What is Mat Pilates?

While it seems like the fitness industry only started talking about Pilates as a form of exercise a few years ago, the workout has actually been around much longer than we think.

Joseph Pilates developed the exercise in the 1920s as a way for bedridden soldiers injured during WWI to keep up their strength.

After opening his first Pilates studio near the New York City Ballet, he ended up using his practice to help injured dancers who needed a way to keep their dancers form whilst they recovered.

Gaining popularity in the ’90s, Pilates is now used as a low-impact exercise that builds strength and flexibility.

Generally, the goal of Joseph Pilates original mat pilates repertoire is to strengthen the body’s “powerhouse,” a somewhat modern Pilates term that refers to your front body, back body, lower back, upper back, side body, mid-region, pelvic region, and your glutes.

Through specific sequencing of the Original Pilates Repertoire with specialised equipment to increase resistance, you can expect to improve strength, mobility and flexibility over a 45-minute class. With regular practice, Pilates will help you stand up tall and get on with the demands of your everyday life.

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Benefits of Pilates

In Pilates, your muscles are never worked to exhaustion, so there is no sweating or straining, just intense concentration. The workout consists of a variety of exercise sequences that are performed in low repetitions, usually five to ten times, over a session of 45 to 60 minutes. Mat work and specialised equipment for resistance are used.

The health benefits of Pilates include:

  • improved flexibility
  • increased muscle strength and tone, particularly of your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks (the ‘core muscles’ of your body)
  • balanced muscular strength on both sides of your body
  • improved posture
  • rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
  • improved physical coordination and balance
  • relaxation of your shoulders, neck and upper back
  • prevention of musculoskeletal injuries
  • increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
  • improved concentration
  • increased body awareness
  • stress management and relaxation.

Proactivity Mat Pilates Programs align with the Victorian Curriculum

Our instructors are passionate about engaging students in an inclusive movement modality that meets every body exactly where they are at to develop their mind & body through Pilates exercises that are suitable for all levels and abilities. Recruiting their breath to support their movement assists students to function with more focus and less stress in their everyday schooling life.

Curriculum links and program details

Secondary School

Curriculum Links

Moving the body
Use feedback to improve body control and coordination when performing specialised movement skills.

Compose and perform movement sequences for specific purposes in a variety of contexts.

Practise, apply and transfer movement concepts and strategies.

Understanding movement
Participate in physical activities that develop health-related and skill-related fitness components.

Demonstrate and explain how the elements of effort, space, time, objects and people can enhance performance.

Learning Objectives Learning Activities

Week 1

  • Students will be able to support their movement using their breath as the foundation for a controlled, co-ordinated and efficient movement practice.
  • Pilates breathing using hands and therabands for feedback, mobility work to warm up spine moving in all planes of motion
  • Prone – glute bridge variations (back body)
  • 4 Point kneeling work (Front & back body)
  • Side lying – 1st side exercises (abductors, adductors, obliques, scapular stability & shoulder/arm strengthening, unilateral & isolation exercises)
  • Supine Abdominal work using Pilates ring
  • Side lying – 2nd side
  • Stretches – PNF & Static

Week 2

  • Students will be able to achieve centred, aligned and balanced movement to build on their strength to progress & increase their endurance.
  • Standing balance warmup (roll downs with eyes closed & single leg balance work with Pilates rings & bands to increase challenge, Chi ball bird dog balance exercise challenge, mini
  • band crab walk warm up
  • Lunges & standing balance & strength work
  • 4 point kneeling balance with rotation exercises
  • (bird dog, knee hovers, unilateral leg work)
  • Upper body strength exercises with bands
  • Abdominal, adductor & glute exercises
  • Stretches – PNF & Static

Week 3

  • Students will be able to flow through their movement practice with concentration and control.
  • Roll down flow, Side body Stretch flow - Right side roll down to Centre rolldown to L side roll down flow, Cat Cow spinal flow including Disco Cat or Figure 8 Cat Cow
  • Pelvic tilts to bilateral shoulder bridge series
  • Ab series – Hundreds, Series of 5, Rolling like a ball, leg circles, oblique twists
  • Side lying or Side kneeling legwork flow – 1st side
  • Kneeling Upper body including Thigh Stretch flow
  • Side lying or Side kneeling legwork flow – 2nd side
  • Mermaid Stretch sequence & flow

Week 4

  • Students will be able to execute a full body workout that is integrated, precise and flowing.
  • Standing warm up and balance
  • Roll down to plank walk outs to pike flow, knee hover & pike ups, mobility & full body stretches incorporating Pilates breathing & exploring imprint, neutral, extended and imprinted
  • spinal positions and breathing.
  • Pelvic tilts, unilateral glute bridge work
  • 4-point kneeling balance, strength include rotation
  • Side lying work leg work and side plank variations
  • Lie prone, focus on back body exercises and plank variations
  • Repeat side lying work opposite side.
  • Abdominal progressions from beginner through to intermediate progressions in a layered approach so that students can use self efficacy in movement to make decisions on when to
  • progress or regress an exercise
  • PNF stretches
  • Standing roll up & roll down flow

Curriculum Links

Moving the body
Perform and refine specialised movement skills in challenging movement situations.

Evaluate own movement compositions, and provide and apply feedback in order to enhance performance situations.

Learning through movement
Transfer understanding from previous movement experiences to create solutions to movement challenges.

Learning Objectives Learning Activities

Week 1

  • Students will be able to support their movement using the breath as the foundation for a controlled, co-ordinated and efficient movement practice.
  • Pilates breathing using hands and therabands for feedback, mobility work to warm up spine moving in all planes of motion
  • Prone – glute bridge variations (back body)
  • 4 Point kneeling work (Front & back body)
  • Side lying – 1st side exercises (abductors, adductors, obliques, scapular stability & shoulder/arm strengthening, unilateral & isolation exercises)
  • Supine Abdominal work using Pilates ring
  • Side lying – 2nd side
  • Stretches – PNF & Static

Week 2

  • Students will be able to achieve centred, aligned and balanced movement to build on their strength to progress & increase their endurance.
  • Standing balance warmup (roll downs with eyes closed & single leg balance work with Pilates rings & bands to increase challenge, Chi ball bird dog balance exercise challenge, mini band crab walk warm up
  • Lunges & standing balance & strength work
  • 4 point kneeling balance with rotation exercises
  • (bird dog, knee hovers, unilateral leg work)
  • Upper body strength exercises with bands
  • Abdominal, adductor & glute exercises
  • Stretches – PNF & Static

Week 3

  • Students will be able to flow through their movement practice with concentration and control.
    Roll down flow, Side body Stretch flow - Right side roll down to Centre rolldown to L side roll down flow, Cat Cow spinal flow including Disco Cat or Figure 8 Cat Cow
  • Pelvic tilts to bilateral shoulder bridge
  • Ab series – Hundreds, Series of 5, Rolling like a ball, leg circles, oblique twists
  • Side lying or Side kneeling legwork flow – 1st side
  • Kneeling Upper body including Thigh Stretch flow
  • Side lying or Side kneeling legwork flow – 2nd side
  • Mermaid Stretch sequence & flow

Week 4

  • Students will be able to execute a full body workout that is integrated, precise and flowing.
  • Standing warm up and balance
  • Mobility & full body stretches incorporating Pilates breathing & exploring neutral, extended and imprinted spinal positions and breathing.
  • Roll down to plank walk outs to pike flow, knee hovers & pike ups
  • Pelvic tilts, unilateral glute bridge work
  • 4-point kneeling balance & strength including rotation
  • Side lying work leg work and side plank variations
  • Lie prone, focus on back body exercises and plank variations
  • Repeat side lying work opposite side.
  • Abdominal progressions from beginner through to intermediate progressions in a layered approach so that students can use self efficacy in movement to make decisions on when to progress or regress an exercise
  • PNF stretches, Standing roll up & roll down flow

Capabilities: Personal & Social

Self-Awareness and Management

  • They develop a realistic sense of their personal strengths and have a realistic assessment of their own achievements and a sense of self-knowledge and self-confidence.
  • Students develop skills to work independently and to show initiative, learning to be conscientious, delaying gratification and persevering in the face of setbacks and frustrations.

Social Awareness and Management

  • They learn to participate in positive, safe and respectful relationships, defining and accepting individual responsibilities.
  • This strand involves students interacting effectively and respectfully with a range of adults and peers.

Contact our team today to discuss your students' next Pilates program.

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