Pilates PRO on Frequently Asked Questions
Since you click on to this page, most probably you have some questions in mind!
Hope you can find the answers on this column if not feel free to contact us.
What is Pilates?
Instead of describing to you what the Pilates Method is, let me focuse on what it is not instead.
It doesn’t use weights, plates and dumbbells – instead it uses your own body weight on the mat exercises and it uses mostly springs as resistance on the equipment.
It is not for stretching only – It is formulated for the main purpose of developing a well-balanced system to eliminate the harsh side effects of this fast-paced culture that mankind developed in the last century. Pilates involves strength training and stretching combined with the concept that revolves around the principles of breathing, centering, control, fluidity of movements, concentration and precision.
It is not Yoga! – Though some may claim that Joseph Pilates must have studied Yoga during his research, which is not surprising, Pilates is not Yoga. Some exercises may look similar, but the concept behind the movements makes Pilate a unique form of cathartic exercise.
It is not abs exercise only – Many people always think that Pilates is just mainly for the abs, or core fitness, but actually it is developed for the body to work as a whole. To prove my point, one of the very first exercise that Joseph Pilates teaches in the popular Reformer is leg and foot work which starts with the muscles of your feet, knees, thighs, hip area, abdominals, shoulder posture, and stability of your whole spine. This goes all the way up to the length of your head and neck.
What is the difference between Yoga and Pilates?
There’s a lot! Though from an untrained eye, they may look very similar with some exercises closely resembling each other. The difference between Yoga and Pilates goes back to the origin. Pilates was developed in the early 1900s, mainly for physical exercise to develop a uniformly balanced body. Meanwhile, Yoga was already in practice for thousands of years that has its roots from Eastern forms of meditation. It is aimed at providing holistic spiritual discipline with postures designed to center, calm and prepare your body for meditation. The Pilates method mainly works on conditioning the entire body.
Can I lose weight doing Pilates?
Yes! And it all works with all other method of exercises as well. Once you get your body moving more than your usual routine, you end up burning the exces weight already. Not unless you binge again making any exercise a lost cause. To be honest, weight loss is actually best managed in the kitchen than in the gym. You eat 2-5 times a day, including snacks (which is roughly around 21-35 times in a week), and most of us only workout 3-5 times a week. With that ratio, you can already see how our eating habits influence our weight more, than our exercise regimen; unless we decide to turn things around. Even professional cyclists, who works out for 5 hours a day on the average, still has to control their food intake to achieve their optimal weight.
What to wear?
It may be relaxing to some, but coming in naked is not an option. But we do advise that you wear comfortable clothes, and socks are a must. It is important that you can freely move around, but it would be very considerate if you also choose clothes that would not distract others. Again, do remember to wear socks.
How do I start?
Book your trial session with us. We’d like you to try first before deciding to commit on our packages. We have starter packages (which consist of 3 sessions) which we would strongly advise since it is hard to judge an exercise by just doing one session alone, in that way you can judge us fairly by giving us time to show you that our method works for you. Click Here for the packages and promotions.
Group class or Private session?
You’ll get a personalized exercise program in a private session at the same time you will have the full attention of your instructor for the whole time. In a group session the exercise will be addressed to the whole group which may not fit to your very personal goals but you will get the benefit of having stronger energy as a group with a sense of friendly comparison which adds more to the motivation and fun.
How frequent do I need to do Pilates?
The most ideal frequency in order to get the optimal benefits of any exercise would be at least 3x a week and it goes the same way with Pilates method. Though if you’re doing it as just part of the variety of exercises that you do within the week then once a week will be just as fine to reap the benefits of improving your posture, body awareness, strength and flexibility combined.
How long is the session?
Regular session would be around 55 minutes though we have some variety of session that would be shorter or longer.
Will Pilates improve my posture?
Big Yes! You must have heard about it already, but just to give you the reason why, it’s because Pilates works the whole body in a very balanced way. It corrects any imbalances that you have developed mostly from keeping you backside stuck on a chair for the most part of the day, especially if you are into office work. Yes! Pilates is good for your Posture!
I think I’m already a strong athlete, will I benefit from doing Pilates?
Well you can try us out! We’ve got quite a few strong athletes in our community and they know they can benefit more from it. You’ll be surprised at how far you can go when you pay close attention to details, the best athletes even hire sports psychologist to gain advantage over the competition. Some may think that their strength, stamina and overall physical condition is enough, usually they end up disappointed.
Is it mainly for women? Men?
Women tends to gravitate to Pilates because of its gentle nature compared to lifting weights. But one has to realize that Joseph Pilates is a man with a very strong physique which he had achieve from doing gymnastics, boxing, wrestling and performing in circus. So contrary to the mainstream’s point of view, Pilates methodology is really design for everybody including strong able bodied men and women.
Does Pilates uses equipment?
Yes, aside from just purely using your body weight on mat workouts, the Pilates method has quite a few interesting tools that are surprisingly versatile. It is even impressive since these are the same designs used more than a century ago.
I am not flexible, Pilates is too hard for me.
Well, if we give you something easy then you might complain that it’s too easy for you anyway. Joking aside, the tighter you are, the more you need to stretch. Those tightness will cause imbalance in the future that will chronically abuse the joints of your body when moving. Look at an eighty-year-old unmaintained body, slouching forward walking with very small strides and reflect on what’s wrong with it. It’s not that you become tight when you become old, it’s more about you letting yourself get tighter as you’re getting older.
I have back injury, can I do Pilates?
Yes! Pilates is widely used by rehabilitation centres now as a mode of strengthening and releasing your back muscles especially the stabilizers of your spine which is one of the most important muscle groups that will be affected when you’re experiencing back problems. It is a very good exercise that will bring back movement to a chronically stiff back with a history of back pain. We would strongly recommend that you would have to do at least a starter package of Private sessions prior to entering our group session, this will enable us to assess the condition of your injury and we will be able to provide a proper modification and programming for your future workout. Before starting the sessions, we would however ask you to check with your Physiotherapist or Physician to make sure that you’re ready to start your exercise regimen.
Can I do Pilates even if I have a few injuries on my wrist, neck, hips and knees?
The beauty of Pilates is it starts with the very basic fundamental movements of the body that it makes it a very good first step to returning to normal activity after recovering from quite a large variety of injuries. Though we would advise to take it easy and carefully on the first few attempts to do the movements especially if there is an apparent pain, weakness or imbalance that was caused by the injury. If you want to optimize the benefit of the session, we would like you to do Private session with our instructor before you go to our regular group session to specifically address your weaknesses and provide you with specific modification if needed. The body’s adoptive capacity is amazing that as long as you provide the right amount of training stress it will accommodate and adopt eventually as time goes by. Before starting the sessions, we would however ask you to check with your Physiotherapist or Physician to make sure that you’re ready to start your exercise regimen.
Can I build muscle doing Pilates?
In general rule, the more intense the exercise the higher the stimulation for the body to build muscle. Which means for us that the intense and more advance Pilates exercises can build quite a good quality piece of lean meat in your body. ☺ The main difference though since this method gives equal importance to strengthening and mobility (active stretching), the muscles you will develop will not be the same as lifting weights, rather it will develop into a dancer/martial artist like physique which is long and lean rather than short and bulky muscles.
Will I lose fat?
Same as losing weight, fat loss is significantly achieved on changing your food intake. Though as you begin to build muscles from the exercise, these new muscles you develop will increase your metabolism and will help to burn the stored fats and calories that you put in to your body.
Am I too old?
Most of the first generation teachers are still very fit and are able to do the exercises well in their 70s and 80s so definitely there is no age limit in doing the exercise. However, if it is your first time doing Pilates at a late age, we will consider all the precautionary measures related to aging and we will take you through the progression gently and safely.
Am I too young?
The earlier the better. Once your child start to move around on their own, they should be guided in exploring their body in the best possible way. With schoolage starting much earlier these days, you can expect these little kids to already be exposed to a lot of sitting. In our sessions we encourage the kids to more playful exercised such as dancing, sports, games, martial arts, etc. These allow them to develop physical skills while enjoying their time.
Will Pilates improve my cycling? Running? Golf?
Definitely! Think of it as Pilates and other fundamental movement exercise methodology as like your diet. Your diet makes you internally fit or healthy which means that you will then be capable of exposing your body to external elements without getting sick easily. Similarly, Pilates will get your body ready to physical demands from the sports or specific activity that you’re planning to do. It will make your stance in golf more stable, you will have stronger muscles in your trunk and shoulders as you swing, it will make your hips more stable in cycling, it will give you a better awareness of your posture in running and plus many more benefits that will compliment on quite a large variety of sports.