Our children's classes are designed to be fun while at the same time reminding their bodies how to stand and move using their deep postural muscles. Children naturally use the correct muscles in their bodies but day to day life and the stresses that come with it can often lead to gravity taking over and postures becoming imbalanced. More and more kids are developing stooping postures from time spent at desks, on tablets, smart phones and not moving enough. Through a series of exercises and games, the children will relearn to use their deep postural muscles increasing not only their strength and flexibility but also their co-ordination and awareness of their own bodies.
The Importance of Posture
Posture is both static and dynamic and ultimately Pilates is all about fostering good posture throughout day to day life. It includes standing, moving in and out of positions and assuming a pose.
By working with children from a young age, they are given a good chance to continue into adult life with the optimal posture and reap the benefits that come with it. With any luck it may also reduce problems associated with an imbalanced posture as they progress through their adult years.
Co-founder of Barefoot Studio, Karen Ingram, had spinal surgery when she was just 22. She said “If I had done Pilates as a child I am convinced I would never had needed back surgery. I wish I’d known when I was a youngster what I know now about Pilates and how the body should move”.
Our Children’s Pilates classes are split into two age groups 7-11 and 11-16 to allow the most suitable exercise for that age group. They are taught by Julie Dennis qualified Peak Pilates Instructor with a specialism in working with children.
This group of MatRats are not really aware that they are working the correct postural muscles. As far as they are concerned they are just having fun. There is a lot of balancing on one leg and playing with the small balls in the studio, often in pairs, while the children work out. If the MatRats are well behaved they may even get to play a game of Simon Says Pilates style!
The older MatRats have a more focussed class with some exercises more familiar to those of adult Pilates. Cueing is introduced so they can be aware of which muscle group they need to be working and more time is spent on correcting technique. The classes are still a lot of fun, the older MatRats get to play with the Swiss balls and often work in pairs which helps develop their teamwork as well.
“Teaching Pilates to children provides an opportunity for easy positive movement experiences and has shown to assist children with concentration, stress management and confidence in their physicality.” (Ickes, 2006)
Barefoot Studio provides a safe and welcoming space for kids to workout in. Our Pilates for Children teachers are CRB checked and please ask if you would like to see copies of our safeguarding children policies. Mums and Dads are welcome to sit by the log burner and enjoy a cuppa while their kids are in class.