Derived from a purpose of rehabilitation by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s, pilates has become a key component of mainstream fitness for around 20 years now. With some of Hollywood’s finest such as; Amanda Seyfried, Cameron Diaz and Sandra Bullock opting to make the sport a part of their daily gym workout, you would think it would put it on the map (or mat – like what we did there?). Right, so why does it seem like there are still so many unanswered questions?
Let us help as we answer five of the most frequently asked questions about pilates…
What is the difference between pilates and yoga?
If we had a penny for every time we are asked this question… While many still believe that pilates and yoga are pretty much the same thing, they are most definitely not. Yes, we can’t lie they do share some similarities, such as they can both be performed in a group class, on a mat and can be practised as a method of calming unsettled nerves. However pilates can involve a number of different specialised machines and equipment to support each movement. While they both focus rather heavily on building a strong mind and body awareness connection, pilates tends to focus more on balancing strength, flexibility through refining movement and posture within the human body.
Can pilates help me to lose weight?
Pilates can aid weight loss, especially if incorporated with high cardio workouts, through learning the technique of equipment and participating in aerial pilates. However, it is important to state that Pilates concentrates more focus on building inner strength and improving the movement and posture of the human body as opposed to being a shortcut to shedding weight. If you are looking for a workout that has maximum chance of quick weight loss, then any type of cardio is probably the best avenue to go down.
Do I have to be super flexible to be good at pilates?
The simple answer – no. Flexibility is important to maintain and build for healthy movement and mobility, but it is something that comes with regular practice and gentle workouts to build up over due course. You do not have to be super flexible to enjoy pilates, or to be deemed as ‘good’ at pilates. Remember everyone starts somewhere, and by heading along to your class here at A1 Infinite Performance, you will be supported every step of the way by our professional trainers, helping to build both confidence and skill in your ability.
Can I practice pilates if I am pregnant?
Hell yeah you can! Pilates provides one of the best forms of gentle exercise to support your pregnancy journey. Whether you are a new mum, or you have given birth before, pilates can help in SO many ways! For example:
- Throughout your pregnancy, a lot of weight can put pressure on a woman’s pelvic floor, affecting bladder control in the future, however pilates is a fabulous form of strengthening your pelvic floor
- While with bump, a lot of strain can be put onto your lower back area, causing general aches and pains – pilates can help to build strength in your lower back
- Regular stretching can help to stay mobile and reduce body tension
- The “me-time” that pilates can provide, incorporating both body movement with a focus on your breathing techniques, it can help to ease stress, worry and anxiety ahead of your labour and help to keep you calm and relaxed throughout your pregnancy
Of course there are some guidelines to follow, as with any exercise routine when you are pregnant/have given birth, however our qualified pilates instructors are equipped with the knowledge, training and care to guide you in the right direction through your Post-Natal Pilates class with us.
I suffer from back pain/a past injury. How can pilates help?
Pilates was invented for the sole purpose of aiding rehabilitation in the 1920’s, so the proof is in the pudding with one my friends! It is also often highly recommended by practice GP’s and physiotherapists as a gentle and buildable form of treatment and rehabilitation from an injury or ailment. Whether you experience recurring problems or you have suffered a major injury – pilates can help to correct any imbalance, improve your movement and mobility and support your posture.
However – the important thing to remember is that small steps lead to big changes. Therefore if you do suffer from an on-going or complex problem, we would always recommend that you see your GP or physician before you attend a class to get the green light, before progressing to a private consultation with your pilates instructor so that we can assess your capability before you join a group class.
Get In Touch Today…
We hope we have cleared up some popular grey areas within the world of pilates within this blog today, however if you have any personal questions of your own, or you require any further information – please don’t hesitate to get in touch today. Give us a call on 0191 276 2611 or pop down to our boutique studio in Newcastle upon Tyne to have a chat with one of our friendly trainers. We look forward to welcoming you into the world of pilates – you’re going to love it!