1. What is Pilates?
Pilates is a form of exercise, developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s, which emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility, and awareness in order to support efficient, graceful movement.
2. Is Pilates like yoga?
Joseph Pilates was influenced by many forms of exercise including yoga. While a number of Pilates exercises look similar to Yoga poses, they are very different. Yoga is over 5000 years old and is rooted in Hindu religious traditions. The Pilates method is less than 100 years old. It consists of a series of exercises, done in a particular sequence, to develop all the muscles of the body uniformly. Yoga consists of a series of poses that are done in a variable sequence to create a state of peace and relaxation.
3. Will Pilates make me more flexible?
Yes. Pilates both strengthens and stretches all the muscles in the body, improving flexibility.
4. How often should I do Pilates?
This depends on what you want to achieve. If you want to see, feel and notice results quickly, I suggest you practice Pilates at leastthree times per week. If you want to use Pilates as a cross-training exercise, 1-2 times a week is perfect. However, I have clients that see me once a week and they’re noticing remarkable results because they’re diligent with their “homework” exercises.
5. There seem to be a number of different classes available. Which ones should I take?
If you are new to Pilates, taking a few private lessons will allow me to assess your needs and then recommend a program to address them.
6. Can I do Pilates at my age?
Pilates in some form can be done by almost anyone regardless of age or state of health. Joseph Pilates lived to age 86 and was teaching and practicing his method up until he died. Several of his original students are in their 90s and still practice and teach. As a “boomer” myself, I am experienced in working with older adults, and I know first hand what it feels like to start a new exercise method later in life!
7. I’ve noticed mainly women practice Pilates, can men do it too?
Pilates has developed a reputation over the past decade or so for being a “female friendly” exercise method, however, it is equally beneficial for men! After all, Joseph Pilates was a man and he invented it. Many of my male clients have found that Pilates has helped them with sports like golf, physical stamina, flexibility, strength and abdominal tone.
8. Does Pilates provide cardiovascular benefits?
Practicing Pilates at an advanced level can provide some cardiovascular benefit. I recommend that beginners and intermediate level students supplement their Pilates classes with other cardiovascular activities such as walking, bike-riding, running or swimming.
9. How long before I see, feel and notice results?
Joseph Pilates said “After 10 sessions you will feel different, after 20 sessions you will look different and after 30 sessions you will have a new body.” In my practice, I have found this to be pretty accurate. Of course, you will notice results more quickly if you’re doing Pilates 2-3 times a week.
10. Will Pilates eliminate my back pain?
Pilates cannot cure serious back problems such as a slipped or herniated disk, spinal stenosis or scoliosis. Pilates can however help relieve back pain by strengthening the muscles of the core to better support the spine.
11. Can I do Pilates if I have a medical condition?
With accommodations, Pilates can be done safely by people with most medical conditions. Always consult with your health care provider before starting any exercise program and work with a qualified instructor who is familiar with restrictions for your specific condition. I am knowledgeable and can modify exercises and movements for many physical conditions including knee and hip replacement, Parkinson’s, osteopenia/osteoporosis, and herniated disk.
12. I’ve just been diagnosed with low bone density, can Pilates help?
Yes. In addition to classical Pilates, I have been trained in Bone Safe™ Pilates. This is a program of Pilates and Pilates based exercises that promote correct postural alignment, develop the core muscles and increase bone strength while avoiding movement that could injure the hips or spine.
13. I’m not able to get down onto the floor easily, is Pilates suitable for me?
Yes. Most well equipped studios have some equipment with raised platforms that are more accessible. As balance and flexibility improve, getting down onto a mat on the floor will become less challenging. Also, most Pilates exercises are performed either lying down or seated. So once on the mat, getting down and up from the floor is minimized.