Here are some answers to the questions, which are put to us most frequently.
What is so special about the
Pilates training is a combination of stretching and muscle conditioning, teamed with concentration and endurance training. The exercises themselves are designed to boost concentration, coordination and condition. The method concentrates particularly on improving the tone of the deep abdominal muscles and the smaller muscles that stabilise the vertebrae.
What can I achieve with Pilates?
Better mental and muscular coordination through concentration and control, improved joint mobility, better circulation, greater flexibility, prevention of injury, increased lung capacity, strong abdominal muscles and greater endurance. You will notice a definite improvement in your posture, and your body awareness and self-confidence will improve markedly. As you can see, Pilates training has a positive impact on many areas of your life.
In what way is Pilates a gentle training method?
Pilates is all about flowing movement. The exercises are also modified in accordance with your individual needs. Training doesn’t involve any skipping, jumping, snatching or lifting of heavy weights. The overriding principle is to carry out all exercises in a position that supports the natural curvature of the spine, making the method gentle and safe to practice.
How does Pilates improve my concentration skills?
Pilates requires a concentrated and precise coordination of movements, in other words your body and mind need to work in unison. This leaves your mind free for essential tasks and goals, while at the same time honing your concentration.
How many hours a week do I have to train?
Joseph H. Pilates said, “Not more than three times a week”. These days, not many of us manage this much. It’s good to train twice a week when you first start Pilates, but even those who can only manage once a week will profit from Pilates. The key thing is to train on a regular basis.
Can I train without apparatus?
A large number of the exercises do not require apparatus. They can be practiced at home on a floor mat.
Is it possible to lose weight with Pilates?
Regular Pilates training strengthens all your muscles, especially the muscles of your torso, thighs and buttocks. This, in combination with a healthy, balanced diet, will help you achieve a more slender and shapely figure.
Can I combine Pilates with other forms of exercise?
The Pilates method is ideal in combination with other sports, dance and other forms of exercise – whatever it is you enjoy doing.
Will Pilates training give me bigger muscles?
Pilates’ ingenious mix of body control, deep breathing and relaxation gives you streamlined muscles without adding bulk. While conventional fitness training methods usually focus on building up single, short and bulky muscles, the Pilates method makes the body work in its entirety. Opposing muscle groups work in synergy to develop muscles in a balanced way. Controlled, flowing exercises increase elasticity and joint mobility. The goal of training is to build up a harmonious relationship between flexibility and strength.
I am pregnant. Can I start practicing Pilates?
Pilates is an excellent way of preparing your body for pregnancy, by strengthening it and keeping it supple at the same time. During pregnancy, the female body undergoes many changes. Although Pilates is both suitable and safe for women during pregnancy, as a general rule it is better not to start practicing Pilates for the first time when you are pregnant. Many of the key principles cannot be followed because the body is undergoing so many changes. If you are already practicing Pilates, you can certainly continue your training during pregnancy; the exercises can be modified or, if necessary, omitted. The Pilates method is also an excellent way of getting your body back into shape following the birth of your baby.
I suffer from backache. Can Pilates help me?
Many people use Pilates to alleviate their back problems and they get excellent results. The combination of abdominal, sacral and gluteal muscles, which we call ‘the powerhouse’ in Pilates, is employed as a power centre, which leaves the remaining body muscles as free a movement flow as possible. The deep abdominal muscles in particular support the vertebrae and protect the internal organs. Posture is improved and back problems are alleviated or cured altogether. Many such problems result from bad habits that can be corrected with Pilates. In the case of serious back problems, we advise you to consult your doctor.
Does the Pilates method help with injury?
Many people, especially professional athletes and stage performers, are able to alleviate their problems (pulled or torn muscles and tendons, fractures, sprains, etc.) with Pilates. If you have an injury, Pilates focuses on strengthening the muscles and tendons of the surrounding area. But remember: Pilates is a very effective training method, but not a cure-all remedy. Please contact your doctor if you have questions concerning your state of health.
I am 65 years old. Can I still practice Pilates?
Yes, as long as your doctor is happy for you to do so. Joseph H. Pilates himself continued practising his method up to the age of 80 and there are many people who are over 70 and still train several times a week. Pilates is a particularly gentle training method which means that it is suitable for everyone, regardless of their age and physical condition.
What kind of people benefit from Pilates?
Everyone can benefit from Pilates: whether young or old, athletic or in poor physical condition. Pilates is not only a training method for dancers and athletes, it is an excellent way for anyone to get their body back into shape. Training is tailored to the individual, so it can be as gentle as necessary or as challenging as desired.
Why is Pilates so popular?
It’s quite simple really: It works and it has shown consistently good results for over 80 years. One-on-one training ensures you get the individual attention you need, independent of your age and physical condition. Training does not simply involve mindless repetition of a set of exercises, it is a constantly varying full-body workout. Pilates thus sets you new challenges all the time and never becomes boring.
Is it worth getting Pilates books and videos?
Practicing Pilates is like playing an instrument, learning a martial art, sport, or dancing. With Pilates, your body is the instrument. Books and videos can indeed help, but they don’t allow you to see yourself and so you may get into some bad habits. It’s also worth being aware that these media only show mat exercises and even then, not a very comprehensive selection of them. This means that most of the method is never described and so many people never get to know it.
I’m looking for a quick way of training to become a Pilates instructor. Do you offer fast-track training programmes?
No, we don’t. We are aware that some places do offer training workshops that only last for a weekend (a popular way of profiting from the name Pilates). J. H. Pilates took more than 60 years to develop and refine his method. This knowledge cannot be taught in a course that only lasts a few days or weeks. If you are looking for a serious teacher training course, you should contact a professional body such as the German Pilates Association (Deutsches Pilatesverband e.V.).