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Why Pilates is Great for Your Pelvic Floor

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Pilates is a mind-body exercise that’s been proven to help build and maintain muscle strength, balance, and overall mental health. The essence of Pilates is proper breathing and control over your body and its muscles. We do this by putting particular emphasis on the back and abdomen. The method focuses on building a strong “Central Core” by strengthening your abdominal wall and spine. There are over 500 exercises, many based on Yoga and dance. Rather than many reps, each exercise is performed only a few times with intense concentration on form and precision.

Pilates is now widely regarded as one of the best ways to tone up weak muscles and give support to your back, neck, and shoulder joints. At PhysioFit in Los Altos, Pilates is a central focus in how we deliver effective care and achieve positive results. We incorporate Pilates-based exercises into our physical therapy sessions. Additionally, we offer a variety of ongoing fitness options to help you reach your long-term goals.

Our classes involve challenging and progressive exercises to allow you to learn to move your body and your spine safely. Pilates techniques affect the entire body. Instead of isolating muscle groups, the entire body is involved, integrating the upper and lower extremities with the core musculature. Mental imaging, focus, and breathing patterns are used to reduce stress and unnecessary movement while emphasizing static or dynamic core stabilization. This includes an emphasis on coordinating abdominals, pelvic girdle, and shoulder strength. The principle of strengthening while lengthening muscles is critical in providing long-term benefits that carry over into improving your daily life. 

Who is Pilates for? 

Pilates is for EVERYONE! Too often we hear someone say, “I can’t do Pilates, it looks like it would be too hard for me” or “I’m not flexible enough” or “I’m not strong enough”. This is the whole reason you want to do Pilates! Pilates is a safe, sensible exercise system practiced on a floor mat or equipment, which will keep you looking and feeling your best. No matter what your age or condition, it WILL work for you. Pilates improves core strength, flexibility, agility, and economy of motion. It can even help alleviate back pain and other chronic ailments.

From the top athlete to the elderly, the benefit of Pilates will be appreciated by anyone who is looking to improve their overall health & fitness. We offer different levels of classes ranging from beginner to advanced. If you’re unsure where to begin, ask a staff member or instructor of the class you are considering for guidance. He or she should advise you on which class may be best for you. 

Depending on your situation, the symptoms that you are feeling, and at what severity, Pilates exercises can be modified to prevent injury. 

Why Pilates May Be Right for You.

This specialized exercise system may be for you if you are experiencing any of the following: 

  • Aches and pains from the workday.
  • Feeling as though you aren’t holding yourself up straight.
  • Trying the same thing over and over again with no real results.
  • Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Symptoms (Such as incontinence.)
  • Experiencing digestive issues. 

All of these (plus many more) have can be addressed with Pilates. 

Pilates is more than just movement to keep your body feeling good. These exercises focus on the core muscle groups and how the mind and body, work together. Helping improve your overall concentration, control, flexibility, breathing, and fluid movement. 

Essential to this type of exercise is the use of breathwork. Similar to yoga, Pilates teaches you the importance of focusing on your breathing while moving through different positions which strengthens your diaphragm and massages your abdominal muscles.

Pilates @ PhysioFit Physical Therapy in Los Altos, CA

Here at PhysioFit, we offer a wide range of options when it comes to Pilates and wellness classes. At the start of the pandemic, we took all of our wellness classes and created virtual classes, which are still being held. Now, we are excited that we are starting to open up new Pilates classes in person! Continue below for more information on the new class getting started.

For Rehabilitation

Our physical therapists will guide you through Pilates-based exercises to help you reduce or eliminate pain, prevent future injury, and promote fitness. As we train you in therapeutic Pilates techniques, you will learn how to reach your rehabilitation goals by appropriately recruiting your muscles and producing efficient, safe movement.

For Ongoing Fitness

Pilates is great for keeping you in shape. If your goal is to keep what you got, Pilates is where you want to be. While attending group or private sessions in our state-of-the-art Pilates gym, you’ll receive personalized attention from our certified and experienced instructors. Grow and own your movements with the guidance of a licensed professional. 

Wellness Programs at PhysioFit:

Pilates Mat Springboard – Pilates mat exercises focus on strengthening the muscles of the trunk (core) while increasing the overall flexibility of both the spine and hips. A Springboard is a terrific tool for integrating the limbs into the workout. Challenging the core and building strength in the hips and shoulder girdle.

Pilates Equipment Sessions (2-4 person group or private) – Pilates equipment, such as the reformer or Trapeze, allows you to develop a more comprehensive, varied workout with an increased repertoire of exercises.

*For clients new to Pilates Equipment sessions, 1-3 Introductory sessions or clearance from one of our instructors/therapists is required for participation in a Reformer Group.

Announcement: New Class Starting Soon! 

To kick off the new year, three highly motivated, fiercely determined people will be accepted into our Trio Pilates Mixed equipment class and experience a total Pilates body transformation. Will you be one of them?

Here’s what to expect from our Trio In-Person Mixed Equipment Class:

Why Would You Do a Trio Class?

  1. It’s cheaper than a private session. It’s the next best thing to the individualized attention you would get in a private setting, at a lower price. The structure of a Trio class mirrors that of a Private Session but you share it with two other people.
  2. With only 3 people in the class, your instructor will give individual cues and corrections which improves your results.
  3. Unlike other Reformer Group classes where you only utilize that one apparatus within the class, our Trio class includes a combination of the use of the Reformer, Springboard, and Mats in this 55-minute class.

Feel stronger, longer, and leaner while relieving physical tension and mental stress. Create lasting change that will help you feel and look your best while moving with ease.

Who Is This Session For? 

Level 1 for those new to Pilates. We do require that you’ve taken at least one private session so that we can assess fitness level, injuries, or limitations and determine if a group setting is appropriate; or if a few more privates are needed to be safe on the equipment. If you are seeing one of our PTs, they can advise on when you’d be ready for a group class. 

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Meet Your Instructor:

V. Kimbell Shelton

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My focus is on teaching the fundamental principles and concepts of safe, effective, and empowering movement using the Pilates Method as a foundation. In sessions, clients cultivate greater strength and flexibility, better coordination, posture, and balance, and learn how the exercises can help them in daily activities and sports (functional training). I teach both classical and contemporary Pilates. I also enjoy showing clients how exercising can be fun and rewarding by tailoring and modifying the exercises according to their individual needs and goals.


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kim gladfelter physiofit 1 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kim Gladfelter, MPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Women's Health Physical Therapy Specialist at PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness

Kim Gladfelter is a physical therapist, Pilates instructor, educator, author, and co-founder of PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness. She is known as a keen, well-rounded expert of healing through movement and women’s health specialist in the Silicon Valley area.

Kim has helped men and women of all ages to stay active and feel their best. She also writes about managing pain in her health columns, blogs and the local Los Altos Town Crier newspaper as well as reaches out to the local community, support groups, schools, libraries, and sports centers to advise and educate on body awareness and therapeutic exercise.

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