What is Pilates?
Pilates is not new. It was founded by Joseph Pilates who began teaching in the 1940s. It emphasizes breathing, flexibility and strengthening of the core and extremities. Core stabilization refers to strengthening of the trunk musculature, particularly the abdominals, gluteal muscles, and shoulder blade stabilizers.
Pilates exercises are not momentum based and focus on quality over quantity. One of the most important principles is proper attention to technique and slow and controlled execution of the exercises.
View the The Active City webisode…
What are the benefits of Pilates?
- Increase your postural awareness
- Increase your awareness of deep breathing – better oxygenation for body and more potential for relaxation
- Increase your strength of core stabilizers – trunk muscles that include the upper back, abdominals, low back muscles and gluteal (buttock) muscles
- Improve flexibility of spine and lower extremities
- Improve your balance
- Enhance your performance
Who Should take Pilates?
Anyone who wishes to increase the strength of their core muscles is a good candidate for Pilates. With its emphasis on core stability, Pilates is appropriate for individuals with poor posture (computer users!), athletes who wish to enhance their athletic performance, women who are post-partum (six weeks or more) or anyone who just wants to increase their physical fitness and general well-being.
Are private Pilates sessions available?
Yes! If you are not comfortable in a group setting or would like to proceed more quickly through the instruction of the exercises, you may wish to consider private sessions. The cost for 1-hour is $70 + HST. If you are recovering from an injury, illness or surgery or if Pilates has been recommended by your health care practitioner, then our Rehab Program may be a great option for you.
Can I use my extended health insurance towards Pilates?
If a Registered Physiotherapist performs an assessment and recommends Pilates Rehab as part of your treatment plan, Pilates may qualify for reimbursement from extended health providers. More information can be found in our Rehab Program section.
Will Pilates help me lose weight?
In one word…no…BUT Pilates will help you to tone and strengthen your existing muscles to help you lose inches around your waist, thighs and buttocks as your muscles get tighter and stronger. In order to lose weight, you need to participate in some form of aerobic exercise that will get your heart rate above your target zone for at least 20-30 minutes. A combination of Pilates and aerobic conditioning is recommended in order to get optimal results from a workout regimen.
Do I have to be in really good shape in order to do Pilates?
No. The purpose of doing Pilates is to get into shape. There are many different levels of Pilates and many ways of modifying each exercise. Your instructor will modify exercises to meet your specific needs and to enhance your success.
Can I do Pilates if I have back pain?
Many people who have had a single episode of low back pain in the past, or chronic episodes of low back pain feel like they have a “weak back”. It is appropriate to train the abdominal and low back stabilizers following rehabilitation of a back injury. If you are unsure about being ready for Pilates after a back injury then check out our Rehab Program, it may just be what you’re looking for!