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Pilates for beginners in Didcot and Abingdon

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

If you’re looking for Pilates around Didcot or Abingdon, we’ve got you covered!

Whether you’re a beginner, advanced, are returning to exercise after a break or want to try something new to relieve soreness, Gemma Pearce Fitness Pilates and Gentle Pilates are just what you need.

Where are the classes?

You'll find our Pilates classes in Abingdon and around Didcot in Steventon and Chilton, plus online classes available to do live or on demand.

What is Pilates?

Pilates was ‘invented’ over 100 years ago by Joseph Pilates and it is now taught all around the world in specialist studios with equipment or in open studios with mats. We strengthen the abs, the back, the hips and the shoulders with the exercises progressing as you get stronger week by week.

At Gemma Pearce Fitness, we do standing and mat-based Pilates, some of which are the same exercises that Joseph taught, others have been given a modern twist. Most people feel the benefits of Pilates over a few weeks of thoughtful, precise movement, it’s not about working super-hard but thinking about every movement.

How can Pilates help me?

Pilates is great for all-round strength and flexibility and it’s especially good if you have back or joint pain, arthritis, are recovering from an injury and for older people who want to strengthen their muscles and improve their balance.

Pilates is gentle so it doesn’t put too much stress on your joints. It improves circulation to deliver nutrients to the muscles and tendons, and improves posture which can help to relieve soreness. The breathing techniques that we use in Pilates really help to relieve stress and tension.

Is Pilates OK for older people?

Age is absolutely no barrier to Pilates! With some tweaks, Pilates is fully inclusive. At our Gentle Pilates classes, we have participants from their 60s to their 80s, with some younger people who are nursing injuries. Although all our Pilates classes cater for different abilities, we tailor our Gentle Pilates classes for the older body.

We do traditional and modified Pilates moves, both standing and on a mat plus balance drills using a chair for support. For those worried about getting down to the floor (and getting up again!), we use a chair for that too if necessary. We also do basic resistance training and mobility to help everyone stay active and as pain free as possible.

Do you offer Pregnancy Pilates or Post Natal Pilates around Didcot or Abingdon?

We are not currently running specific Pregancy Pilates or Post Natal Pilates around Didcot or Abingdon at the moment, however one of our mixed ability classes on Thursday evenings in Chilton is pre-natal and post-natal friendly. Contact us for details.

What should I bring to Pilates?

The only thing you need for a Pilates class is a mat (or a carpet if you’re exercising at home).

I prefer a chunky mat (8mm or thicker) and they are readily available. Yoga mats can be bit thin for Pilates where softer padding is needed especially when lying on your tummy. Try this one.

Who comes to Pilates?

All Gemma Pearce Fitness Pilates classes are open for all abilities and ages with Gentle Pilates classes specifically designed for those 60+ or those returning to exercise after injury or illness. We always give adaptations and suitable exercises for everyone and you’ll be simply encouraged to work hard and do YOUR best whatever that may be. As long as it’s ok with your GP / physio / osteopath / chiropractor, then you’re very welcome to join us, but if you're not sure please just get in touch.

Our classes are sociable, supportive, fun and friendly! Many of our participants have been coming to Pilates for years, others come and go to fit with their lifestyle. Whether you have a persistent ache, are recovering from an injury or just want to maintain a strong core to stay healthy and flexible, Pilates is the exercise for you.


Find out more about our online exercise classes and face to face fitness classes in Didcot & Abingdon at

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Interested in our Retired & Fitter classes for over 65s? Find out more here - and find us on instagram here:

By participating in this exercise or exercise programme, you are declaring yourself to be physically sound and suffering from no impairment, disease or infirmity or other illness that would prevent your participation in live streamed fitness classes or activities. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you are unsure about your suitability for this exercise, please refer to your GP. You hereby assume all responsibility for your participation and activities.

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