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Pilates at the Bristol Movement Space – A Physio’s Perspective

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Our physiotherapist Leanne spends a day at Bristol’s newly opened Bristol Movement Space and enjoys a one to one Pilates session on a rainy spring Friday.  

As the April showers fall, what better way is there to stay dry(ish) than to join Matt Gilkes and his team at the newly opened Bristol Movement Space on the edge of St George’s Park for a Pilates session?  Matt and I have chatted previously about Physiotherapy and Pilates as they go hand in hand when treating many different conditions. As a physio I am often asked for good recommendations for Pilates classes as there are many different decisions to make.  Should you do Pilates on a mat or on a reformer? Is it best to do a big class or a small one to one session? Also, many of my patients worry about Pilates making an injury worse rather than helping.

It is recommended that you call Bristol Movement Space so you can be matched to the most suitable class in the first instance.  The small “Open Studio Classes” are for those wishing to enjoy a class spirit whilst still having the full attention of the teacher, whilst the faster and more dynamic “Group Reformer Class” has a maximum of 3 participants and requires that you have attended an Open Studio class previously.  Private sessions are also available and these are ideal if you are a serious sports person or are trying to address as specific issue.

It’s very interesting as a physio to do Pilates as there is a strong emphasis on body movement awareness, and it always highlights to me how poor my own strength and control can be and that I should practice what I preach!  I had a one to one Pilates session with Amy, a fantastic instructor with a lovely way of getting the most out of your session and your body, whilst still happily answering my many questions! With the rain falling outside, the calm environment of the large airy studio was fantastic.

Amy and I discussed the multitude of conditions that Pilates can help to treat.  Low back pain is the obvious one but we unanimously agreed it is also incredibly useful in the management of a lot of shoulder conditions, including tricky impingements and dislocations where stability and control is needed alongside strength.

Matt and his team at Bristol Movement Space are extremely knowledgeable on their subject and very passionate about Pilates, and it was obvious from the moment I arrived that they enjoy what they do.  Thank you Bristol Movement Space for a lovely Friday afternoon escaping the rain!

pilates woman

In our next blog posts (published tomorrow and this Saturday 3rd May) our physio and Pilates expert Emma McCabe discusses how Pilates can help people with Fibromyalgia in a special 2 part blog series.