An Introduction to Pilates

Can Anyone do Pilates?

Pilates classes are open to all, regardless of age, fitness level or previous experience. There are, however, certain situations where an individual may need to take some precautions. These include, pregnancy, spinal issues and any injuries you may be carrying. If any of these are the case, we strongly recommend consulting your GP before taking part. Secondly, the instructor teaching the class needs to be aware of any complications that may be present and so they adapt accordingly by suggesting alternative options.

What do I Need for my First Pilates session?

It is always important to be dressed comfortably while exercising and we recommend picking something that’s comfy, yet body-hugging. The outfit should let the body flow smoothly from movement to movement and allow the instructor verify the technique.

One thing that you don’t need is a pair of shoes. You can be either barefoot or use special Pilates socks. In certain cases you should bring your own mat, however, Everyone Active provides enough mats for the classes’ attendees.

The Benefits of Pilates

Although Joseph Pilates didn’t have the perfect abs advertisements that abound everywhere these days in mind when developing his method, a strong and toned core is one of the outcomes from attending these classes regularly.

This alone is motivating more and more people to attend Pilates sessions but the list of benefits goes a long way beyond just a stronger core. It’ll help you get stronger, yet more flexible, decrease your stress levels, improve your balance, as well as boosting your coordination, blood circulation, injury rehabilitation and even enhanced sporting performance.

These are just a few of the myriad reasons that Pilates makes an excellent addition to your weekly workout.

Different types of Pilates

Over time, traditional Pilates classes have been adapted to fit in with the demands of modern life. This has given rise to a number of slightly different versions, taught by different instructors with different focuses, and they generally concentrate on counteracting the imbalances and postural problems that many people’s stressful and sedentary lifestyle can cause.

The most common version is STOTT Pilates and you’ll find this at the majority of classes you attend and is based on the principles of biomechanics. While more traditional exercises may focus on strengthening the core and keeping a stretched back, this method incorporates latest discoveries in exercise science, concentrating on keeping the natural curve of the spine and a neutral pelvic position to help achieve a stronger core. It may, however, feel uncomfortable keeping the natural spine position for those who have suffered with spinal injuries.

Initially, apparatus or props were not part of the first 34 Pilates exercises, but there are now places that only provide apparatus-based Pilates classes. This includes equipment such as the Reformer, the Cadillac, a variety of barrels and special chairs. From the other side, Pilates Props makes use of rings, Therabands, Swiss ball or mini balls and can take place on a mat.

There are still some areas where the original form is practised. In this case, the exercises are taught in an unvarying order. From the other side, there are instructors who break the method down and the order varies from class to class adding, as well, changes in the original exercises.

It is important to attend a variety of classes with different instructors to find the method that suits you the most. You may also find a variation in the teaching style which you may find easier to follow.