Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is Pilates?
Pilates is a system of over 500 controlled exercises that engage the mind and condition the total body. It is a balanced blend of strength and flexibility training that improves posture, reduces stress and creates long, lean muscles without bulking up. Pilates is functional, working several muscle groups simultaneously through smooth, continuous motion, with a particular concentration on strengthening and stabilizing the core (the abdomen, back and pelvic girdle region, sometimes referred to as the “powerhouse”).
The focus is on quality of movement rather than quantity, which makes one feel invigorated rather than exhausted after a session. Pilates takes a balanced approach so that no muscle group is overworked and the body works as an efficient, holistic system in sport and daily activity. Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat or on specialized equipment such as the Reformer, Cadillac, Ladder Barrel, Wunda Chair and other small apparatus, like the foam roller, magic circle, etc.
Can anyone do Pilates?
Pilates is beneficial for people of all ages, fitness levels and body conditions. The method is like a bridge between physical fitness and physical therapy, and can be adapted, modified and customized for individual needs. Some advanced moves and sequences will challenge the most elite athlete and yet others are manageable for even the frailest physique.
What should I wear to my sessions?
Pilates is performed either in socks with a grippy bottom or barefeet. Clients should wear comfortable but form fitting clothing that isn’t too baggy. This allows the instructor to see your alignment and better correct your form.
How long are classes?
All sessions and classes are 55 minutes in length.
How many in a group class?
Our group classes remain small with only 5 maximum per class. This ensures that the instructor can watch form and continue to give individual instruction.
If I am new to the studio, do I have to complete a first time introduction?
Yes, please call the studio or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your private assessment session for $49.00 This introduction session allows a new client to work one on one with an instructor and discuss their goals and needs. If a client has injuries or chronic pain it is important to understand modifications and the fundamental principles of the method before joining a class.
How often do I need to do Pilates to see results?
We recommend Pilates be practiced 2-3 times per week in order to see results.
When will I notice results?
A famous quote by Joseph Pilates states: “In 10 classes you will feel the difference, In 20 classes you will see the difference, and in 30 classes you will have a whole new body.” It is also important to maintain a proper diet and engage in other activities such as cardio.
What is the difference between matwork and equipment work?
Both matwork and equipment work follow the same fundamental principles. In matwork, your main resistance is the weight of your own body and supporting that weight while performing a wide variety of exercises. When working with equipment you will work against the weight of springs for resistance and stability. The equipment helps assist people to accomplish some of the exercises, therefore, many people will find that matwork is more challenging. The equipment is most beneficial with clients that might experience chronic back pain or have other physical limitations. If a client is physically capable of doing both matwork and equipment it is recommended that both systems are used for maximum results.
Do I need to sign up to attend group classes or can I drop in?
Clients or email to make an appointment for all private or semi-private sessions. For group classes a client can sign-up online (preferrably 24 hours before class time) due to limited space.
What are the benefits of Pilates?
With regular committed Pilates workouts you can expect to:
Improve strength, flexibility and balance
Tone and build long, lean muscles without bulk
Challenge deep abdominal muscles to support the core
Engage the mind and enhance body awareness
Condition efficient patterns of movement making the body less prone to injury
Reduce stress, relieve tension, boost energy through deep stretching
Restore postural alignment
Create a stronger, more flexible spine
Promote recovery from strain or injury
Increase joint range of motion
Heighten neuromuscular coordination
Offer relief from back pain and joint stress
Correct over-training of muscle groups which can lead to stress and injury
Enhance mobility, agility and stamina
Compliment sports training and develop functional fitness for daily life activity
Improve the way your body looks and feels
Can I do Pilates if I am pregnant?
There is a lot of debate on the subject of Pilates and pregnancy and exercise in general. Generally speaking, moderate exercise is safe throughout a normal, healthy pregnancy and many gentle Pilates exercises are appropriate. However, keep the following cautions in mind. As a rule of thumb, doctors recommend not starting a brand new exercise regimen in the first trimester.
Do not over-exert the abdominal muscles to avoid diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles).
Take care of you lower back, which can be strained with the weight of the fetus.
Be cautious with exercises that require you to lie on your back. The American Council of Obstetrics and Gynecology advises women in the second trimester of pregnancy against doing any exercises that require this position as it can compromise the vascular system of both the mother and fetus.
Do not over-stretch, as relaxing and progesterone levels increase during pregnancy causing the ligaments around the joints to become lax, loose and vulnerable.
Be aware that your center of gravity and therefore your sense of balance has changed.
That being said, many gentle stretching and strengthening Pilates exercises can be very beneficial for a woman’s body and mind during pregnancy. Some mat exercises can be adapted from a supine (back lying) to a sitting position, and use of a Spine Supporter / C-shaper can help. Other exercises for the mat, Reformer and Cadillac / Trapeze Table can be performed in a kneeling or standing position. The Wunda Chair can be a useful piece of Pilates apparatus during pregnancy as well, as many moves are performed in while sitting upright.