Pilates FAQs Pilates By Rachel
What is Pilates?

Invented by Joseph Pilates in the early part of the 20th Century, Pilates is a method of body conditioning that dramatically transforms the way your body looks, feels and performs. By using a series of machines and the floor mat, Pilates works the entire body to build strength without excess bulk, creating a sleek, toned body with slender thighs and flat abs.

The method requires using your Powerhouse (a.k.a. core) – the lower abs, lower back, inner and outer thighs, and the buttocks – focused breathing, intense concentration, control, precision and fluid movement. Because Pilates emphasizes quality of the movement rather than quantity, you feel invigorated and refreshed rather than exhausted after every session.

Whether you’re looking to get in better shape, rehabilitate an injury, re-gain strength after pregnancy or enhance overall health, Pilates is a highly effective, safe and challenging exercise system that can be done at any age, no matter your condition.

What are the benefits of Pilates?

The benefits are infinite. With regular committed Pilates workouts you can expect to:

  • Improve strength, flexibility and balance
  • Build long, lean muscles without bulk
  • Lose inches and tone trouble spots
  • Enhance body awareness
  • Improve postural alignment
  • Relieve back and joint pain
  • Alleviate stress and tension
  • Boost energy through deep stretching
  • Promote recovery from strain or injury
  • Improve the way your body looks and feels
  • Enhance athletic performance

How often do I need to do Pilates?

While two or three times a week is ideal, once a week is also very effective. I give my clients Pilates “homework” that can be done in as little as 15 minutes a few days a week, so they maintain their core awareness and flexibility. The best part of Pilates is that the simple techniques can be used 24/7 in your daily life, which will automatically make you feel and look thinner.

How quickly will I see results?

Individual results vary, but after one session, you will experience increased body awareness, particularly with your posture. You will immediately stand taller, hold your waist tighter and feel stronger and more flexible. Initially the workout is slow moving because everything is being explained to you. But once you learn the Pilates method and the basic exercises, Pilates even becomes cardiovascular.

As Joseph Pilates once said, “In ten sessions you will feel the difference: in 20 sessions, you will see the difference and in 30 sessions you will have a whole new body.” If you're consistent with Pilates and make a commitment to yourself, you will definitely see changes in your body.

Does Pilates help with weight loss?

Absolutely. One of the best ways to increase your metabolism and calorie burning potential is to create lean muscle mass, as Pilates does. It is however, not the only piece of the puzzle.

You must eat a healthy diet and participate in cardio activity a few times a week. By combining the strength training benefits of Pilates and a consistent cardio workout, you’ll lose weight and tone up nearly twice as fast as just doing either routine on its own.

Can I do Pilates during my pregnancy?

Yes! In fact, I attribute my easy pregnancies and recoveries to my Pilates practice. But it is not recommended to start Pilates if you have not practiced before becoming pregnant.

And even more important, Pilates is the best form of exercise AFTER you have the baby. With heavy car seats, strollers, diaper bags, you will need the core strength to prevent injury and maintain your stamina. Pilates is a form of exercise you can use for a lifetime. It’s the best gift you can give yourself as a new mom!

I have a bad back and am not flexible. Will I be able to do Pilates?

Yes! Pilates does not require you to be in any “shape” beforehand. In fact, it is miraculous for helping most back pain and will greatly improve flexibility for even the most stubborn backs and hamstrings. Pilates takes you just as you are. That being said, if you are overcoming an injury, I will ensure you get the necessary modifications and monitor your progress.

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