What are the benefits of
There are entire books written on the
benefits of Pilates, but to mention just a few:
obtaining long, lean muscles, correcting muscle imbalances, reducing or
eliminating pain, injury prevention, increased endurance, gained strength
and flexibility, creating a mind-body connection, improved posture and
balance, increased energy, ease of daily activities, greatly improves
performance in any sport or dance.
Pilates different from other forms of exercise?
Other forms of exercise such as weight
lifting focus on individual body parts. Pilates is unique in that it is a
safe exercise that works the entire body, training our body parts to work
together, systematically exercising all the muscle groups, the weak as
well as the strong. In addition, in many forms of exercise, we try to “get
through it” and will listen to ipods or even watch TV to get our mind
anywhere else than what we are doing! In Pilates, there is complete focus
on what are bodies are doing and the exercises must be done with control
will it take for me to see or feel any results?
After just one class! By becoming
aware of your posture, stander taller on your feet, pulling in your
abdominals and dropping your shoulders, immediately you will look and feel
better. To obtain this without thinking about it, gain muscle tone,
correct muscle imbalance and possibly reduce or eliminate pain will take
three to six months of regular practice.
Will I lose weight?
Although Pilates will burn some
calories and will tone your muscles, it will not burn enough calories to
shed excess pounds. A cardio program 3-4 times a week, such as walking,
jogging, swimming or dancing and a suitable nutritional program is needed
to lose weight and maintain a healthy heart.
I am a physically fit person, why should I begin with the modified
It is extremely important to begin
Pilates with the modified versions. You will obtain much faster results in
the long run by going slowly in the beginning. Although you may look
physically fit, lift weights, run 5 miles a day and do 1,000 sit ups
daily, you are probably only working your larger mobilizing muscles (arms,
legs, outer abdominals). Pilates works from the inside out and begins by
strengthening and lengthening our smaller, deeper muscles (stabilizing
muscles) that we commonly do not exercise. These muscles have more
endurance, help with posture, balance, and injury prevention. It is by
strengthening these muscles first in Pilates that trains our bodies to
correctly assist the mobilizing muscles.
photo of modifications to the
all the emphasis on breathing and why does it matter how
Correct, controlled breathing in
Pilates is one of the main Principles in Pilates. It oxygenates our
cells, giving us energy and helps us to focus and concentrate. In
addition, to strengthen the abdominals, they must be contracted. This
means abdominal breathing is not possible to maintain correct muscle
recruitment. Instead we use thoracic
lateral breathing, breathing into the lower back sides of our ribs.
working on Pilates machines better than the mat exercises?
Because mat work is the foundation of
the Pilates system, professional instructors will stress the need
to master the mat before moving on to any Pilates machine. On the
mat, you must use your own body to support your weight through the
movements. This is more difficult than using the pilates reformer
because on the reformer your weight is mostly carried by the spring
supported carriage and resistance straps for the arms and legs. If
you can master the mat exercises prior to using the machines, you will
have gained exceptional physical and mental skill of the pilates
principles that will be of great benefit to using the machines.
is the Reformer?
The reformer's basic components include a frame, headrest, foot bar and a
sliding platform with attached springs that glides back and forth on
rollers. An assortment of adjustable accessories--springs, cables, bars
and pulleys--is used to create resistance and allow the body to perform a
number of exercises while standing, sitting or lying down. Leather straps,
or ropes, facilitate correct positioning of arms and legs, and an
adjustable headrest helps to insure stability and proper breathing
patterns. The standard studio reformer is elevated on four legs.
conducted by Michele Olson, PhD, confirmed that regular use of the Pilates
reformer results in "significant improvements" in flexibility, strength
and muscular endurance.
The basic purpose of all Pilates
workouts is to develop the body's core strength--the powerhouse--through
focus on the breath and mindful movements of the body.
Once the basics of proper breathing and focused movement are mastered, the
reformer helps to increase core strength and improve flexibility, while
encouraging the smooth flow of movement that is necessary to maintain
correct form and alignment of the body.
What can I
benefit from a private Pilates session?
In a private class, you have the
teacher’s complete attention. Not only will you learn correct technique
but individual posture needs, muscle imbalances and injuries can be
addressed. You will receive a posture assessment after the first visit
and future private classes will be tailored just for you.
What is the
difference between Pilates and Yoga?
While there is a mind-body connection
in both Pilates and Yoga, they are actually much different and there are
great benefits in both. In Yoga, emphasis is placed more on meditation and
relaxation techniques and believed to help the functions of the internal
organs. The stretches are held for a period of time at the end range of
joint motion and muscle strength. Pilates is a continuous flow of precise
movements that begin at a small range of motion and progresses to the end
Is Pilates only about
having a flatter abs?
Not at all, although that is one of
the many benefits. The focus of Pilates is indeed our “core” or
“powerhouse” (the entire area, front & back, between the lower ribs and
pubic bone), but the entire body is working in all the exercises. You
will have an entirely new body with regular practice.
How does Pilates
help with sports?
By gaining strength, flexibility,
balance, abdominal control, correcting muscle imbalances, improving
posture, increasing endurance, rehabilitating existing injuries and
preventing future ones, improving focus and awareness with the mind-body
connection, improving coordination.
Was Pilates designed for
Although Joseph Pilates began his
teaching methods during World War I to help rehabilitate injured soldiers,
he was an immediate success among the dancing community when he opened his
New York studio. Dancers quickly discovered the countless benefits of his
teachings and the perfect partnership of dance and Pilates. The Pilates
Principles …Breath, Flow, Precision, Control, Concentration & Centering
are essential to dancers. Compared to other forms of strength training,
Pilates is the exercise choice among dancers because it improves and
restores dancer’s muscles and movements adding strength and agility
What do I wear to a pilates class and should I bring anything with me?
Form fitting clothes is recommended
over too loose clothing so your instructor can better see that you are
using proper form to avoid injury and to also to avoid unwanted exposure in various positions.
For good hygiene, some type of foot covering such as socks or flip flops
is recommended for use inside the studio but bare feet or Toesox® are
recommended for the exercises. Toesox® are special socks used in
pilates which separate the toes and have grip on the bottom (ask for
You may bring your own pilates/yoga
mat or you may use one of ours. We have thicker mats available that
are cleaned after each use.
Stay hydrated...drink water
before, during and after exercising. Please, no open containers on
floor. Bottled water is available free to our clients or you may
bring your own.
What if I have a
medical issue or injury?
No exercise program should be
started without prior approval from your doctor. Please inform
your instructor of any issues or injuries that you may have. We will
help guide you and may have you modify or abstain from certain movements,
however, we are not physicians and all exercises are at your own risk.
Although there may some normal discomfort while strengthening and
stretching muscles, there should absolutely be no sudden or severe pain.
Stop the exercise immediately and inform your instructor if you feel any
pain. Please use your own best judgment while performing the