Hello and welcome to Active Pilates. You will find that I am very passionate about Pilates and the benefits I have seen for myself and others.
I will be using this page to share interesting articles, latest news, videos etc with you.
In coming months I will cover specifics such as:

  • Pilates during pregnancy
  • Pilates for teenagers
  • Pelvic floor muscles
  • Pilates for older people, osteoporosis, scoliosis
  • Pilates in the workplace
  • Pilates for low back pain, shoulder pain & injuries, knee issues, hip issues
  • Pilates for men
  • Pilates for runners, cyclists, golfers, equestrians  and a whole lot more......

July 2017  Pilates in the Workplace/office ....coming soon


April 2017  Pelvic Floor Muscles  Pelvic floor exercises aren't just for women - for men they can help with erectile dysfunction and incontinence too. Sit comfortably and imagine trying to stop the flow of urine mid-stream or trying to prevent passing wind by gently sqeezing inside and gently drawing upwards - the muscles you can feel are the pelvic floor.

Lift and squeeze the muscles around your back passage. Then lift and squeeze the muscles around your urethra, breathing normally. Men should see the penis dip downwards and scrotum lift upwards. Women can check by inserting a thumb into their vagina - you should feel a gentle squeeze. Hold both contractions for one second then relax. Repeat 5 to 10 times or until the muscles tire. This is called a fast twitch exercise.

Next try slow twitch exercises - hold the contractions for 5 to 10 seconds, then relax for 5 to 10 seconds. Aim for 10 of these each time.

Aim to do both slow an fast twitch exercises 3 times a day.

You might also find this NHS article helpful


January 2017  Pilates for Cyclists  This short 2 minute video from pro cyclist Katie Hall explains how Pilates can give you the edge in amateur and professional sports. It also highlights the STOTT Pilates reformer used by Collette at Active Pilates

It is not just your legs powering you forward on the bike, it's your entire body that you're engaging. That's why it's important to work on your core muscles when you are off the bike. This will boost your performance and reduce your risk of injury.

Core stability plus hip flexibility is integral to producing power on the bike.

For a cyclist, I would work primarily on their pelvic and lumbar stability so as to help control the muscles around the hip and lumbar spine. It's a matter of becoming stable while also mobilising the hip joints - getting the balance between the two!


October 2016  Text neck In an upright position the normal head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds. However many of us now spend more and more time with our head in a forward position while using our phones. This puts our bodies, particularly our neck and shoulders, under considerable stress and strains.

Did you know that by angling the head forward by just 15 degrees increases its load on the neck muscles to 27 pounds, more than double its' normal weight! Angle the head forward by 30 degrees and the weight increases to 40 pounds; take it to 45 degrees and it will weigh 49 pounds and at 60 degrees forward it weighs a staggering 60 pounds!!

Avoid looking down at your phone as much as possible, use your hands to bring your phone up in front of you, simples....


July 2016  Sports performance can be enhanced through Pilates classes or private 1:1 sessions. It will also help injury rehabilitation and prevention.

Unlike other strength training regimes that focus on muscle mass, Pilates focuses on rebalancing your muscles around the joints, and improving your alignment and flexibility.

Pilates is a form of conditioning used in the development of strong core muscles for all fitness levels and abilities. It also focuses on proper breathing, balance and sport-specific range of motion. When all muscular systems work in a timely and co-ordinated fashion, participants can achieve large gains in strength, skill, co-ordination and biomechanical efficiency.

Pilates helps increase joint stability and strengthens the deep core muscles, which in turn prevents injury and leads to improved performance in anything you do. It helps build strong, healthy muscles, improves blood flow and engages the proper muscles at the right time. Pilates teaches athletes to be mindful in their movements - integratng their pelvis, trunk and shoulder girdle in a safe, challenging and progressive system.

Injury rehabilitation can be incorporated into a challenging workout without impact or excessive weight bearing. No matter what your goals or fitness ability, Pilates is a smart way to enhance performance for any activity you choose.


April 2016  Pilates breathing is a key factor in good health. One of the first things you learn in a Pilates class is how to breathe more efficiently, most of us breathe far too shallowly. You must create a space for the ribs to expand, by standing or sitting tall, then breathe wide and deep into your back and sides, maximising lung capacity. To breathe correctly you must completely inhale and exhale, always trying to "squeeze" every bit of stale air from your lungs in much the same way as you would wring every drop of water from a wet cloth. Joseph Pilates wrote that this type of breathing "supplies the blood stream with vitally necessary oxygen.....and stimulates all muscles into greater activity. Therefore, above all, learn to breathe correctly".

The link between chronic prolonged stress and illness is well known and anyone who does regular Pilates will be familiar with its beneficial impact on mental health. For me there is a moment, normally about 5 minutes into a session, when suddenly I feel in control of everything (not just my alignment, breathing and core) and the world seems a better place.

Even a few exercises done thoughtfully can promote feelings of calm and happiness.

Many clients get tied up in knots worrying about when and how to breathe. If we just learn to be aware of our breath, it really helps with movement. Move to the rhythm of your breath, rather than try and adapt your breath to your movement patterns.

January 2016

Music to my ears! This will hopefully make any one aspiring to a six-pack stop and think or those of us with no desire for a six-pack to feel suitably smug……...
A six-pack is the least important abdominal muscle for spinal support   
When you do a crunch or a sit-up, the muscles that make up your six-pack (the rectus abdominis) contract to flex the spine. This same brace-like position is helpful during coughing, bowel movements, high impact sports and childbirth as it helps to hold the internal organs in place.
However, peek under the layer of superficial abdominals and you’ll find a treasure chest of deep abdominal muscles known as the core. These are:

  • Transversus abdominis

  • Pelvic floor

  • Diaphragm

  • Multifidus

  • Internal obliques

  • External obliques

The core muscles strengthen, cushion and stabilise the spine. They improve mobility, breathing, digestion and postural alignment.

To read the whole article see