Knowing Pilates

Knowing Pilates

What is Pilates?

Joseph Pilates, born in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1880, dedicated his life to physical fitness. After overcoming childhood illness and disease and working as a nurse during the first World War, Pilates created a type of exercise to strengthen the core and realign the body. Core strength emanates from the muscles that lie from the pelvis into the rib cage and diaphragm. Joseph Pilates theorized that if one could make the core muscles of the body, primarily the abdomen and back, strong while at the same time toning the other muscle groups and promoting flexibility, then one could overcome a myriad of health problems as well as achieve an optimum level of fitness.

In 1926, he left Germany for New York City, where dancers and gymnasts sought him out to learn his methods. He continued refining his techniques and teaching until his death in 1967. Today the Pilates Method has moved to the forefront of the fitness movement and many Hollywood celebrities and professional athletes credit the Pilates Method for their leaner, stronger and healthier bodies.

The body and mind conditioning program of Pilates is a series of exercises designed to strengthen and lengthen your muscles, improve posture and align your spine. In addition, it can improve balance and coordination, increase performance in many sports and improve the overall health of your joints to prevent injury. By working the body from the inside out, Pilates balances different muscle groups so that the body can move with efficiency and endurance.

Pilates uses highly specialized apparatus to support and develop the precision of movement and control of the body. The Pilates Method offers a comprehensive, all over body workout while bringing greater connection between your body and mind.

Who Can Practice Pilates?

Pilates can be practiced by anyone, from beginners to elite athletes. It can be beneficial for virtually all ages, fitness levels and body conditions. Adaptations can be made to accommodate all levels of flexibility and movement experience, and exercises can be modified and customized for individual needs. Everyone can use Pilates to improve their posture, breathing and alignment. In addition, the mind as well as the body will greatly benefit: You’ll feel stronger “from the inside out.”

What is the Difference Between ‘Core’ Training and Pilates?

‘Core’ training refers to isolating and contracting the body’s abdominal muscles. Pilates strengthens, stretches, and balances the entire body with all of the movement initiated and controlled from the development of the body’s center which is commonly referred to as the “Powerhouse.”

The Powerhouse is made up of all of the abdominal, back, and gluteal muscles, as well as the pelvic muscles, thigh muscles, and diaphragm. Learning to engage these muscles properly through Pilates is the key to a strong core, a balanced musculature and a supple spine.

How is Pilates Different?

Pilates is invaluable not only as an overall fitness programme, but also as an important addition to professional sports training and physical rehabilitation of all kinds. With literally hundreds of exercises, Pilates lends itself to all fitness levels, from post-rehabilitation, to exercise novices, to professional athletes.

Lasting results are achieved through the use of proper form combined with the mechanics of the equipment and total concentration of the participant. The exercises are performed on a mat and/or spring driven apparatus. In all cases, each movement is flowing, centered and performed with control. Unlike many other forms of exercise, Pilates does not emphasize multiple repetitions or duration. The focus is on the quality of balanced and controlled movement, not the quantity of repetitions.

Is it Safe?

Pilates is a very safe, non-impact system. However, if you have been under a doctor’s care for an injury or recent surgery, please ask your health care professional if you are ready to start.

What Can Pilates Do for Me?
  • Improve posture and core strength
  • Strengthen and tone muscles without added bulk
  • Increase flexibility and muscle control
  • Improve alignment, coordination, and balance
  • Increase lung capacity and circulation
  • Uniformly develop muscles
  • Improve range of motion
  • Improve body awareness
  • Develop a more balanced body which helps prevent muscle and joint injury
  • Improve bone density and joint health
  • Enhance mental awareness and mind/body connection

Will I Lose Weight Through Pilates?

Pilates can be an important adjunct to any weight loss program. Because of its resistive nature, Pilates will tone and lengthen muscle groups creating a much longer, leaner appearance. As your Powerhouse gets stronger and you become more toned, you will notice the difference in your body. Yet although the waistline will narrow and the thighs will slim down, Pilates is not typically a cardio workout. The best way to balance the scale of caloric energy is to add your Pilates practice to a proper cardio training and diet regimen. With commitment to your Pilates practice, however, you can develop into more intermediate/advanced training, which will become more flowing and will, in fact, have an aerobic training effect.

I Have an Injury. Is Pilates a Good Idea for Me?

Pilates is excellent for someone who has finished physical therapy and has been cleared by their physician to go on with more movement conditioning. It is a system of body conditioning that is both gentle and athletic, known for its rehabilitative and body transforming results.

What Should I Look for in a Qualified Pilates Instructor?

Ideally your Pilates instructor should be certified through an international recognized, comprehensive Pilates training programme comprised of lecture, observation, practice, and hands-on apprenticing, plus written and practical examinations.

What are the Benefits of Working Out with Pilates Apparatus (Reformer/Cadillac/Chair/Barrels)?

Pilates apparatus consists of a wide array of equipment designed to accommodate clients at every fitness level. It was developed by Joseph Pilates after he created the traditional mat exercises. Spring tension, straps to hold feet or hands, supports for back, neck and shoulders are an important part of the process. Because of the remarkable nature of the apparatus to both challenge and support the body as you learn to move more efficiently, the inimitably designed pieces truly act as a complement to the challenging mat work exercises.

Which is Right for Me - Pilates Mat vs Pilates Reformer?

Pilates on the mat is certainly the most traditional of the options. When most people think of Pilates, they think of it being done on the mat. Certainly, this option can be great at getting you centered and toning your body. Many beginners start here because they can continue their practice at home or on-the-go without the need for an expensive Reformer. Mat based Pilates exercises predominantly utilise body weight to provide resistance, with the optional addition of props to either support or further challenge the movement.

Reformer Pilates is similar yet very different to mat based Pilates. Reformer is done using the Pilates Reformer machine and is generally more intense and dynamic than mat based Pilates as it adds resistance to the Pilates exercises via the use of springs. The Reformer is made up of a sliding base of support (carriage) where you are positioned, other parts including pulleys, straps, and footbar for helping with different poses and movements. The exercises usually target very specific muscles group through the wider range of motion which ideal for building and toning muscles as well as increasing stability through the joints.

Which Style is Right for You?
If you are interested in learning more about Pilates on the mat, on the reformer or both, there are always classes available for anyone and everyone. The truth is, one of these Pilates styles is not better than the other. As a side note, many people opt to start on a few private lessons first. This gives them a taste for the mat or Reformer before they start in with a class.

How Do I Get Started at VISIONPiLATES?

OPTION 1: 6-10 Private/Duet/Trio Sessions
This option is highly recommended particularly for rehabilitation purposes and pre/postnatal clients. You will get individual attention and a greater understanding of using your body properly along with learning and breaking down the Principles of Pilates. It is important that you understand how to do the exercises correctly and engage the Powerhouse properly to gain the full benefit from the method and prevent injuries.

OPTION 2: Mini Courses: Pilates Mat/Reformer or Starter Pack or Pilates 101 Series Mini Courses
This option is highly recommended for Pilates newbies with no major injury, slipped disc, pre/postnatal or scoliosis clients. These courses are specially designed as an entry point to start your Pilates journey. Courses are conducted in private session to give you a full personal attention start from the basic fundamental of Pilates exercises.

MINI COURSES – Pilates Mat or Reformer
Choose from either:

  • One 55-minute Private Pilates sessions for students to familiarise themselves with the Pilates Mat workouts.
  • Three 55-minute Private Pilates Mat + Reformer sessions to familiarise themselves with the Pilates Mat and Reformer workouts.

MINI COURSES – Pilates 101 Series Mat or Reformer

  • Total 5 hours split into two weekends for 2.5 hours each under a small Group focus Pilates sessions either Mat or Reformer for students to familiarise themselves with the Pilates workouts. Upon completion of total 5 hours in two stipulated timeframe, Certificate of Attendance will be rewarded to students who successfully completed the course.

STARTER PACK for Private Pilates

  • Four-55 minute private classes. This option provides students with optimal opportunities to progress at their own pace and also familiarise themselves with the Pilates Mat and Equipment workouts.

Terms and Conditions

  • Mini Courses and Starter Pack are offered to any member is new to Pilates at VISIONPiLATES.
  • New student who purchased these packages (Mini Courses/Starter Pack) can only be purchased once.

OPTION 3: Group Mat/Reformer
We offer more than 20 group classes per week combination of Mat and Reformer. Group classes are focused more on general Pilates movement and cater for clients who have NO major injury, slipped disc, pre/postnatal or scoliosis background.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and will learn at a different rate. Be patient, learn properly, and you will reap the rewards of Pilates!

Please read our Policies carefully and get a clear understanding before you committed yourself for any packages offered in our Studio.  These policies are in place to ensure that all client expectations are met and all are treated fairly.

What Should I Do Once I Completed My Mini Courses/Starter Pack or Sessions Purchased?

We recommend you to continue your Pilates journeys. The more Pilates practise, the more intensely you can see and feel a difference in your body.

What Should I Wear?

We recommend that you wear comfortable, breathable clothing that will allow you to move freely and stretch, and allow your instructor to see how you are moving. Be sure that pants or shorts are well-fitting and not too loose so they don’t get caught in the apparatus. No shoes are required – be prepared to work out in socks. A details attire leaflet will be sending to you via whatsapp once you have confirmed your timeslots with us.

What Do I Do if I Want to Learn Pilates Mat Exercises But Don’t Want to Do Private or Reformer Sessions?

The Pilates Mat exercises are appropriate for men and women of all ages, body types, and fitness levels. However, not everybody can do every Pilates mat exercise to its fullest, especially when first learning Pilates. Modifications of the exercises are often necessary to allow students to gradually increase their strength and flexibility, thereby reducing the possibility of unnecessary strain to the body. Learning Pilates is a gradual process that over time and practice will go very deep into both body and mind. This is why we strongly recommend private sessions, mini courses or starter pack for beginners. However, if you are unable to do private sessions, mini courses or starter pack, we are able to offer you alternative choices through our mat classes and small group sessions.

My Gym Offers Pilates….Why Should I Pay to Come to Your Pilates Studio?

We specialize in teaching Pilates and have comprehensively internationally trained and certified Pilates instructors who are committed to teaching the Pilates method. This means that in general, the classes offered here will be superior to those offered at gyms or general fitness centers.

The most noticeable difference between the two typically is seen in teaching style, skills and experience of the instructors. Our classes are also limited to 5-9 students to provide for the highest quality instruction and individual attention. We also offer an extensive selection of Pilates apparatus, as well as expertise in use of this apparatus, whereas the Pilates classes at gyms may only involve mat work.

Complementing Pilates with cardiovascular training/workouts is beneficial both for weight management and heart health! Moreover, as you practice Pilates, you will notice the improved performance and better movement pattern during your cardio workouts.

How Long Before I See Results?

The answer to this question varies. This really depends on the determination of the student. The following are factors in a successful session (workout): Frequency of workouts, ability to focus and attend to the teacher’s directions and body awareness. If all factors are present, results are usually very quick. Typically, if practiced consistently, you will see results in 4-6 weeks. As Joseph Pilates said, “In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 you will see the difference, and in 30 you will have a whole new body.” Of course, your Pilates journey will not end in 30 sessions, you will continue to see and feel your body getting better and stronger.

Do Your Offer Corporate Pilates Classes?

Yes, we do. Held on location and/or in VISIONPiLATES, this Pilates class instruction enables participants to return to work with a calm, focused energy, improved physical fitness, mental clarity and stress reduction. All classes consist of breathing exercises, warm-up stretches, flowing sequences, and exercises that build strength and stamina.

We with companies of all sizes to create wellness programs for work/life balance initiatives. Let our dedicated instructors create a wellness programme specific to your company. Whether you want VISIONPiLATES to teach on sight Pilates mat, or you want your employees to take classes at VISIONPiLATES we offer many options for health and wellness activity. If you are planning a special event, VISIONPiLATES can also include Pilates exercise to suit your needs. Our Corporate Wellness programme will help your employees reduce stress and increase energy and productivity.