Q. What are the benefits of Pilates?
A. Some of the benefits of Pilates are:
- longer, leaner muscles (less bulk, more freedom of movement)
- improves postural problems
- increases core strength, stability and peripheral mobility
- helps prevent injury
- enhances functional fitness, ease of movement
- balances strength & flexibility
- heightens body awareness
- no-impact, easy on the joints
- can be customized to suit everyone from rehab patients to elite athletes
- complements other methods of exercise
- improves performance in sports (golf, skiing, skating etc.)
- improves balance, coordination & circulation
Q. What are the principles behind the Pilates Method?
A. Pilates exercise improves core strength and balances the muscles around the joints, improving the way your body functions, looks and feels. The Five Basic Principles focus on:
- Pelvic placement
- Rib cage placement
- Scapular movement
- Head & cervical spine placement
Q. Is Pilates like Yoga?
A. In some respects Pilates is like Yoga. Both are considered mind-body type methods of movement; both emphasize deep breathing and smooth, long movements that encourage the mind-body connection.
The difference is that while Yoga requires moving from one static posture to the next, Pilates flows through a series of movements that are more dynamic, systematic and anatomically-based incorporating resistance equipment.
The goal with Pilates exercise is to strengthen the postural muscles while achieving optimal functional fitness.
Q. Will I grow tall by doing Pilates?
A. Much of Pilates exercise requires you to look within, focus on your breathing, and feel the subtle differences within your body. Many people come to a very meditative state while doing Pilates, and therefore will grow mentally and spiritually over time through this type of exercise.
By strengthening the postural muscles people have learned to maintain good posture thereby appearing taller.
Q. What kind of results can I expect from doing Pilates?
A. You can expect an increase in strength, flexibility, mobility, balance, and body awareness, as well as a decrease in back pain or other general pains.
Q. How long will I have to do the workout before I see results?
A. The average active person doing 2-3 classes per week should see some results within 10-12 classes.
This will vary depending on each individual and factors such as the number of classes a person takes each week, whether they are private or group classes, whether they participate in other physical activities, and whether they have any existing injuries.
It is also important to work with a well-trained Certified Instructor.
Q. I have a bad back. Will I be able to do Pilates?
A. Although you should always consult your physician before starting any fitness routine, a Pilates workout is gentle and controlled with no sudden jarring actions. It is therefore more important that you work with a qualified instructor to ensure that you are doing the movements correctly.
An experienced instructor will be able to modify the exercises to accommodate your limitations, continually challenge you within your range and monitor your improvements. If you commit yourself to a consistent workout schedule you will certainly feel the results.
Q. Will I get the same results with a mat workout as with a Reformer or equipment workout?
A. Mat-based workouts are very convenient and can be done anywhere. Adding light equipment and the larger resistance equipment will place more emphasis on your outer limbs and add variety and intensity to your program.
Q. If I’m doing Pilates, should I still do my regular workout?
A. Pilates exercise is a musculo-skeletal conditioning program. It’s ideal in combination with some kind of cardiovascular exercise (walking, running, aerobics, aqua fitness etc.), and a great complement to your weight training program.
Q. How can Pilates be different than weight training or other resistance exercise?
- Pilates is three-dimensional (i.e. exercises can be performed using all movement planes)
- spring resistance more closely resembles muscular contraction
- emphasis on concentric/eccentric contraction for injury prevention
- Pilates is customisable for special needs
- In Pilates emphasis is placed on re-balancing muscles around the joints
- Pilates corrects over-training and muscle imbalance that leads to injury
- Pilates emphasizes balancing strength with flexibility (for injury prevention and more efficient movement)
- Pilates leads to an improvement in posture and body awareness
- Weight training and Pilates can be combined in your fitness program and are a great compliment to each other.
Q. Will Pilates help me lose weight?
A. Pilates has many advantages in enhancing flexibility, strength, coordination. However doing Pilates alone will not aid in rapid weight loss.
Weight loss depends on a combination of many factors with diet and cardio exercises being important factors. Pilates in combination with cardio exercises and diet will provide better longer lasting results. Think of Pilates as a way to add definition and shape to your body. You may not see the scale move but you may notice a difference in your shape and your posture.