As part of our continued commitment to our clients, we have compiled a list of answers to most frequently asked Pilates questions. Ranging from "What are the benefits of Pilates?” to “Can I do Pilates during pregnancy?” to “What is the difference between weight training and Pilates?”. However, if you don’t find a question that matches yours, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com and we will get right back to you.
Visit our Pilates A-Z glossary page for definitions of commonly used Pilates words or terms
Pioneered by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, the Pilates Method has been used for years by professional Athletes and celebrities, such as Tiger Woods, Madonna, Kobe Bryant, Angelina Jolie, Miley Cyrus to stay in peak physical condition. (See what they have to say about Pilates.)
Designed to build the perfect blend of Core Stability, strength, muscular endurance and flexibility, Pilates is a comprehensive fitness system. Made up of over 500 multipurpose exercises that combine controlled stretching with dynamic movement against resistance, each move is either performed on a padded floor Mat or with specialized spring assisted equipment, such as a Cadillac or Reformer machine.
Distinguishing itself from other exercise programs, the guiding principles of Pilates (Centering, Concentration, Control, Precision, Breath, Flow) aim to cultivate a whole Mind-Body connection that focuses on the ‘quality, not quantity’ of each movement; As a result, it is considered one of the safest and most effective methods of exercise and muscle conditioning.
- Strengthen, tighten and tone the entire body
- Create leaner, longer muscles
- Increase flexibility, mobility and agility
- Boost energy levels and develop greater stamina
- Enhance co-ordination and balance
- Establish better posture and body awareness
- Reduce joint and lower Back Pain
- Improve respiratory, lymphatic and circulatory systems
- Heighten mental clarity and awareness
- Safely rehab injuries
So,whether you’re rehabbing an existing injury, looking to start a new exercise regime or take your workout to the next level, Pilates is ideal for you.
Due to the versatility and adaptability of the Pilates method, workouts can be easily modified to suit virtually everyone from teenagers, to seniors, no matter what their lifestyles, body type or fitness levels.
Complimenting each other in terms of purpose (both work against/with resistance), Mat and Reformer Pilates exercises offer different, but equally effective benefits. The mat uses only your body weight to create resistance, which is ideal for developing Core Strength and stability, whereas the Reformer creates resistance through a system of springs and pulleys, which is advantageous when targeting muscles that would otherwise be difficult to isolate.
Here at Winston Pilates, we combine Mat and equipment based Pilates exercises based upon each individual clients’ needs.
In reality, there should not be a pilates or Yoga debate. While each one is different from the other, it is in those differences that we also find many of the similarities. It’s simply a matter of personal choice as to what you think works best for you! Here are a few key differences:
- While both are seen as whole Mind-Body conditioning systems, Pilates is practiced largely as an exercise regime to sculpt, strengthen and balance your body, whereas yoga is often seen more as a spiritual practice that uses movement to achieve harmony between the mind, body and spirit.
- Yoga emphasizes channeling chi energy through your body via different poses in order to create a strong, flexible and balanced body. Pilates focuses on fluid movements that stabilize your Core while developing stronger, leaner muscles that realign the body.
- Most yoga styles are performed on a yoga mat using limited props, such as blocks, straps and blankets, whereas Pilates moves integrate specialized equipment, which allows you to target muscles that would otherwise be difficult to isolate safely.
- Both help relieve stress and improve posture.
- Both Pilates and Yoga focus on coordinating movement with breathing, however in Pilates you inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth, whereas during yoga you exhale and inhale through the nose, arguably going to a deeper level.
- Both emphasize concentration, focus and precision.
- Yoga often involves holding static poses before moving to the next, whereas Pilates routines are a series of fluid movements.
- Yoga is more about relaxation and spirituality, whereas Pilates is fundamentally about fitness and health.
The perfect way to begin Pilates is to participate in a series of 1-on-1 private classes (see our Newcomer Introductory Special). This enables you to build a strong understanding of the core principles of Pilates exercise and allows us to custom design your Pilates workouts based upon your current fitness levels, postural assessment, injury history and personal goals.
In order to see and feel the results of Pilates workouts, we encourage clients to take classes regularly (at least 2 or 3 times a week). However, we know people lead busy lives so it is better to regularly do 1 session a week, than to do nothing at all!
Pilates workouts is a great addition to a weight loss program. Think inches not pounds! While it is not a cardiovascular workout, Pilates burns calories as it strengthens, sculpts and tones the body, giving you a longer, leaner look - which makes you feel and look great!
Generally, yes. With its emphasis on core strength and focused breathing, both of which are crucial during the delivery process, Pilates in pregnancy can be a great form of exercise both during and after. As sessions will need to be modified to incorporate appropriate Pilates pregnancy exercise variations, private classes are highly recommended. Hillary Duff, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Selma Blair all did Pilates while pregnant.
PLEASE NOTE: For all pregnant women, we strongly recommend taking private sessions that incorporate appropriate modified exercises and consulting with your doctor first.
Generally, yes. With its focus on building core strength, increasing flexibility and improving posture, Pilates training is a very safe, low to no impact system of exercise that can help improve 2 of the most common sources of back pain - muscular imbalances and poor posture.
PLEASE NOTE: For all clients with injury-related issues, we strongly recommend taking private sessions that incorporate appropriate modified exercises and consulting with your doctor first.
The answer is yes! The perfect addition to any athlete’s fitness regime, the total mind-body conditioning principles of Pilates not only help reduce injury, but improve performance by increasing stamina, body awareness, focus, strength, precision, flexibility and co-ordination. Just ask Kobe Bryant, David Beckham, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, LeBron James, the Green Bay Packers, Dara Torres and Annika Sorenstam! (See what they have to say about Pilates.)
Suitable for virtually all ages, lifestyles, body types and fitness levels, the great thing about Pilates is its versatility. We recommend starting with private classes to allow your instructor to assess your individual needs. (See our Newcomer Introductory Special).
We advise you wear comfortable, yet form-fitting exercise clothes. This helps your instructor to visually see that you are performing the exercises with the correct form and proper alignment.
Joseph Pilates said, "In 10 sessions you'll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you'll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you'll have a different body."
While individual results obviously depend on the frequency of workouts and your target goals, this statement is a fairly accurate measure of what you can expect. After 10 sessions, you’re likely to feel more flexible, after 20 you’ll see measurable changes in muscle tone and after 30, you’ll feel stronger, leaner and have increased stamina.
Yes, Pilates is one of the best workouts for men, With its focus on strengthening and lengthening all muscle groups, the benefits of Pilates training for men has long made it the regime of choice for professional male athletes. … Just ask Kobe Bryant, David Beckham, Tiger Woods, LeBron James and The Green Bay Packers to name but a few! See below link.
- Conventional weight training traditionally activates muscles by high repetitions of a single, simple action, whereas Pilates exercises generally involves co-coordinated, multi-directional movements that require the muscle to move on more than one plane- as such less repetitions are needed to achieve great results.
- Weight training generally works one muscle group in isolation, whilst the rest of your body is in a ‘passive’ or ‘fixed’ state. In contrast, Pilates workouts are a systematic flow of complete movements that require four or five different muscle groups to work within one exercise. As a result, one muscle never becomes over-developed.
- With Pilates, Core Stability is challenged with every exercise, whereas weight training tends to rely on a straight or extended spine.
- Pilates utilizes your own body weight and specialized spring-loaded equipment as resistance, rather than weights, improving muscle strength without the bulk.
- Teaching the body how to move as a ‘whole’, Pilates is a total Mind-Body training method that facilitates improved flexibility, co-ordination, posture, endurance, core stability and muscular re-alignment, whereas the primary focus of weight training is strength building.
No, this is a myth! The workout choice for Professional Athletes, Pilates is a total Mind-Body conditioning system. Although a lot of emphasis is placed on the core (because without stability and control of those muscles, your limbs do not function efficiently) Pilates exercises also extensively work the upper and lower extremities, providing you with a complete workout.