, then YES. You don’t need to be an elite athlete to benefit, rather just have a physical goal you’d like to achieve.

 

What are the benefits?

  • Achieve your personal goals, and win games and tournaments
  • Improve your strength and performance
  • Reduce your risk of injury
  • Push your limits safely with expert coaching
  • Stay motivated and achieve more than you could by yourself

 

What sports & activities does it cover?

Sports: Rugby, Football, Hockey, Cricket, Golf, Marathons, Triathlons and much more.

Activities: Personal challenges (e.g. Race for Life), personal goals (e.g. a more active lifestyle), or returning to activity after injury.

 

What can I expect from my Strength & Conditioning Programme?

  • Book in for a Performance Analysis appointment
  • We’ll identify your goals, areas to improve, and develop a programme that helps you get there
  • Join a Performance Class and start seeing the difference

 

To book, call our friendly team on 01380 730473. Spaces are limited.

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It’s Time To Limber Up!

Warming up and stretching should be a key part of your exercise regime. The type of stretching you choose should depend on the type of exercise you are doing.

 

The two most commonly used types of stretching are static and dynamic.

 

If you have recently been injured or you are looking to improve your flexibility, then static stretching is ideal for you. A static stretch involves moving a body part to the end of its range and holding it for a length of time (usually around 20 to 30 seconds). For example, a quad stretch as in the photo displayed.

 

However, if you are a keen sportsperson, then dynamic stretching may be more relevant for you, especially during a warm-up before a competition or game. Dynamic stretches are great for working muscles such as the hamstrings, calves, and abductor muscles

 

A great example of a dynamic stretch used in a warm-up routine is ballistic stretching. This involves stretching a muscle to its limit and then stretching it further with a bouncing movement. It is really important that this exercise is carried out with caution as it can heighten the chance of injury if not performed correctly and safely. It is particularly useful in sports where a large range of motion is required, such as gymnastics.

 

Certain body tissues respond differently when stretched which means it is very important that you understand how to carry out these stretches appropriately. For example, abductor or groin strains do not respond well if they are stretched too early after an injury. In contrast, hamstring muscles do respond favorably to early mobilisation after a strain or tear.

 

So if you are injured or seek general advice on how to stretch correctly and safely, then get in touch as we are here to help. We have a whole range of services that can guide you in the right direction when stretching. For example, our Physiotherapist could offer you some advice or you could come along to our Pilates sessions and be guided through a range of stretches where you can reap the benefits in a safe environment.

 

For more information, give us a call on 01380 730437.

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Gait Analysis – what is it and why is it useful?

Biomechanics is about the way your body moves and how your lower limb and foot movements can affect you.

Think of your feet as the foundation of your body. If your feet are misaligned or roll too far one way or another, your body compensates for this by changing the way your foot, knee, hip or lower back behave. Over time this change can cause pain to the lower limb and lower back.

 

Common symptoms related to poor biomechanics include:

 

  • Foot pain
  • Heel pain or arch pain
  • Knee pain, hip pain or lower back pain
  • Flat feet
  • Toe deformities such as bunions and hammertoes

The most effective treatment for correcting poor foot posture is custom orthotics or insoles. Orthotics are suitable for people of all ages and because they are bespoke to your foot, offer the exact correction required to realign your foot and aid its normal function.

 

Children & Teenagers – Young children can suffer from flat feet if their arches do not develop correctly by the age of 6-8 years. Being constantly active, children place a host of demands on their growing feet and legs and can complain of many symptoms common to adults.

 

Adults – You will walk about 100,000 miles in your lifetime, so minor misalignments in your feet can cause pain in your foot, ankle, knee, hip, or lower back. Incorrect or uncomfortable footwear can further aggravate poor biomechanics.

 

Athletes – Sports that place stress on the foot, ankle, and knees such as running, football, rugby, and hockey require specialist orthotics that not only fit you, but accommodate for the special movements, positions, and forces encountered for your particular sport

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Don’t ignore foot pain. If you suffer from any kind of foot pain, knee pain, hip pain or lower back pain call us to book a consultation at our clinics in Devizes, Marlborough & Frome

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