Tag Archives: pilates method alliance

FINDING A GOOD PILATES INSTRUCTOR

Pilates certifications can be snagged in weekend or take several years and hundreds of hours to earn. Good instructors gain the equivalent of a Master’s degree. When you want high quality instruction, look for:

  • Minimum of 300 training hours
  • Comprehensive and mat certifications
  • Several years of teaching
  • Ask about specialties. Some instructors focus on populations such as seniors, pre/post natal, rehab or high performance athletes.

Like yoga, Pilates has evolved through time. Today, there are a variety of styles but core development is fundamental to them all. Among the most well-known trademarked brands are: Stott, Power Pilates, Core Dynamics, the Physical Mind Institute, and Romana’s Pilates. But a trademark doesn’t necessarily ensure quality instruction.

“Anyone can take a list of exercises and teach them,” says Chicago-based Vered Arbel of Elements in Motion, “how you analyze and fit the exercises to the needs of the person requires anatomical and biomechanical knowledge. Really look for that.”

HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT STUDIO FOR YOU
A web search will result in lots of choices and can reveal a lot about a place.  What’s the vibe?  Warm and welcoming?  Super intense high energy?  Look at the pictures and the language.  Do they communicate well?  What do the instructors say about themselves? Look for client testimonials and consult Yelp.

Ask them questions that relate to what you are looking for and they should ask you questions too.  That will reveal their level of experience and care about new clients.  Questions instructors  should ask you include:

  • What do you do for exercise now?
  • What attracts you to Pilates?
  • What are your fitness goals?
  • Any injuries?

Taking a mat class is an inexpensive way to check out a studio and discover if the place simply feels right to you. Also, many studios offer discounted rates for first time students.

Counteracting the stresses of everyday life is among the main benefits of any exercise discipline.  Ultimately, Pilates can balance the body helping you feel at ease and comfort in your skin, increase energy, rid you of body aches and possibly back pain too. Well worth the price of admission.

Love,
JoAnn

Pilates Mat vs Machine, which is better?

Pilates was originally a one-on-one training system.  Today, most people are introduced to Pilates through mat classes.  There are benefits to both but to truly understand the work and gain the benefits; private sessions on the machines can’t be beat. The springs both support and challenge you.  Most of all, with good instruction, you’re taught how to work correctly. Just a few sessions will completely change your mat workout and bring better body awareness to all you do.

Here are just a few advantages to using Pilates machines:

  • Spring-based machines assist and challenge deep core muscles. Instructor ensures proper alignment and technique
  • Range of motion increased through machine assistance
  • Easier to find and develop the deep core muscles.  Machines and instructor help ensure you find them
  • Customized to your needs, fitness and goals

PILATES: THE ESSENCE

While there are variations among styles of Pilates, they all focus on developing strength and flexibility by stabilizing core muscles.   The work, whether mat or machine, is based on several key principles.  The emphasis is quality of over quantity of movement.  In other words, you can accomplish a lot in new concentrated repetition versus doing 500 mindless sloppy exercises.

  • Concentration – the mind and body connect to improve focus and awareness
  • Control – movements are neither jerky nor momentum based
  • Fluidity – exercises are fluid, not static or isolated, we move in space
  • Precision – each exercise has unique benefits which is gained through focusing on the details
  • Breath – full inhales and exhales help you contact your core, energize and revitalize your being
  • Oppositions – using opposing forces develops strength, awareness, and control

Pilates, whether mat or machine, will improve all you do. From yoga to kayaking to picking up groceries, the core is the foundation of all movement.  Pilates builds core strength, increases flexibility, and improves stamina, coordination, concentration and control.  All you need do is show up and enjoy your workout!