Muscling in on a taboo topic for women

MASSIVE demand for an exercise class designed to tighten up women’s pelvic floor muscles has been developed by a professional dancer turned Pilates instructor.

Janet Whitwood, owner Sunderland Pilates Studio is used to helping people suffering with back, neck, hip and knee pain but will soon be offering her expert knowledge to assist female clients with a common complaint that’s still taboo.

By researching techniques to strengthen women’s pelvic floor muscles she has created a workshop for clients who have suffered prolapses, stress incontinence or other issues after having a baby.

“People should not be wetting themselves when they laugh, cough or jump up and down but women put up with it and they don’t have to,” she said.
EXPERT: Janet Whitwood has more than 20 years experience in the health and fitness industry.

EXPERT: Janet Whitwood has more than 20 years experience in the health and fitness industry.

“If you are not using a muscle in your body it doesn’t function properly but by engaging the pelvic floor muscle through several different exercise positions you can work it without even realising.” With over 20 years experience in the fitness industry, Janet’s Pilates classes attract a wide range of clients from athletes to pensioners and everyone in between seeking its stress-relieving

As a full body workout Pilates improves posture, rehabilitates and prevents injuries along with strengthening muscle tone, balance and joint mobility.
On the bright and beautiful top floor of a historic building near the city’s Park Lane Interchange, more than 25 classes of no more than 10 students and private one-to-one sessions are taught each
To make sure people get the most of the tuition, induction sessions are held which run through a health screening, posture check and teach the Pilates principles.

All levels of fitness and experience are catered for with beginners to advanced Pilates, specialised back care, pre natal, men only, Yoga, Mindfulness and Booty Barre – ballet positions to pop music taught by Janet and her expert team of instructors.

She said she is proud that medics and health professionals come to her classes and clients are often referred from local physiotherapists.

“I always wanted to be a dancer, I loved ballet and contemporary when I was growing up and I successfully auditioned for a touring company when I was 18,” she said. I was lucky enough to spend the
next five years performing around the Far East which was an amazing experience.

WELLBEING: Janet Whitwood at Sunderland Pilates Studio.

WELLBEING: Janet Whitwood at Sunderland Pilates Studio.

“Health and fitness have always been a very important part of my life, at 16 I taught my first aerobics class when the fitness craze was just taking off.

“When I returned to the North-East I was in demand by gyms asking me to instruct classes and I found Pilates about 10 years ago.”

Janet, 46, from Washington, is also passionate about wellbeing and following a successful mind, body and soul workshop earlier this year, she’s keen to host them at spas across the North-East.

And she is planning to expand her website content to include exercise videos so that clients can work on particular parts of their bodies in their own homes.

She’s no stranger to the small screen, as a dancer she appeared in 1990s tv drama Spender starring Jimmy Nail set in Newcastle as well as in a pop video with Duran Duran guitarist, Andy Taylor.

She added: “Everyone leads such hectic lives and we are living longer so its vital that we step back and, as well as nurturing ourselves, learn how to take care of our bodies. Pilates has amazing benefits and seeing the results is incredibly rewarding.”

Sunderland Pilates Studio, 6 Grange Terrace, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear SR2 7DF

Call  Janet Whitwood on 07958-262768