What is Pilates?
Pilates is a mind-body exercise system designed to strengthen the weak and challenge the strong. It was created by the late Joseph Pilates (1880-1967) a German expatriate who started developing his method first made during WWI by developing a series of exercises and innovative equipment to help prisoners of war regain strength and mobility. When Joseph Pilates immigrated to New York, the local professional dance community discovered that his conditioning technique, called ‘Contrology’, helped prevent injury and improve strength while maintaining long, even muscle tone.
Nowadays, people are becoming increasingly more interested in fitness modalities that help relieve stress and are kinder and gentler to the body, like Pilates. They’re also much more interested in prevention of injuries with programs that can be continued even as they age. People want to stay fit and functional, and continue to look good for as long as possible. Pilates is an excellent choice for individuals of all ages and fitness levels who have a variety of goals. Pilates is complementary to many traditional fitness routines and its mind connection has even been said to be useful in preventing stress-related illnesses like heart disease.
How do I get started?
We require all clients to begin with at least one private session. This will include a general physical assessment with postural analysis and introduction to the basic STOTT PILATESÂ® principles and exercises. After this first session, the instructor will recommend a program that is most suitable and beneficial. We have session packages available.
What classes do you offer?
Eclipse Wellness is a boutique-style Pilates studio that offers private, semi-private sessions and small group sessions. All classes and sessions are 50-55 minutes long. Private sessions are for people who want personalized workouts, semi-private sessions are geared for two people (a couple or two friends) interested in working out together. We require every client who is new to our studio to take at least one private session to better understand what their specific goals and needs are.
What is a Pilates session like?
A typical private or semi-private Pilates session will incorporate exercises using the Pilates equipment and other accessories such as balls, circles or bands. All private sessions focus on the basic principles of alignment that include breathing, spinal alignment, shoulder placement and core work. New clients will learn how to apply these principles to basic level exercises on the Pilates equipment. Once the basic movements have been mastered, we will teach you more demanding exercises that will be performed with ease, coordination and fluidity.
Can Pilates help me lose weight?
Pilates can be a great addition to your overall weight-loss program. The most successful and healthy way to achieve weight loss is an exercise plan that includes an aerobic component coupled with a strength training element, such as Pilates, and following a balanced diet. Combining Pilates with cardiovascular exercise also offers additional benefits: greater mind-body connection, improved posture, flexibility and functionality.
How many times a week should I do Pilates?
This varies depending on your goals. Generally, two to three times per week is recommended. The consistency of doing pilates several times per week will definitely help you learn the method more quickly and effectively, and better experience the benefits of the method in your body.
What should I wear?
Wear or bring clothing that allows for comfort and ease of movement. Sweatpants and fitted T-shirts or tops are great for this type of workout. Don’t wear anything too baggy because we will be observing your movements for proper alignment and execution. Socks or bare feet are fine. You will not be able to wear shoes.
Can anyone do Pilates?
Pilates exercise is appropriate for most people. As with any training program, you should always consult with a medical professional before beginning. A modified program created by a well trained and certified instructor should be recommended if you have any physical limitations. Everyone, from serious fitness enthusiasts, to rehab patients, elite athletes and older clients, will see a difference.
Can I practice Pilates if I have a back problem?
Although you should always consult your physician before starting any fitness routine, a Pilates workout is gentle and controlled, with a focus on core strength and stability. It is also important, however, that you work with a qualified instructor to ensure you are doing the exercises correctly and avoiding movements that may not be recommended for your condition. An experienced Instructor is able to modify the exercises to accommodate your limitations, continually challenge you within your ability, and monitor your improvements. Progress may be slow, but, with attention and focus, a consistent workout schedule with appropriately chosen exercises will ensure you see the results you seek.
How does Pilates differ from weight training?
Weight training and Pilates can be combined in a fitness program and are a great complement to each other.
The Pilates equipment makes your muscles work differently, because it uses springs as resistance, which more closely resembles muscular contraction. This type of resistance emphasizes concentric and eccentric muscle contraction that will help you for injury prevention.
Pilates exercise is also customizable for special needs. There is an emphasis is on rebalancing muscles around the joints, correcting over-training and muscle imbalances that lead to injury. Pilates also helps you improve strength and flexibility for more efficient movement patterns.
Also, as you keep practicing Pilates, you will see an improvement in your posture and body awareness.
Is Pilates like Yoga?
In some ways, Pilates is like Yoga. Both are considered mind-body methods of movement; both emphasize deep breathing and smooth, long movements that encourage the mind-body connection. The difference is that while Yoga requires moving from one static posture to the next, Pilates flows through a series of movements that are more dynamic, systematic and anatomically-based, incorporating resistance equipment. Also, the goal of Pilates is to strengthen the postural muscles while achieving overall optimal functional fitness.
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