CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Pilates: Balls and much more....

PUBLISHED: 16:30 30 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:42 30 January 2018

Lucy Whitehead on the Pilates Chair in the One Grove Private Studio

Lucy Whitehead on the Pilates Chair in the One Grove Private Studio


‘Resounding Balls’- that’s what Roger Lewis, Times & Mail journalist, thinks of Pilates.... and I suspect his view is common amongst many self-certified ‘professional grumps’ heading into their 60s...

Mind you, I commiserate. Roger’s aging process will not be a bed of roses... And he has been hoodwinked if he has never experienced Pilates in a professional Pilates studio with a vocational instructor and the inestimable Pilates equipment. The sort of session we provide to everyone at One Grove, our specialist studios in Cheltenham next to Waitrose.

You see, Roger is an academic (MLitt Oxon) who uses his admirable brain to conduct his life but has a poor relationship with his body (his sentiment- not mine!). And if you use your mind just to think and not to move, your neuro-muscular system starts to degenerate. It’s not that you just become unfit but your muscles simply forget how to move properly.

One of the most common debilitating conditions that our physiotherapists witness is ‘Lazy Gluts’ syndrome. This condition, also dubbed Gluteal Amnesia, is where we have sat on our bottoms- at desks, in cars, watching telly- for so long, that our gluteal muscles forget that they should be the main powerhouse of all our gait movement.

We should be driving our bodies forward in walking and running like Sizing John and his paddock consort, with magnificent round, horsey hindquarters...not shuffling about with bent backs and crooked necks incapable of firing up our rear - not to mention pot-bellies drooping because of our inability to activate our deep abdominal ‘corsetry’ muscles.

Even someone with medium fitness levels could take up a sport or aim for more exercise with all good intentions but injure themselves in the process. All because the brain has forgotten how to innervate the right muscles in the right order!

And THIS is what Pilates is exceptional at: teaching your body how to move correctly.

Led by a seasoned professional on Pilates equipment, you are able to get immediate feedback on how your body is moving in space. You learn to determine your core (hint- it is not just your navel area- it spans your back to your inner thighs). You understand how to rebalance your left and right sides and your front and back lines. You gain balance and control. And you develop strength in all your muscle groups, the big showy ones that bodybuilders like and the smaller, lean ones that define ballerinas.

An efficient movement pattern developed through Pilates will not only minimise your aging (wear and tear degeneration of the joints) but will give you an augmented mental agility from your new-found coordination (proven to improve cognitive function).

Presenting yourself as an upright, strong individual will also purvey a sense of power and ease to people you meet- who wants to be considered a frail, bent man or little, weak lady?

Roger may well have fallen into the trap of thinking that Pilates is a stretching class for ladies- this myth being perpetuated by under-qualified gym teachers offering mass group classes in gyms. Likely to be boring, simplistic and un-instructive, I could sympathise with his viewpoint...

But I would dearly love to drag Roger and every other professional grump to One Grove so he could witness proper Pilates. And hear countless stories from our clients who have recovered from strokes, cardiac incidents, hip and knee surgeries, spinal pathologies and all manner of conditions and who have felt the power of Pilates transform their lives.

He can even get to work on ‘Rebounding’ with our Pilates balls. Yes, it’s a thing...Perhaps ‘Resounding Balls’ was a typo?!?!

Lucy Whitehead (MA Oxon and dedicated Pilates professional) and her team of instructors are available at One Grove studios for small group and private client training for all ages and abilities.

For more information, visit the One Grove website, email or call 01242 255111.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Mon, 13:15

Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more
Mon, 12:23

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK are saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket, including a number of venues in the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

“We’re looking forward to lots of festive fun this Christmas festival and hope to welcome lots of people to our town.”

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

“Faringdon upholds old-fashioned values through its traditional shops, personal service and shop owners who go the extra mile to make their customers feel at home.”

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Home to some of the country’s most breathtaking architecture and picturesque gardens, the Cotswolds boasts plenty of beautiful stately homes you need to visit. We pick eight special locations that are made even more magical during Christmas time

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search