Pilates FAQ

“Neither the mind nor body is supreme – one cannot be subordinated to the other.”                                                              Joseph Pilates


What are the main benefits of Pilates?

A refreshing mind-body workout as a result of correct spinal and pelvic alignment, proper breathing, and a concentration on smooth, flowing movement.  All of this helps you become acutely in tune with your body.  Quality of movement and breathing are stressed.  Breathing techniques can be used to decrease stress, lower or raise blood pressure, improve aerobic capacity, and calm the mind & spirit.  Breathing has been used by cultures throughout history to change mind & body states in meditation, exercise, and daily living.

Development of a strong core, flat abs, and a strong back.  Control of the core is achieved by integrating the trunk, pelvis, and shoulder girdle.

The gain of long, lean muscles and flexibility.  Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity & joint mobility.  A body with balanced strength is less likely to be injured.  An evenly conditioned body can improve sports performance, alleviate pain, and prevent injuries.  Many traditional forms of exercise tend to focus on the same large muscle groups and build short, bulky muscles.  Strong muscles will get stronger while neglected muscles will grow weak.  This leads to muscular imbalances…a primary cause of injury and chronic back pain.  Pilates conditions the whole body, even the ankles and feet!

Pilates is gentle AND challenging!  Pilates is an extremely flexible exercise system.  Modifications to the exercises allow for a range of difficulty from beginner to advanced, allowing you to get the workout that best suits you now, increasing the intensity as your body conditioning improves.

When will I notice changes in my body?

Joseph Pilates once said, “In ten sessions, you will feel different, in 20 you will see the difference, and in 30, you will have a whole new body.”  Your dedication to a consistent practice will determine how quickly you will notice positive changes.

Will I lose weight?

Pilates provides resistance, thus helping you burn calories.  However, Pilates is not considered aerobic until one masters the advanced work.  If you are trying to lose weight, proper nutrition combined with a regular program of Pilates and aerobic exercise (such as running, swimming, biking, walking) is recommended for optimal results.  There is no need to lose the weight before beginning a Pilates program since it is suitable for all body types, shapes, and sizes.

Can I continue with my other exercise and/or sports routines?

Without a doubt!  Pilates is like a vitamin boost to any fitness program.  The Pilates Movement Principles can be applied to all movement.  Since Pilates enhances body awareness, improves coordination, and provides greater strength & flexibility, sports performance can be enhanced.

Pilates and Yoga…are they one in the same?

While they do have similarities, one unique principle of Pilates is the constant focus on deep core engagement and pelvic floor stabilization.  Pilates also emphasizes spinal alignment and strengthening of the fine muscle groups that support critical joint integrity.  Both Yoga and Pilates center on the mind-body connection, and they are complementary modalities.

Pilates.  Is it for men?

Most definitely.  Joseph Pilates was passionate about boxing.  One reason his studio was near NYC’s Madison Square Garden was so that he would be able to train boxers.  He spent years teaching self defense.  Though today many see Pilates training as something geared for women…the work was originally designed by a man for men.

What should I wear?

Comfortable, close-fitting clothing enables the teacher to see your movements and make specific corrections.  Clothing should be free of adornments that would be bothersome when lying on the back, front, or side.  Long hair should be secured, and all work is performed barefoot or in Toesox.

How do I get started with Holland Pilates?