By Jamie Greer
To help others become healthier and happier, Jen Pickering founded LV Pilates
After recovering from a serious car accident, a woman runs a thriving fitness group.
LV Pilates is run by Jen Pickering, a 38-year-old from Liverpool city centre, and the studio offers Pilates classes, which are aimed at strengthening muscles and improving flexibility.
As you move through different exercises, LV Pilates uses a reformer machine instead of a mat to create resistance. During her rehabilitation at The Walton Centre for her injuries following a serious car accident, Jen discovered Pilates.
It was originally a spine injury that caused a hip injury. I used to run, I was one of those people who would do HIIT classes or kettlebells, high intensity exercise.
After my accident, I was unable to walk well. I had considerable nerve damage to my left leg in particular. The Walton Centre recommended Pilates to me.”
Initially very sceptical, Jen thought it was more suitable for older women. However, four months into her rehabilitation, she had a “light bulb” moment.
As Jen explained: “I thought, ‘oh my gosh, this is really helping my recovery’. It changed my perception of exercise. It doesn’t always have to be hard or fast. You can still benefit from a variety of exercises.”
By 2017, she was teaching Pilates classes as a qualified personal trainer. She quit her job as a support worker and set out on a mission to help others through Pilates.
As she moved from a studio in Formby to the city centre in between lockdowns, she wondered if she had made the right decision.
Bringing my family to the city was the biggest challenge. The bills are higher, the insurance is higher, and the tax is higher. I had so many moments of wondering, “What in the hell am I doing?””
It turned out that only a few clients from her Formby studio came with her to town. Jen said that there was “certainly nowhere near enough to pay the bills.”.
As a result, the business has flourished since then. People from all walks of life attend the classes, including many men and young people who are often not seen as pilates’ target audience.
She believes that she can use her experiences to help her clients become happier and healthier, particularly those who are in similar situations to her own. She sees women from at least 30 different nationalities alone at her studio every week.
“It definitely hits hard when people come to us with serious health issues because I can relate to them. I care a lot about clients for that reason.” said Jen.
“I wish I had a video of my first six months of pilates versus now. I had to use a walking stick at times because it was so bad. I couldn’t even go from standing to lying down.” she said.
Her life has been completely changed by Pilates, and she wants to help others in similar situations. “I no longer have any of these issues. I was saved from a major spinal injury as well.” she said.
Jen also encourages her clients to exercise for enjoyment. She said, “Find something you enjoy. I didn’t enjoy running at the time.”
“Some people try reformers and then say, “I prefer yoga’s relaxation.”.”
Liverpool’s LV Pilates is located at 12 Cheapside.
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