What is pilates?
Pilates is a form of physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body. Developed by Joseph Pilates, and originally called contrology, pilates can be practiced by young and old alike, and is challenging for all fitness levels.
Performed on the mat and various pieces of equipment with interesting names such as the Cadillac, Wunda Chair, Ladder Barrel, Spine Corrector, and the Reformer, pilates is a form of conscious exercise that requires the mind to work in conjunction with the body.
What are the benefits of pilates?
Many people who practice pilates experience dramatic results, including longer, leaner muscles, improved posture, flatter bellies, and a greater awareness of their bodies.
What do I need to know before beginning pilates?
Pilates has experienced exponential growth in the last five years, bringing the benefits of this amazing method to millions of people. Unfortunately, its popularity has come at a price. In an attempt to cash in on this booming industry, many health clubs and spas employ “certified” instructors who may have only a weekend’s training to teach pilates.
Before beginning pilates, ask your instructors if they have a comprehensive certification . Any true certification program entails hundreds of hours of lessons, observation, apprenticeship, and anatomy education, and results in the thorough understanding of over 500 exercises on all pieces of the equipment.
Responsible teachers will also ask for your health history on a client intake form. This is for your protection and allows the instructor to give you the safest, most beneficial movement experience for your body.
You should also test your current fitness levels with free online fitness calculators so you know your starting point and can track your progress.