Pilates: What’s True & What’s False?
There are many inaccurate ideas circulating about Pilates. It’s mostly for women? You have to be flexible to take part? We asked instructors to tell us which Pilates myths they encounter most frequently and to share suggestions on how to counteract false perceptions.
Dispel Myths With Great Instruction
“‘Pilates is mostly for women.’ Because of this myth, we work hard to make sure our men’s class is outstanding. We designed it to enhance running, cycling and surfing, and all of our men comment on how the class has positively impacted their sport. It’s fantastic to see strong men get blown away by the subtle posture corrections and use of the core muscles. By the end of a session, they are sweating and high-fiving us for a great workout.
“‘You have to be flexible to take Pilates.’ We explain that we tailor our program to the needs of each client. For example, with clients who are extremely flexible, we work on stability so they are strong throughout their full range of motion. Often, dancers and gymnasts are weak at the end of their range of motion or lack integrity in their joints, and they can be vulnerable to injury.
—Instructor Staff, Center of Movement and Balance, Solana Beach, California
Educate Students About the Facts
“‘Pilates exercises are difficult and very strenuous.’ I tell students that when Joseph Pilates was alive, he called his method ‘Contrology’ because it is about control of the body. Everything in Pilates is done with precision and, if done diligently and regularly, can contribute to increased body awareness. Form is of prime importance, and speed in execution is irrelevant.
“Pilates is done at the pace a person is comfortable with and hence is one of the most appropriate exercise programs for elderly people, those new to exercise and even disabled people. I caution students not to be intimidated by instructors who teach group classes at an advanced level. This is a great way to get injured. I advise taking private lessons with a knowledgeable instructor so the individual can work at his or her own level, learn the proper way to do the work, avoid injury and get the most out of his or her practice.
—Josie Roth, Owner, Infrastructure Pilates, Los Angeles
Help Students Feel Successful and Reach Goals
“‘Pilates does not engage the arms and/or legs.’ I like to address this with the ‘intentionality factor.’ I explain that every movement in class (and, hopefully, outside of class) is done with intention and purpose. So, if one's legs are not fully engaged, are the inner thighs active? Is the client intentionally reaching through the tops of the thighs and extending the legs? If the arms are lax, again, is the client actively reaching? Are the triceps muscles working? Are the shoulder blades long and wide along the back? I pass these questions and cues on to clients so that they are engaged and present throughout their entire body and not just in parts.
“‘Pilates is a weight loss program.’ Pilates has the amazing capacity to shape and hone our bodies, and to develop length and build strength, but it wasn’t designed as a means for weight loss. Clients who want to lose weight need a cardiovascular workout in addition to their Pilates regimen. Some might require a nutritionist to help make lifestyle changes. We are there to encourage and help clients reach their goals with the proper training and skills we have at hand.”
—Stephanie Hall, Turning Point Fitness, Westerville, Ohio
To read more Pilates myths and learn how instructors dispel them, please see “How Do You Address Misconceptions About Pilates?” in the online IDEA Library or in the November 2011 issue of IDEA Pilates Today.
Photo credit: Len Spoden Photography.
For the latest research, statistics, sample classes, and more, "Like" IDEA on Facebook here.
© 2012 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.
- Abdominals/Core Conditioning
- Body Image
- Boot Camp
- Cardiovascular Training
- Career Issues
- Client Advice
- Client Handouts
- Coaching/Lifestyle Coaching
- Consumer Education
- Continuing Education/CECs/Home Study
- Corrective Exercise
- Disabilities and Diseases
- Fitness Handouts
- Government Initiatives
- Group Fitness
- Health Clubs/Fitness Facilities
- Inactive Market/Inspire the World to Fitness
- Industry Issues/Trends
- Injuries/Injury Prevention
- Legal Issues
- Marketing and Sales
- Medicine/Medical Profession
- Nutrition/Healthy Eating
- Personal Trainer Institute West 2013 Blog
- Personal Training
- Program Design
- Program Trends
- Research/Exercise Science
- Sample Classes
- Sample Workouts/Program Design
- Self Improvement
- Special Populations
- Strength Training
- Technology/World Wide Web
- Weight Management
- Women/Women's Health Issues
IDEA Fit Tips
|Extreme Interval Training
In this course you'll learn goal-focused intervals and over 50 dynamic exercises and drills to create extensive and intensive training formats.
|Cut to the Core
This is a raw, unedited video filmed live at the 2009 IDEA World Fitness Convention™. Cut to the Core is packed full of core-focused exercises that aim to improve the way you look, feel and live.
|September 2011 IDEA Fitness Journal Quiz 4: Plyometric Training
This continuing education quiz is an in-depth look at plyometric training. Plyometric exercises—jumping, bounding, hopping, arm pushing, and catching and throwing weighted objects such as machine balls—are movements that involve rapid eccentric and concentric muscle actions.