For some, Pilates can be life-changing. Hannah Attenburrow discovered its potency for renewal and recovery after it helped her return from a back injury, giving her a new lease of life on her mountain bike.
The MTB expert added Pilates to her list of skills and is now providing regular virtual Pilates classes throughout the lockdown to help people to stay active at home.
We spoke to Hannah about her classes and what to expect.
The Pilates classes are for mixed ability and anyone in generally good health will be able to take part.
What does Pilates give you that’s different from other stretch and strength disciplines?
Pilates builds functional strength. This means building strength throughout your body without compromising flexibility, helping you achieve good alignment and posture.
It is a holistic fitness program which incorporates both eastern and western thinking. It requires you to focus on individual muscles and this added focus and concentration helps to create that mindful connection between your brain and body.
My Pilates classes are all based around movement for daily life, so I incorporate balance and coordination into my sessions as well.
Pilates is great for cyclists and runners who often suffer from muscle imbalance due to a lack of stretching and underuse of certain muscle groups.
Pilates helps to correct this imbalance and work your whole body, bringing better flexibility and muscle strength which helps bike and run performance, reduces injury, and enables you to train more effectively.
How will people feel after your class?
Pilates will leave you feeling relaxed and energised with the classes requiring effort to focus your mind and control your body. This allows you to really concentrate solely on being in the ‘moment’, helping you unwind. You'll finish the class feeling relaxed yet invigorated.
Can anyone take part in the classes?
Yes, of course. If they are in general good health with no chronic back, shoulder, or hip issues, and can easily get themselves to and from the floor without assistance.
Just work within your limits and if something hurts, stop.