Whether you are new to Pilates or have been doing it for sometime, chances are you have heard a fair few "theories" and ideas about the exercise method. Let's take a look at the most common myths about Pilates and settle some matters once and for all!
MYTH 1: Pilates is for women only
Whilst it is true that Pilates is more common amongst women, there are plenty of men who enjoy and feel the benefits of Pilates too. The Pilates Method was designed for the human body (not gender specific) and was invented by a man!
MYTH 2: Pilates is just for abs/core
In every exercise you do in a Pilates class you will be told to engage your core, or as we like to say #TZoneStaysOn, so naturally you will develop stronger abdominal muscles. However a good Pilates class should have you using all muscle groups and feeling like you have had a full body workout.
MYTH 3: Pilates is the same as yoga
Yes there are similarities e.g. lying on a mat in a mat-work class, breathwork, control, mind/body connection, both are low impact... however they are vastly different and derive from different principals. In yoga you will generally adopt a position, hold it and then gently flow to a different position. By contrast, in Pilates you will adopt a position and systematically move your arms and/or legs to challenge your core. Yoga dates back thousands of years and has spiritual and religious roots, whereas Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s.
MYTH 4: Pilates is easy
Pilates is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on joints, but this does not mean it is an "easy" form of fitness. Pilates focuses on control, breathing and engaging the correct muscles, add in some equipment and it can actually be a little complicated to do it right! The key however is that every exercise can be tailored to the individual. So if you are just starting out, the exercises can be simpler and slower. Once you have been to a few classes, you'll get to know what the moves are called, which muscles you should be feeling and can then speed up or add some extra weights/springs.
MYTH 5: Reformer Pilates is harder than Mat-Work Pilates
This one can be true and false, depending on the individual. Often Reformer is the next step if you have been doing Pilates for a little while and want something more. Reformer adds springs as resistance to your moves, which can increase the intensity of the exercise. However, Mat-Work Pilates relies on your own balance, strength and stability to support your body. It is actually easier to cheat on the Reformer, as the tension helps to hold you in position!
MYTH 6: You have to be flexible to do Pilates
Pilates is common amongst dancers and gymnasts, who are therefore quite flexible. But Pilates can be tailored to all fitness levels and actually helps with flexibility. You may start out unable to reach your toes, but we guarantee after a few classes you will feel and notice increased mobility in your muscles.
MYTH 7: You can't do Pilates if you are pregnant, injured, over a certain age...
This one is a big FALSE! Pilates exercises can be adapted for all ages and fitness levels, and tweaked for the individual. Classes can become as fast or stay as slow as you need, depending on your ability. As it is low-impact, it is great to get you back on track to full fitness or take things a little easier if need be.
(Please note: Studio Lifewave does not offer rehabilitation/clinical or pregnancy-specific Pilates, but we do have 1 on 1 sessions available to assess your needs).
THE TRUTH! Pilates is great for EVERYONE - men and women of all ages and abilities. Each exercise can be adapted to suit. Tina will ensure you are in the right body position and using the correct muscle groups for each movement. You may not be able to jump straight into a Teaser in your first session but you'll still achieve a full body workout and fantastic results! Come along to a class at Studio Lifewave and see for yourself!