Can anyone do it?
Yes, Pilates is for EVERYONE no matter what level of fitness! It is ideal for the general fitness buff, injury rehabilitation, a professional athlete, previously sedentary, elderly or pre/post partum. It’s never too early or late to start. Pilates has tremendous carry over into all ones physical activities, because it trains you to perform ALL movements i.e.: pulling, pushing, stepping, bending and lifting with greater ease, from a strong centre core with correct alignment and posture. For people new to organized exercise, it is the ideal system as they learn to move their body more efficiently with good principles, right from the start.
How would you compare Pilates exercise to weight training?
Pilates equipment uses springs for resistance so it can most certainly be likened to a weight training work out. We use the body uniformly to do all exercises, so it is more of an overall body workout than a traditional weight session. Weight training tends to concentrate more on concentric muscle contraction (shortening phase). With the Pilates springs, there is a more constant tension with a fluid motion. We pay equal attention to both the concentric and eccentric (lengthening) of muscles, building longer and leaner muscles that are healthy and functional without any bulk. Pilates can help an experienced weight training buff learn to move their body more efficiently, decrease risk of injury; develop better symmetry by working some of their smaller muscles and build stronger core strength. Pilates is a smoother type of workout that incorporates stretching and overall postural alignment, it’s not about powering through heavy weights.
How would you compare Pilates to Yoga?
Pilates offers the stretching benefits of Yoga with the weight training benefits of resistance. There is no equipment in Yoga. Pilates has 7 different types of equipment (the body is considered one of them). Both Pilates and Yoga encourage deep breathing to eliminate toxins and enhance diaphragmatic breathing. Some Yoga postures may place the body in unnatural positions not necessary for day-to-day life activities. In Pilates we concentrate on exercises that are geared to better your overall function, helping to improve your ability to perform daily activities and/or sports in general.
How often should I do Pilates?
Pilates is progressive. Every time you do a session, we perform everything as correctly as possible. Our goal is to re-train the body on a deep neuromuscular level. You build on what the body learned the last time. Like any exercise method, with regular sessions that are performed well, the body will adapt and improve over time. We aim to apply the principles of Pilates to real life when not actually doing a session; this is how we actually “get Pilates into the body”. A combination of on-going private sessions, with frequent homework will get real and noticeable results.