Sydney Symphony Orchestra's musicians turn to pilates to help prevent and recover from injury

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has recently added pilates to yoga and Alexander technique classes to ensure that its musicians are in the best of health to perform what are very demanding schedules.

"Orchestral musicians really are elite athletes,the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's managing director, Rory Jeffes, told the Sydney Morning Herald. "They may not be using major muscle groups, like legs for jumping, but the use of so many muscles, such as the micro movements of fingers, is absolutely critical to being able to perform at the top level."

French horn player, Rachel Silver, has been practising pilates for five years and believes her body strength, posture awareness and breathing techniques have helped resist injuries. "The instruments we play are not necessarily ergonomic. They're not made for the body, and you’re static and moving at the same time. Playing them for many hours a day, week in, week out, you get a lot of aches and pains that need to be watched."

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The best way to get started with pilates is to join a class and learn the basics from a qualified pilates teacher. There are a number of men only pilates classes around the UK, but most pilates classes are open to anyone anyway, with men welcome to join.

Pilates classes are held up and down the country, either in studios equipped with specialist exercise equipment or in village halls and sports centres where mat work often takes precedence. Our Pilates Studio And Class Directory will point you in the right direction. Remember, we accept entries ONLY from fully qualified teachers.

There are also DVDs and books available specifically for men to practice pilates at home. The Pilates Shop stocks hundreds of pilates titles as well as equipment such as mats and pilates bands.