One thing that may surprise you about Pilates, is that it’s an unregulated industry. So there is not a set way of doing it. That’s why if you have been to a few different classes you will find they are all completely different. This has resulted in a range of different training options out there for Pilates teachers... They range from a weekend course to a 3 year course.
Now I am not here to “shoot down” any other Pilates classes out there. I believe that it is all about choosing the class that is right for you. For example someone with a lower back issue or an injury would get benefit from attending a small group class run by a fully trained specialist Pilates instructor and/or Therapist, just like someone looking who wants to attend Pilates for fitness reasons might not get to much benefit from attending a class aimed helping with back pain.
What is important though is getting the most from your classes, and the idea of this article is to give you a bit of background to Pilates and to help you understand that it is not simply doing the exercises like ‘the hundred’, ‘the roll up’ etc that gives you the benefit of Pilates.
If you search Pilates exercises on YouTube or Google, you will most likely be able to see a list of classic exercises as stated above, but doing these exercises alone is unlikely to give you the full benefit Pilates has to offer.
What we need to understand (and more importantly) ensure we get right are the Pilates principles. From my experience these are what gives us the true benefit and gives effective results to people, rather than simply going through the motions of the movement. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone get good results from Pilates, without full learning, understanding and applying these principles to every exercise we do.
I will give a very brief explanation of these principles (and why they are important):
Like I mentioned before the principles seem to be the most under taught areas in Pilates classes out there. Maybe it is because of the increase in ‘accelerated’ teacher training which don’t have time to go in to full depth of way these principles are key to success. Or possibly it’s because these principles take time, practice and patients to get right. Or maybe it is the increase of Pilates in health clubs/gyms, where the emphasis is put on a “feeling the burn” of the exercises rather than get the true foundations of Pilates right.
I am not sure why, however what I am sure of is that learning, understanding and incorporating the Pilates principles into Pilates classes will give you a lot more chance of getting the results you want to achieve from Pilates.
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About the author
My name is Alex Moore & I'm a Manual Therapist & Pilates instructor who works across the south of England. My manual therapy covers a range of different disciplines which include: Massage, Biomechanics & Pilates. I work with a range of clients, who suffer with a range of different issues such as Back pain, Sciatica, Frozen shoulder, Hip bursitis, plantar fasciitis & more.
I work from my home studio in Poole and also hold Pilates classes around Corfe Mullen, Broadstone, Poole, Wareham, Bearwood & Wimborne.
Pilates Instructor & Therapist, helping you understand why we do what we do!