As a mother of two and a Pilates instructor, I am very passionate about the benefits of Pilates for children in terms of strengthening their core and improving their posture. Pilates is also fun, helps concentration, improves self-control and self-awareness plus keeps them fit, flexible and healthy.
With an increased sedentary lifestyle, a culture of convenience and poor dietary choices, we have a chronic obesity problem in the Western World with large percentages of children overweight and obese before they even hit puberty. In addition, sedentary lifestyles cause children to develop poor posture which in later life will create issues for them.
A rigorous exercise regimen, however, may not be beneficial for young children and could even be harmful. Young children’s developing skeletal frame often struggles to handle the demanding forms of exercise in more aerobic-oriented or cardiovascular exercise programmes. For these children, a safer, healthier, low-impact workout is needed such as Pilates.
As Joseph Pilates states; ‘In childhood, habits are easily formed – good and bad. Why not then concentrate on the formation of only good habits and thus avoid the necessity later on in life of attempting to correct bad habits in life and substituting for them good habits.’ This is where Pilates can help.
In summary, these are some of the benefits of children practicing Pilates
- Demanding exercises have the potential to be harmful on the developing skeleton. Pilates is a safe and gentle method of strength training.
- As core strength is developed, posture and spinal alignment improves.
- Pilates enhances flexibility.
- Because it is a mind/body discipline, Pilates encourages a more relaxed state of mind as well as strengthens concentration skills.
- Pilates educates children about body awareness, which creates a mindfulness that fosters self-confidence.
- Pilates exposes children to the execution of goal setting by encouraging small steps and recognizing small achievements.
- Pilates establishes the correct principles of movement that will follow into adulthood.
- Pilates creates a balanced musculature that alleviates pain, reduces potential injury and promotes correct muscle firing patterns.
- Keeps muscles strong and limber as they move into adulthood.
- Develops the understanding that our bodies are amazingly complex and require maintenance to keep them functioning at their best.
If you are interested in your child taking part, please send me a message
A health questionnaire must be completed before their first class.
Athena Pilates ‘Golden Rules’
- To listen to instructor and not speak whilst the instructor is speaking.
- Respect others and not be rough as we have varied age groups.
- To encourage and praise peers.
- Listen to their bodies; if tired, take a break. If thirsty, have a drink.
- Stop and inform the instructor immediately if they feel any pain or discomfort.
- Toilet breaks will be instructed but if you need to go, please ask.
- To work as hard and have fun!
- Bring a water bottle and drink as and when required.
- Bring a banana or piece of fruit to finish on.