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What is Pilates? Pilates is a workout program designed to lengthen muscles as it strengthens them, creating a lean look. The method was created by Joseph Pilates in the 1920's. Pilates is intended to be a mind-body exercise, so great emphasis is placed on movement quality, perfecting form, correct posture and breathing. Pilates is a highly effective way to shape up and slim down!
What are the benefits of Pilates?
-Long, lean and defined muscles
-Abdominal strength and stability
-Increased flexibility and range of motion
-Improved posture and balance
-Enhanced body awareness
Who can do Pilates?
Anyone! The Pilates method is suitable for all ages and all body types. There are a wide variety of modifications and levels of intensity that make Pilates an effective part of anyone's fitness program. As with any exercise program, it is important to check with a physician before beginning. If you are pregnant, injured or in any way incapacitated, it is imperative that you get the approval of your doctor first.
What kind of results can I expect?
Joseph Pilates said, "After 10 sessions you will feel different. After 20 sessions you will look different. After 30 sessions you will have a new body." Physically, you can expect a dramatic change in your body. Energy levels typically improve as well.
How often should I take Pilates?
The key to changing your body is consistency! Most people take class 2-3 times a week.
Can pregnant women take Pilates?
Pilates has long been used safely by pregnant women to learn proper breathing and body alignment. It also helps improve concentration and prepare the body for labor. After delivery, Pilates helps you regain your figure quickly.
Why does my instructor need to be "certified?"
As Pilates grows in popularity, more and more Pilates studios and programs pop up. Consequently, more and more people begin to teach Pilates. Unfortunately, not all instructors have completed a thorough course of study that includes an extremely important test to become a CERTIFIED Pilates instructor. Since the Pilates method is designed to be quite specific, thorough training of Pilates teachers is necessary to maintain the quality and safety of Pilates. Following is a checklist of what you should consider before signing up with a new instructor.
1. IS MY INSTRUCTOR CERTIFIED?
Many teachers have taken a course of study but have not completed an examination to become certified. If your instructor cannot show you their certification, keep looking for a teacher.
2. DID MY INSTRUCTOR GO TO A REPUTABLE SCHOOL?
Well-respected training programs require a written and practical test, lecture, observation, practice and apprentice hours. If your instructor is certified, spend a few minutes to research the program they graduated from. A minute or two of your time is well worth your safety.
3. HOW LONG HAS THE INSTRUCTOR BEEN TEACHING PILATES?
As with most professions, practice makes perfect. A long track record is a good indicator of a quality instructor who has worked with all kinds of clients and has honed their craft.
4. WHAT IS THE INSTRUCTOR'S / STUDIO'S PHILOSOPHY AND SPECIALTY?
Are they able to handle special needs, injuries and rehabilitation? A good teacher has gone beyond the basics and can work with clients who have physical limitations, those who may be pregnant or recovering from a pregnancy.
My own personal experiance...
I started doing pilates almost 3 years ago. At first I was hesitant to try pilates because it seemed to be not a workout that was not what we are all used too (running on a treadmill and lifting weights). Throughout my early childhood and teenage years I was very active in sports such as gymnastics and running. Due to the physical activity I did as a child I have put a lot of strain on my joints and as I get older I have found that the pain I feel in my joints became to much for me to do a traditional workout. As I was experiancing more pain I went to my doctor, who then sent me to a neurologist to check for nerve damage. She did extensive tests and MRI's and found that there was no nerve damage but because running and weight training in combination of the activites I performed in younger years has taken a toll on my body and recommended that I take Pilates to ease my pain. In my head I was thinking "great, how is that going to help me? How will I stay in shape?" So I spoke to Cara Krupa at East Street Pilates about my issues and we started my "new" workout routin. In the beginning, maybe because my backround in gymnastics I felt like this was way to simple for a workout. But after the 3rd session I started to feel the results...The pain in my joints was easing, I even started getting more energy throughout my long work days. I then started to count to see if the whole philosophy of "After 10 sessions you will feel different. After 20 sessions you will look different. After 30 sessions you will have a new body." I stayed pretty regular in my sessions averaging at least 3 times a week. I found that as my sessions were totally up that this philosophy was more then accurate. I was blown away on how great I felt...no pain anymore, my energy level was at its all time high, and last but not least, my body had definition that I never thought it would ever had...even after having 2 kids. With my experiance in editorial photo shoots, I watch photographers "photoshop" these images and I couldnt help but realize.. Pilates is real life photoshop. Who needs a photographer to get ride of any imperfections just for one image..Pilates can do that and you can walk around looking like you were photoshoped. Doesn't get any better.
I no longer enter a gym to do any cardio and/or weight training. The only place I will enter for my physical and mental well being is a pilates studio.