Why Pilates is The Real Reason Celebrities Look so Toned

Holly Willoughby Pilates Fan

This is from an article in the Daily Telegraph, written by the Beauty Editor Victoria Hall.

Core Strength and Enhanced General Wellbeing

‘Pilates and other types of resistance training, like band work, improves posture and strengthens core while sculpting the smaller muscles that make you look fit and toned. ‘Resistance work is extremely good for maintaining a youthful body, especially for women who sit at a desk all day as it corrects poor posture while firming, toning and building endurance, which you won’t get from cardio alone,’ explains celebrity fitness trainer, Dalton Wong from Twenty Two Training.’

You can read the whole article on the Daily Telegraph website, you’ll need to subscribe or register (which is free).


Photo Credit: Instagram/Holly Willoughby

Keeping Your New Year Resolutions

We all know that keeping our New Year resolutions is not always easy. These are the highlights from a useful article in the Evening Standard that we thought would help. The link to the whole article is below.

‘February is when the going gets tough. It’s now that you must flex some real muscle, to invoke real willpower to get some actual hustle going. This is how to go the distance. ‘

Here are the four points the article makes:

1. Switch it up

For reformer Pilates, this means carrying out your régime in a new way, substitute exercises that work for the same muscle groups. Ask your teacher for ideas. Book a different day or practice at a different time can also make your training feel fresh.

2. Buddy up

Bring your buddy to Pilates Central for a session and go with your buddy to their exercise of choice. Then you can both appreciate the others exercise of choice and learn from each other.

3. Refocus your purpose

Don’t put off your Pilates. Tomorrow won’t do, best do it today. Pilates isn’t just the physical but also involves breathing and how you hold yourself throughout the day. Read about the components of classic Pilates here.

4. Be realistic

After your good intentions during January you’ll be a lot more aware of how realistic your ambition has been and now you can plan consistent healthy practice for the whole year.

Attached to being realistic is having attainable goals. Can you measure your goals in terms of your exercises? To be fitter? That’s rather general. Can you measure your stretches or set yourself a time to walk to the train station or the number of press-ups you can do?

Taken from the Evening Standard article ‘How to keep your new year’s resolutions after January’ by Phoebe Luckhurst

Give the studio a call or pop in for a chat about how we can help you. Email: islington@pilatescentral.co.uk 


Joseph Pilates Quotes Top 10

Joseph Pilates Quotes Post

Joseph Pilates was ahead of his time in so many ways. During his life, he was renowned for summing up what we all need to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Here are just ten of his most famous quotes.

On Breathing

‘Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it.’

Health is a Duty

‘Not only is health a normal condition, but it is our duty to not only to attain it but to maintain it.’

Fitness is Connected to Emotion

‘Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.’

Physical Fitness is Earned

‘Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking, nor outright purchase.’

Look After What You Have

‘A man is as young as his spinal column.’

Pilates is…

‘Pilates is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.’

Practice Outside

‘By all means, never fail to get all the sunshine and fresh air you can.’

Pilates is for Life

‘You will feel better in ten sessions, look better in twenty sessions, and have a completely new body in thirty sessions.’

Pilates Heals

‘Change happens through movement and movement heals.’

Your Spine

‘If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old; if it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.’


About The Picture
The picture used in this post was taken by I.C. Rapoport. You can see some of the original photographs in the studio.

If you’d like to see more then please visit our post ‘Joseph Pilates in Unique Photographs’ post.

You might also like ‘ History & Origins of Pilates & The Pilates Reformer’.


If you’ve been inspired by Joseph’s quotes and wish to know more about Pilates, call the studio, use our contact page or pop into the studio for a chat!

Pilates for Men – Why Men Should do Pilates

Pilates for Men Islington

Not The Easy Option

‘Rather than being an easy option, Pilates has always been about building strength. Joseph Pilates had a background in self-defence and boxing and opened his “body-conditioning gym” in New York in 1926 to teach people how to achieve strength through better body control.

Elite athletes have long loved it — David Beckham, Andy Murray and Tiger Woods are fans.

Pilates is also incorporated into the training regimens of professional rugby players — the England, Wales and New Zealand rugby union teams rely on its ability to build strength and offset injury.’

Significant Gains in Strength

‘Studies have proved that it works. Last year a paper in the International Journal of Sports, Exercise and Training Science found that men who did a one-hour Pilates class three times a week for ten weeks experienced significant gains in strength that enabled them to improve their step-up and leg-press performance.’

‘Men tend to take it up because of a specific issue such as back pain or tight hamstrings. They are unsure about it working at first because they are used to activity that makes them sweat, but once they see the effects they are more dedicated to it than the women I teach.’

Jo Tuffrey
Pilates Teacher
Danesfield House Hotel and Spa

Reformer Pilates

Reformer Pilates is certainly a great choice when it comes to clean living and reforming your exercise routine. This type of Pilates is equally suitable for people returning to exercise as well as those who are simply looking to add something new to their workout regime.

As it works the body and the mind too, it is ideal for helping you to deal with the pressure and stresses of everyday life.

Pilates can be easily combined with other forms of exercise making it a popular choice with tennis players, runners, golfers and people who are already doing cardio exercise.

Give us a call or pop into the studio to find out all the benefits of Pilates for men.

Article by Peta Bee

Read the full article on The Times website (if you’re not a member you’ll have to register, for free).

Change Your Lifestyle with Reformer Pilates in Islington

Pilates Central Studio Islington

You might have slipped into bad habits while juggling the demands of everyday life. For many people this could mean late nights, a few too many drinks and an over-reliance on quick, processed foods or takeaways combined with a lack of exercise, fresh air and sunshine.

It’s worth taking the time to overhaul your lifestyle and get yourself back on track whenever you become aware that your life is a little out of balance.

There are many exercise options on offer. This can be great for stopping yourself from getting bored, but it can also make it hard to distinguish what the best form of exercise might be for you.

Pilates Styles

Even with Pilates, there are a number of different styles. Pilates consists of two main types of exercise: mat-based exercises and equipment-based exercises.

With equipment-based Pilates exercises, the ‘Reformer’ — which looks a little like a bed frame packed with pulleys and springs — is one of the main pieces of equipment used.

With this type of Pilates, the equipment can look somewhat daunting, but it is easy to use. The Reformer uses a pulley and spring system to increase and decrease resistance and tension, which is why there are ropes and springs.

Meghan Markle

New types of workout using this type of equipment have been developed such as the ‘Megaformer’ Pilates method, which has reportedly been favoured by Meghan Markle.

Using this equipment can produce visible results in a fairly short period of time. These results may occur more quickly via equipment-based Pilates exercise than with mat-based Pilates. Regular workouts have been shown to result in fat loss and lean muscle gain.

Reformer Pilates

Reformer Pilates is certainly a great choice when it comes to clean living and reforming your exercise routine. This type of Pilates is equally suitable for people returning to exercise as well as those who are simply looking to add something new to their workout regime.

As it works the body and the mind too, it is ideal for helping you to deal with the pressure and stresses of everyday life.

Pilates can be easily combined with other forms of exercise making it a popular choice with tennis players, runners, golfers and people who are already doing cardio exercise.



Inversion Pilates



Independent Ireland

Pilates Classes Fitted Around Your Individual Needs in Islington

Pilates Angel Islington

At Pilates Central, Islington we understand that finding the time and motivation to workout can be difficult. So our approach to equipment-based Pilates offers you the flexibility of visiting the studio at a time and frequency that suits you.

We have extended opening hours and offer both group and private sessions. For many people, this approach is a lot easier and less stressful than trying to find the time to attend a weekly class at a fixed time.

The Personal Touch

The personal touch is important. It’s believed that one of the reasons people often give up on a resolution to get fit is because they do not have human interaction while at the gym or fitness studio. At Pilates Central, you are supervised by a qualified Pilates teacher, who will help you to succeed and stick to your goals.

Tailored Pilates

If you decide to attend a group session, the experience is still entirely tailored to you. We ensure that everyone who comes to the studio is given a unique, individually-customised programme to suit his or her needs.

Bespoke Approach

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach and group classes are not based on one set of goals. We have found that our bespoke approach allows you to get the most benefit from sessions while also ensuring you have a stress-free and fun experience.

Regular Sessions

You may choose to attend anywhere from once a week through to every day. Usually, we suggest that twice a week is a good option for most people and produces positive benefits fairly quickly. So within ten sessions, you would be expected to feel a difference to when you started.


You are also encouraged to do a little Pilates at home each day, although this only needs to be a few minutes if you are able to find the time.

At Pilates Central, we will work with you to help you achieve the most from your visits.

Give us a call, we’re a friendly bunch.



Why Reformer Pilates Should be part of your Overall Fitness Regime

Pilates Reformers at Pilates Central

Pilates makes an ideal choice as part of an overall fitness regime since it complements many other types of exercise and sport so well. You might already be doing cardio, weightlifting, a dance class, or playing a sport. By adding Pilates to the mix you’ll find yourself reaping many new benefits.

Pilates for All Sports

Pilates is suitable for everyone from people who are new to exercise through to all types of sportsmen and women, as well as cyclists, horse-riders, dancers and those who attend the gym. This is because it works the whole body. It builds muscles and improves flexibility and posture, which in turn helps to prevent future injury.

Variety really is the spice of life if you like to keep fit and active. With the number of fitness options on offer you no longer need to stick to one type of exercise. This is great news for those find that they become bored or demotivated by sticking to one exercise option.

Inspire Yourself

Trying something new, like Pilates, can be a good way of reviving your flagging enthusiasm for exercise. Another bonus is that you may find that Pilates targets new and different parts of your body, yielding new benefits.

Pilates Reformer

Reformer Pilates of the kind offered by Pilates Central presents an additional challenge compared to mat-based Pilates. The reformer machine builds your strength and muscles as well as stretching you further via the springs, which provide additional resistance. So, for example, you might find yourself using that resistance to work your arms and legs harder.

Using the reformer may also improve your co-ordination. Regular sessions work on strengthening your core, which in turn improves performance when playing sports or doing other types of exercise.

How to Breath Properly

The focus on breathing in reformer Pilates means that many people who do it find that they learn for the first time how to breathe properly. This not only helps generally in leading a healthier life but also with sports performance. This is another reason that Pilates is popular with sportsmen and women and athletes.

A Long and Lean Body

Many people find that their clothes start to fit and hang better on their frame once they have done Pilates for while. This is due to improved posture and the impact of Pilates on the body, which tends to create a long and lean appearance. This is one reason why reformer Pilates is so popular with celebrities.






Pilates and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Pilates and HIIT Training

Pilates and High-Intensity Interval Training are two very different forms of exercise – but ones that complement each other well.

High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT for short, is a popular form of exercise that focuses on providing a cardio workout. The high-intensity intervals are done in short bursts and alternate with low-intensity movements. Pilates, on the other hand, focuses on improving strength and flexibility and is generally not counted as a cardiovascular form of exercise.

Great Companions

Pilates and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) make great companions when it comes to choosing exercise regimes, since they complement and support each other in their beneficial impact on the body. HIIT focuses on large, global muscles and Pilates works on the core, so when combined they work on both large and small muscle groups. This ensures a whole body focus.

HIIT provides a quick and effective cardio workout, which is helpful for burning lots of calories, slowing down ageing and boosting the metabolism. It is an excellent way of increasing fitness and stamina by building aerobic capacity.

Pilates Reformer for Injury Rehabilitation

Pilates for Rehabilitation

Unfortunately, because the moves involved in HIIT workouts are performed at a quick speed and, of course, a high intensity, they can involve a risk of injuries. This is worth bearing in mind, particularly if you are taking a class, as attention should be paid to good form and technique in order to minimise the chances of injury.

For those who are already doing high-intensity interval training and who have experienced an injury, Pilates is an excellent choice to help rehabilitate the injury while also working to prevent future issues.

For those considering trying HIIT, on the other hand, starting Pilates can be a good way of preventing injuries. This is because it teaches you an awareness of how your body moves while also working to strengthen the core. Both of these benefits help to ensure you can do HIIT exercises with less risk of injury.

Swimming for Injury Recovery

Low-Impact Rest Days

Even if you do not sustain any injuries, HIIT can have a rather high impact on the body. For example, it can place a strain on joints such as your knees and hips as well as your spine. To mitigate this impact it is a good idea to take rest days to allow your body to recover. During the rest days you can choose to do low-impact exercise such as Pilates or swimming.

Pilates is also a great way to prepare for more intensive training methods such as HIIT, especially for newcomers to exercise who may be tempted to push themselves too hard too quickly. If you rush head first into HIIT style exercise the result can be painful damage to muscles and tendons. This can affect your progress as you wait for the damage to heal.

Thankfully, due to the way that Pilates works, it ensures a steady and careful progression in terms of fitness ability, flexibility and strength. This naturally reduces the tendency to want to leap head first into exercise and exercise too hard.





Breast Cancer – How Pilates Can Help

Breast Cancer and How Pilates Can Help

Roughly one in eight British women will develop breast cancer.

Pilates can do a lot to help those diagnosed with breast cancer to start regaining their physical confidence, rebuilding their self-esteem and heading down the road to recovery of the body, mind and spirit.

One of the many things that can get neglected during and after treatment for breast cancer is exercise.

Body Focus & Recovery

After a breast cancer diagnosis and the invasive treatments – from surgery to radiation and chemotherapy – that tend to follow, many women are left feeling somewhat detached from their bodies. Pilates can help mend this separation between the mind and body since it makes patients “think” through their movements and focus on the quality of the movement.

Some women with breast cancer experience impaired movement of their shoulder(s) following surgery, such as a mastectomy. Pilates can help slowly increase their range of motion by encouraging and teaching good shoulder-blade alignment while at rest and then incorporating gentle movements from this stable base.

An academic study on the effects of Pilates on the shoulder and “upper-extremity” mobility among women living with breast cancer, published in the journal Physical Therapy in 2008, found that Pilates can indeed improve the mobility of such women.

Focus on Posture

Following surgery for breast cancer, many patients might notice a change in their posture and see a rounding of the upper back as well as some slumping in their shoulders. Since Pilates focuses on posture and alignment, patients can use it to teach their body how to resume a more erect posture and maintain that posture through further back exercises.

The emphasis in Pilates on focusing on the feel of the movement rather than on its appearance can also help build the self-esteem of those who are trying to get back into a routine and to stop worrying about how they look after a mastectomy or other invasive surgery.

A good Pilates instructor can design an individually based program that will progress and evolve as a breast cancer patient starts to regain strength.

As always, it is advisable to ask a doctor before starting any new exercise program.


Breast Cancer Care


Very Well Health

Pilates After Surgery

Pilates after Surgery at Pilates Central

Pilates makes a good choice for people rehabilitating following various types of surgery. It addresses specific challenges that people face when recovering from surgery, as well as helping them gradually increase fitness at a time when they may otherwise be fairly sedentary.

Pilates after abdominal surgery builds the abdominal muscles

– and cut the risk of hernias or back pain

One of the biggest concerns when recovering from abdominal surgery is how best to rebuild abdominal muscles once someone has received the all-clear from their doctor to start exercising again.

Surgeons have to cut through the tummy muscles and fibrous bands in the abdominal wall in order to perform this type of surgery. As a result, there is usually a long-term weakness in the abdominal muscles. Not only may this affect the appearance of the abdomen but it may also lead to an increased risk of developing a hernia or lower back pain from a lack of core strength.

Pilates is ideal for slowly beginning to rebuild core strength. Our teachers are able to create a tailored exercise regime to suit the needs of each individual, reflecting, of course, the specific type of surgery performed and the best way to rebuild the muscles affected.

Pilates after hip or knee replacement

Pilates is considered an excellent form of rehabilitation exercise following a joint replacement such as the hip or knee. It helps to address any weakness, stiffness and balance issues, while also helping the person concerned to get used to their new replacement joint. Exercises are performed in a slow and controlled manner allowing any necessary adjustments or modifications to be made.

Unfortunately, many people learn bad habits while waiting to have surgery due to dealing with symptoms such as stiffness or pain in the joint.

One of the major benefits of Pilates for people who have had joint replacement surgery is that Pilates allows them to learn and rebuild movement in the joint as well as the body as a whole. This is important for restoring alignment in the body as well as creating good posture and strengthening weak muscles.

Pilates after knee surgery, such as ACL reconstruction

Even if you have not had the joint replaced but have instead had knee surgery, Pilates can help to aid rehabilitation post-surgery. For example, people who have had ACL (Anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction benefit from strengthening the muscles around the knee joint.

Pilates, particularly on the reformer, allows this to be done in a way that means there is lighter resistance on the joint than with other forms of exercise.

In addition, because Pilates works on the body as a whole, the whole lower half of the body becomes aligned and strengthened. This helps with creating better balance and posture, thus stabilising the knee and helping to prevent injury in the future.

Get in touch

We would be happy to help you find out if Pilates might help you with your recovery following surgery. Call us on 020 7288 8080 or use our contact form to drop us a line and we’ll get back to you.

As always, it is advisable to ask a doctor before starting any exercise regime.