Frequently Asked Questions

Print Friendly

Q: What’s better, mat or equipment Pilates exercises?
A: It’s not a matter of one being better than another. The fundamental Pilates workout can be performed on a Pilates mat alone, and great results can be achieved through beginner, intermediate and advanced moves. However, the reformer and other pieces of equipment incorporate resistance with assistance that works both concentrically and eccentrically to safely sculpt, tone and stretch the muscles.

A complete exercise programs can involve exercises on the mat alone or can be combined with various pieces of specially designed Pilates equipment. Each session can offer variety so that no two workouts are alike.

Q: How often should I do Pilates?
A: It is recommended that Pilates should be performed 2-4 times a week for maximum results. This kind of regular, consistent practice will help you develop more functional movement patterns as the mind and body help to connecting the mind to the body you make the mind-body connection and integrate the various….

Q: What should I look for in a Pilates instructor?
A: As the popularity of the Pilates Method grows, so does the number of instructors teaching pilates. It is important to decipher the weekend-trained-instructor from the healthcare professional who has a formal education in anatomy and human kinetics. Your trainer should also be educated in training clients with specific injuries or body conditions that might warrant a modified approach.

Ideally your Pilates instructor should be certified through a comprehensive Pilates training program, one comprised of lectures, observation, practice, hands-on apprenticing plus a written and practical examination. This level of training is especially important if you are going to be working out on any of the specialized Pilates equipment. Some courses only cover mat exercises while others educate trainers in the full range of apparatus.

A professional Pilates instructor should keep up with the latest developments in exercise science, choreography, small prop usage and more through continuing education workshops. Any background or teaching experience in other movement disciplines such as dance, aerobics or yoga is also a plus. A professional instructor should make good use of visual, verbal and tactile cueing to ensure students are exercising with proper form and technique. Whether you are working out in a group setting or one-on-one personal training, make sure your Pilates instructor is confident, knowledgeable, responsive and personable so you can have a safe and effective experience.

Q: Will I lose weight through Pilates exercises?
A: Pilates is not a cardiovascular workout and burning calories is not it’s main focus but Pilates can be a positive addition to your overall weight loss program. 

Weight loss occurs when the number of calories consumed is less than the number of calories expended. The most successful and healthy way to achieve weight loss is via an exercise plan that includes an aerobic component coupled with a strength training component, such as STOTT PILATES exercise, in conjunction with following a balanced diet.

Combining Pilates with aerobic exercise also offers additional benefits: greater mind-body connection, improved posture, flexibility and functionality.

Q: Can I do Pilates if I’m pregnant?
A: Note: The following information should NOT be substituted for medical advice from your doctor. Please consult your physician for information on what will be appropriate for you during your pregnancy.

The available information on pregnancy and exercise can be very confusing – even conflicting. STOTT PILATES follows the current standards practiced in the fitness industry regarding safety during pregnancy and the guidelines set out by professional organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada.

Pilates is a wonderful form of exercise for pregnant women. Through Pilates, women can stay strong and fit throughout their pregnancies. Pilates can help women stay connected to their changing body, improve posture and reduce pregnancy aches and pains. However, Pilates instructors working with this population need to be knowledgeable about the anatomical and physiological changes that occur during pregnancy, as well as about the birth process. In addition, it is extremely important that Pilates instructors have a clear understanding of how pregnancy affects the abdominal muscles.Safe abdominal strengthening during pregnancy should look deeper than the rectus and focus on training of the internal obliques and the transversus abdominus (TVA). Training of the TA is particularly beneficial because contraction of the TA directly supports the uterus, and a well toned TA will help keep the rectus halves closer together and prevent the diastasis from opening excessively (diastasis recti). Therefore, TA training can reduce the size of the diastasis. In addition, training the TA also helps women prepare for delivery, as one of the roles of this muscle is to assist during forceful expiration (i.e. pushing).

Training of these muscles can occur in all positions, but pregnant women are often most comfortable in sitting and quadruped positions, especially as the pregnancy progresses. Guidelines for pregnancy indicate that after approximately the 16th week of gestation, the supine position (lying on your back) should be avoided as the maternal blood supply and subsequently the fetal blood supply may be affected. In the second trimester, positioning must be adjusted and light equipment (particularly the Spine Supporter) combined with the Matwork exercises becomes very useful.

Q: Do Men Benefit From Pilates?
A: Pilates was originally invented by a man for men. Joseph Pilates originally designed an exercise program for his own benefit and was later adapted to rehabilitate British soldiers during WWI. Only years later were the exercises modified for women and dancers.

Men generally have less flexibility and a greater degree of upper body strength than women so Pilates helps to create longer, more agile muscles as well as to counter-strengthen in the core and lower body. At Pilates Pro our male clientele is significant and fast growing.

From CEO’s and semi-professional athletes to men recovering from injuries or punishing exercise habits, Pilates helps both men and women retrain and re-strengthen the body for optimum performance. Today, more and more male athletes are using Pilates to increase performance.

Q: What Should I Wear?
A: Comfortable clothing that will allow you to move freely, snug fitting pants or form fitting shorts work best for your instructor to identify proper alignment when performing the exercises. Only socks or barefeet are permitted for both matwork and reformer sessions.

Q: When can I expect to see results?
A: ‘In ten sessions’, you will feel the difference; in 20 you will see the difference; and in 30 you will have a whole new body’. – Joseph Pilates, 1965 age 84

Most people do start to feel a difference in their activities of daily living after 10 sessions. They are walking taller, with more ease and control. After a few months, they tend to see and feel more toned and defined.

Q: Is Pilates like Yoga?
A: Yes, there are similarities between Pilates and Yoga, partly because Joseph Pilates consciously drew on both Eastern and Western traditions when first developing his method. However, there are also key differences. Pilates, for example, is more dynamic than Yoga, which places more emphasis on the static holding of certain poses. Pilates also focuses more on strengthening the deepest layers of muscles at the pelvic girdle, spine and shoulder girdle. In short, practice both!!!

Interested in Pilates Pro and our services? Contact Jenine Saunders for more information or see the benefits of Pilates.