Fran is a certified Rider Biomechanics Instructor with the International Society of Rider Biomechanics as well as a qualified Pilates coach. She specializes in teaching Pilates to the over 50s and horse riders.
Pilates at Home for the Over 50’s
As we grow older muscle mass and strength is lost, our joints stiffen, our bones start to lose density, our muscles weaken and our proprioception becomes compromised. To combat these signs of age it is important to start an exercise programme that can help postpone and even counter these conditions. Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise that increases mobility in all the major joints and strengthens the muscles that support the joints and spine, whilst the emphasis on our alignment improves our posture and balance.
In theory all of the courses featured on this website are suitable for the over 50s. However which class is right for you depends on your current level of fitness and experience. If you haven’t done Pilates (or Yoga) before I would strongly recommend that you start with one of the Beginners classes. If you are reasonably fit and have done Pilates before I suggest you choose an Intermediate level course.
Pilates at Home for Horse Riders
Pilates at Home offers the rider more than just body conditioning, the exercises featured in the Pilates for Riders courses will help teach you to find and use your core muscles correctly, how to “switch” on the right muscles whilst keeping others neutral and increase your awareness of your posture and alignment.
However you shouldn’t feel limited to just the Pilates for Riders courses. All Pilates sessions work on strengthening the core, mobilising the hips and stabilising the spine and help improve body awareness and alignment. If you are unfit I strongly recommend that you start with a Beginners class before progressing to the Riders courses.
Will Pilates help me in my other sporting activities?
If you are a cyclist, regular Pilates can help you too! Pilates can help offset the shortening of your hamstrings and counter the hunched posture that so many cyclists have problems with. Walkers, runners, paddle boarders, tennis players and golfers will all feel the benefit too.
Can I do these courses
The courses featured range from complete beginner to advanced intermediate. Having said that, every body is different, an exercise that is easy for one person can be really challenging for another. Although some modifications are shown on these videos, further modifications to the exercise in question or a different exercise completely can always be offered to you via the online support offered to Premium Plus monthly subscribers.
Of course if you are extremely overweight, have a chronic condition, or any serious injuries, please consult your doctor before beginning Pilates. You are responsible for listening to your own body. You should not experience pain in your joints at any time, if you do then stop immediately.
What equipment will I need to do Pilates?
Chose comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict your movement, but avoid items that are so baggy that the seams start to twist. In classical Pilates the use of trainers, or similar, is frowned upon. If you are happy to exercise in bare feet that’s marvellous, otherwise wear socks, or trainers, as you chose.
If you are going to do the exercises on a thick carpet you may not need a mat, but otherwise an exercise mat is essential. When selecting a mat try and choose one that is about 6ft long, 2 ft wide and ideally a quarter of an inch to half an inch in thickness.
Allow enough space for you to be able to lie down and stretch your limbs in all directions without knocking into furniture.
If you wish to follow the Pilates for Riders on a ball sessions, or Pilates on a Ball courses, you will need a Swiss Ball (sometimes called a Gym Ball or a Stability Ball) as well as a mat and enough space to be able to fall off the ball without hurting yourself.
Other pieces of equipment that you might find useful (but are not essential) include a small flat pillow or folded towel, a medium-strength resistance band and some light weights.
Although nothing can replace the watchful eye of a personal trainer or instructor, practicing “Pilates at Home” 3 or 4 times a week can make a huge difference to your level of fitness and suppleness. However if you purchase our Monthly Premium Plus subscription you will get the next best thing. You will be able to join the private Facebook group page – Pilates at Home – where you have access to Fran’s expertise to help you with any problems you may have.
In addition to our Premium Courses we also have a couple of free videos for you to try to give you a taste of what you can expect in our premium courses. These free sessions are listed below, or are accessible from the link at the top of the page. No sign up or membership of the site is required to access them.
This short video explains the basic principles of Pilates, and covers breathing control and finding neutral spine. If you are new to Pilates this is essential viewing before watching any other free or paid course.
This free mini course comprises of three sessions that total around 55 minutes of video instruction. This course is aimed at experienced beginners/intermediate students and is a great way to see if you like the way we teach Pilates before committing to any of the paid premium courses.
This free video is the first of a 34 video series covering each element of Joseph Pilates’ classic mat routine. Duration 8 minutes.