Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Pilates called his method Contrology because he believed that his method uses the mind to control the muscles. Pilates is a whole body conditioning fitness routine that when practiced regularly helps to build balanced movement, flexibility, strength, endurance, and coordination in the whole body.  Read More >>

Pilates 101

What are the benefits of Pilates?

Pilates is a conditioning system for the whole body and for all systems in the body.  Pilates can help improve your lung capacity by teaching proper breathing. This in turn can improve your circulatory system. Pilates builds strength, endurance, and flexibility in the muscular system, which helps to restore balance to the skeletal system.  Pilates can improve mental awareness of how you move your body and where your body is in space. Most importantly, Pilates practiced correctly will overflow from the studio into your daily life.  In essence, Pilates is a lifestyle centered on the desire and need to live a healthy life.

Is Pilates right for me?

Yes, Pilates is for everyone no matter how young or old you are. Whether you are an athlete or a frequent couch potato, Pilates is a safe and effective exercise regimen, which by design can be structured for all physical levels.

Is Pilates a workout?

Yes, Pilates is a whole body workout. Different from a gym routine where you work a single muscle at a time, Pilates focuses on the whole body. By isolating certain muscle groups, Pilates exercises strengthen areas of weakness and restore balance to the body. Pilates stimulates the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, known as “rest and relax.” Pilates minimizes focus on the sympathetic nervous system, known as “fight or flight,” which is stimulated in such common sports activities as running, weightlifting, kickboxing, and aerobics. More specifically, Pilates counteracts stress from both physical and mental aggressors by calming and strengthening both the mind and the body.

What is the difference between Pilates and weightlifting?

Pilates focuses on the stabilization of the spine, shoulder, and pelvic girdle first. Once this concept is understood, focus is shifted to balancing muscles on both sides of the body and stabilizing joints to allow free range of motion. Weightlifting isolates a specific muscle for each exercise as opposed to focusing on the body as a whole.

What if I have an injury?

Pilates is an excellent addition to a rehabilitation program. Many physical therapists are now certified Pilates trainers.  Some physical therapy programs will only focus on the injured area of the body. More often than not, when someone suffers an injury, other areas of the body will also be affected. This can result in a muscle imbalance, which eventually can lead to further pain and discomfort. Pilates works to rehabilitate the injury and strengthen the entire body as a whole.

Before beginning any new exercise program, you should consult your doctor.

How often should I do Pilates?

Ideally, we recommend that clients practice 2-3 times per week. However, if this is not an option for you, practicing once a week can be almost as beneficial. Trainers will provide clients with home exercises to do on their own in between sessions.

What should I wear to a Pilates session?

We recommend comfortable, form-fitting workout clothes, similar to gym or yoga attire.

Will Pilates trainers diagnose a medical condition or injury?

No, Pilates trainers will not diagnose a medical condition or injury.  Trainers will consult with your doctor or physical therapist to design a program that is safe and appropriate for you.

Photo by Regina E. Visconi

Photo by Regina E. Visconi

Photo by Regina E. Visconi

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