What is Pilates  

“In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference.In 20 you’ll see the difference, and in 30 you’ll have a new body” – Joseph H. Pilates

Pilates (pronounced puh-LAH-teez) is an extraordinary conditioning system which works out the entire body. This unique method of was created by Joseph Pilates more than 30 years ago.

Joseph Pilates, born in Germany in 1880, was a man of diverse interests and accomplishments, including gymnastics, diving, skiing and boxing. It’s interesting to note that a man who eventually came to help thousands of people retrain and reshape their bodies started out as a frail, weak child himself. His desire to strengthen his own body led him to create his program of body conditioning. Though Pilates had no formal training in medicine, during World War I, while working as a nurse, he came up with the idea of attaching springs to hospital beds to assist patients in becoming stronger before they were able to leave their beds. These exercises led him to create an apparatus he called the “Universal Reformer”, along with mat exercises which he would eventually bring to the United States in the late 20″s.

Pilates felt strongly about focusing on the body as a whole, not dividing it into separate parts. He believed that with fewer, more precise, more concentrated movements (Quality vs. Quantity), a series of specific exercises would elongate and balance the muscles and turn the abdominal muscles, lower back and hips into the body’s “power-house”. Because the focus is on doing the movements with correct posture, most workouts are supervised by a Pilates instructor. Close instruction also prevents unnecessary injuries due to sloppy execution.

Is Pilates different from other forms of exercises?

Yes, Pilates is different from other forms of exercise in several ways.

Firstly, Pilates is a low-impact exercise, which means that it is gentle on your joints and muscles. Unlike high-impact exercises such as running or jumping, Pilates exercises are designed to be done in a controlled and precise manner, with a focus on proper alignment and breathing.

Secondly, Pilates is a mind-body exercise, which means that it emphasizes the connection between your physical movements and your mental focus. During a Pilates workout, you are encouraged to focus on your breathing, your alignment, and the way your body feels as you move through each exercise.

Thirdly, Pilates is a full-body workout that targets your core muscles, including your abs, back, hips, and glutes. While other forms of exercise may focus on specific muscle groups, Pilates works to strengthen and tone your entire body, improving your posture and balance in the process.

Finally, Pilates is adaptable to a wide range of fitness levels and abilities. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced athlete, you can modify the exercises to suit your needs and challenge yourself at your own pace.

Is Pilates an exercise that can benefit everyone?

Pilates method offers a great deal to everyone. Young and old, athletes and couch potatoes, pregnant and postnatal moms — this system will help to bring each body into balance, decreasing injury and pain—a fact that more physicians, surgeons, physical therapists, and sports medicine clinics are realizing as more and more professionals are incorporating the Pilates method into their rehabilitation programs.

Is Pilates an exercise you can do every day?

Pilates is safe enough to do every day. Initially you may want to do the matwork 4xs/wk so you get the rhythm and become habitual. Joseph Pilates recommended 3 xs/wk.. Just be consistent.

Describe one of the pieces of equipment used in Pilates

There are several pieces of equipment used in Pilates (Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Hi & Low Barrel, Chair, etc… ). The Reformer, the most widely known and used piece of equipment, is an apparatus that has a sliding carriage within a rectangular, bed-like frame. Springs provide varying resistance to the carriage, depending upon how many are attached. Straps at the end accommodate the arms or legs.

What should a person look for in a Pilates Studio & instructor?

If you are looking for a Pilates studio and instructor, there are a few things to consider to ensure that you are getting quality instruction and a safe, effective workout. Here are some things to look for:

1. Instructor certification: Look for a Pilates instructor who is certified by a reputable organization, such as the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA). A certified instructor has undergone comprehensive training and has passed a rigorous exam to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise.

2. Studio atmosphere: The atmosphere of the Pilates studio should be welcoming, clean, and well-maintained. The equipment should be in good condition and the studio should be spacious enough to allow for safe and effective movement.

3. Instructor experience: It’s important to look for an instructor with experience working with a range of clients, including those with different fitness levels, health concerns, and body types. An experienced instructor will be able to tailor the workout to your needs and help you achieve your fitness goals.

4. Communication style: The instructor should communicate clearly and effectively, providing clear cues and corrections to help you get the most out of your workout. They should also be able to answer any questions you have and provide modifications or adjustments as needed.

5. Safety measures: The studio should have safety measures in place, such as proper equipment maintenance, sanitization protocols, and emergency procedures. The instructor should also be knowledgeable about safety and injury prevention, and should be able to modify exercises as needed to prevent injury.

Overall, it’s important to do your research and choose a Pilates studio and instructor that you feel comfortable with and trust to provide safe and effective instruction.

Pilates continue to grow in popularity?

A few years ago, there were only a few Pilates studios open or even known outside the elite worlds of professional athletics and dance. Today there are more than 400 studios and twice as many Pilates instructors in the United States alone. Athletes and Entertainment professionals have discovered the body-shaping rewards of Pilates adding it to their regular routine for several reasons. Pilates exercises focus on building core strength, which can improve posture, balance, and overall body strength, making it a great complement to other athletic activities. Additionally, Pilates can help improve flexibility and range of motion, which can reduce the risk of injury and improve overall athletic performance. The focus on mindfulness and proper breathing in Pilates can also help athletes reduce stress and improve mental focus, which can be beneficial both on and off the field. Overall, Pilates provides a well-rounded workout that can help athletes improve their physical and mental wellbeing, making it a valuable addition to any training regimen.

Incorporating this cutting-edge fitness technique into your exercise routine can be an excellent addition to a cardiovascular program like walking, cycling, or kickboxing