All you need to know about starting Pilates
What does Pilates do for me?
Imagine an exercise program that you look forward to, that engages you, and that leaves you refreshed and alert with a feeling of physical and mental well-being. The Pilates Method of body conditioning will do all this and more.
The transformation in the way your body looks, feels and performs will be dramatic. Pilates builds strength while reducing bulk.
By improving flexibility and agility, Pilates creates body awareness, good posture and relaxed, graceful motion. The typical gym environment can be stressful. Pilates provides an overall conditioning of the mind and the body by promoting harmony between the mental and physical aspects of health and fitness.
Goal specific and time efficient, sports men and women, ballet dancers and gymnasts use Pilates as an adjunct to their normal training to improve performance and correct muscle “imbalances”. This provides better joint support and improves muscle efficiency.
If you are interested in a healthy life change, Pilates is for you!
Become stronger and leaner
Perform everyday activities like walking, lifting, climbing stairs with more grace and ease.
Improve balance, coordination and concentration
Improve posture and reduce or alleviate pain associated with poor posture
Improve performance and body-awareness and reduce the risk of injury when participating in recreational sports
Protect the health of your spine and skeleton with gentle weight bearing movements that don’t create bulk (great for those suffering from various conditions)
Rehabilitate spinal and soft tissue injuries from the centre out
So how does Pilates work?
Joseph Pilates was a genius well ahead of his time who not only developed a totally unique approach to fitness that includes well over 500 exercises but he also designed a host of specialty apparatus to assist in teaching these exercises to many different body types. His unique system of resistance training uses springs and your own body weight to lengthen while you strengthen from your core outwards into the entire body – it’s a brilliant alternative to bulky weights that produce short bulky muscles. Through a series of rigorous and controlled exercises on the various apparatus and mat, you will lengthen, strengthen and realign the body with precise efficiency of movement.
I have an injury, can I do Pilates?
Following an injury or surgery, most people stop moving and this can lead to the entire body being compromised. This, in turn, could slow down or hinder your recovery and rehabilitation. Classical Pilates focuses on the healthy body while, at the same time, keeping the injury safe. When taught by a Pilates instructor who has knowledge of injuries as well as a system to work your body without causing extra strain to the injury, and also has Pilates apparatus specifically designed to support the weak and injured body, you will gain and maintain your strength. Sometimes when rehabilitating from a specific problem or area, you may only work on that area and this could cause further imbalance within the body. Pilates treats the cause, not just the symptoms.
There are literally hundreds of exercises and modifications for different injuries and conditions. When a student has an injury, we request that you make an appointment for a Private Session to learn how to modify exercises appropriately for your injury before you join a Duo studio session or Group MAT or Reformer class. You may be better to continue with private or duo studio sessions to receive absolute, personal attention and prescribed exercises for your own specific needs.
I’ve done Pilates elsewhere, I am athletic and strong, do I need to do a foundation level class first?
We advise to take part in one of our Pilates 101 or Beginners Mat work classes as these will be the foundation of your Pilates practice and we want to make sure it’s strong. We highly recommend a private initial consultation to determine the best class for you. Otherwise our Pilates Mat classes have different focus and intensity depending on your individual needs and condition. As there are many different styles of Pilates classes, we prefer to guide you through the correct way to perform your exercises so you’ll get the greatest benefit from every workout before moving into a more flowing and vigorous class that may be different to what you practised previously.
What should I expect in a class or studio session?
Pilates is taught through verbal instruction and with hands-on cueing. You listen for your instructor’s cues and explanations for each exercise while in a class or a studio session. If you do not understand, always ask for repeat instructions. If you ever experience pain during an exercise, stop immediately and tell your instructor. As you listen to cues, your instructor may explain alternatives in your alignment and how to execute the exercises safely and efficiently. Depending on the workout your instructor has planned, you may be instructed to properly set up different pieces of equipment.
Your class or session will be challenging but tailored for you. You will begin to learn how to incorporate Pilates exercise concepts like breath and core control while also learning the correct method for each movement, and how to use your equipment correctly.
At the end of your session, you are asked to clean off your mat and apparatus and put away any props and equipment you used. We ask your help to keep a clean and organised space with everything ready for the next student and instructor.