Pilates FAQs

In case you weren’t able to find what you needed from the rest of the site, I have included a Pilates FAQs on this page.

Please find below some answers to frequently asked questions:

What does Pilates do that other type of exercises don't?

Pilates is more dynamic than yoga but less aggressive, sweaty and high-impact than aerobics, jogging or gym-work. These, unlike Pilates, can all place damaging strain on the joints and/or heart.

Whereas most forms of exercise build the body’s stronger muscles, Pilates exercises work as much or more to strengthen the weaker ones too. The result is a properly balanced body, with better joint mobility, a firm musculature and good, natural posture.

Pilates improves posture by strengthening the centre of the body so that it supports your lower back. This allows you to stand straight and hold your upper body correctly.

Who can benefit from Pilates?

Pilates is popular with dancers, gymnasts and athletes but it is equally suitable for most men and women, from nine to 90 and beyond. In fact, some people are surprised that almost a third of my clients are male.

Pilates is particularly suitable for people who are…

  • Middle-aged and elderly
  • Desk-bound and inactive
  • Pregnant and post-natal
  • Needing pre- and post-operation strengthening
  • Referred by their doctor, physio, osteopath, chiropractor or other practitioner

And for those who suffer…

  • Back pain, back-ache and other back problems
  • Scoliosis/curvature of the spine
  • Poor posture and rounded shoulders
  • Neck and shoulder pains or problems
  • Stiffness, joint pains and muscle pains, whether caused by arthritis/ osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia or other things
  • Injuries: sports injuries and others
  • RSI
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Whiplash
  • Stress

What are the history and origins of Pilates?

Pilates takes its name from Joseph Pilates, a German-born emigré to Britain and then America. He devised it as a new approach to exercise and body-conditioning in the early decades of the last century.

He was perhaps the first influential figure to combine Western and Eastern ideas about health and physical fitness.

Pilates called his technique ‘Controlology’ – only later did it become known by his own surname. He conceived it as a mental as well as a physical conditioning in which individuals could work their bodies to their full potential.

In explaining Controlology’s guiding principle, he liked to quote Schiller: ‘lt is the mind itself which builds the body’.

More on Joseph Pilates here.

What should I wear?

Any comfortable, loose clothing, such as a T-shirt with leggings or tracksuit bottoms, or else shorts of a respectable length.

Please do not wear shoes, since they are not allowed on the machines but do wear socks, clean if possible.

When can I expect to see results?

‘In ten sessions’, suggested Joseph Pilates himself, ‘you will feel the difference; in 20 you will see the difference; and in 30 you will have a whole new body’.

Most people do start to feel a difference after 10 sessions, getting the sense, for example, that they are walking taller and moving in a looser, suppler way.

The longer they persist, the more they will tend to see and feel the shape of their body slowly change.

Am I the right age to do Pilates?

Pilates is popular with dancers, gymnasts, athletes and others in their physical prime but it is equally suitable for almost any age.

Indeed, one of the beauties of Pilates is that it can be tailored it to suit each person, whatever their age or physical condition. This is something that I do throughout my teaching.

Many of my clients are middle-aged or elderly. Indeed, more than a few start doing Pilates specifically because they have reached ‘a certain age’.

Older clients still might have to ask medical advice before taking up Pilates and to start more slowly. Many people, however, do Pilates into their eighties and nineties. A properly tailored Pilates programme is one of the best-known ways to ward off the infirmities of old age.

Your true age, in the end, of course, is as much a function of how one feels as of the date on your birth certificate. As Joseph Pilates himself put it: ‘If, at the age of 30, you are stiff and out of shape, you are old. If, at 60, you are supple and strong, then you are young.’

* If you are still in need of some Pilates knowledge that the FAQs weren’t able to provide then please don’t hesitate to contact me!