What is Pilates?
Pilates is a popular and fast growing low impact form of exercise that strengthens the body, improves flexibility, mobility, body posture, balance and coordination. Pilates tones the body and is also great for overall fitness for both women and men. It also creates a connection between the body and the mind.
The low-impact exercises use your body weight, small props and specialised equipment for strengthening the core and improving flexibility and endurance.
Pilates is also good for rehabilitation through strengthening core muscles, there are Pilates trained physiotherapists that incorporate some of the equipment and exercises as part of their rehabilitation treatment.
Pilates gets its name from the founder Joseph Pilates who invented a complete exercise system that consists of exercises, training routines and specialised equipment in the 1920s. Today there are still studios that teach a style of classical Pilates that is based on his original movement patterns and equipment exercises. There are now however many different styles and types of Pilates that have been fused with other forms of exercises and disciplines to cater for a wide variety of fitness, rehabilitation and wellbeing goals. Another great thing about Pilates is that it can be adapted to accommodate people of all ages and abilities.
Definition of Pilates
This is the Pilates definition as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
“an exercise regimen that is typically performed on a floor mat or with the use of specialized apparatus and aims to improve flexibility and stability by strengthening the muscles and especially the torso-stabilizing muscles of the abdomen and lower back
Long popular with dancers, Pilates recently has attracted a huge surge of athletes, models, actors and other body-conscious folks. —Patricia Hagen
She does intensive Pilates, deep-muscle floor exercises and stretches. —Cosmopolitan”
Pilates Mat and Reformer classes
Mat and Reformer classes are two of the more popular Pilates classes, both of which will offer a controlled challenging workout for your body.
Mat Pilates is performed on a mat that is slightly thicker than a Yoga mat and the various exercises typically use your body weight and could include the use of other small props like Pilates ring, balls, foam rollers, resistance bands and weights.
Reformer Pilates is performed using specialised Pilates equipment called a reformer. The reformer provides added resistance and load via springs, pulleys and a sliding surface for a full body workout.
Benefits of Pilates:
Doing regular pilates may have many different benefits but some of the main benefits are:
- improved fitness, strength and general wellbeing
- improved posture
- improved muscle tone
- stronger core muscles
- improved flexibility and balance
- improved joint mobility
- aid rehabilitation for specific injuries
- anxiety and stress relief
Tips for choosing a Pilates Studio:
It may be worth looking for a local Pilates studio or class that’s easy to get to. Finding a studio that is near to where you live or work would be ideal and it could be one of your priorities. If you have a car and intend driving to your lessons then you should also check to see if it has parking nearby. If public transport is your preference then you should check to see where the closest train station is or nearest bus stop and the relevant timetables too see how often they run around the times of your workouts.
Class types and levels
If you are a beginner, do they offer an introduction and beginner level classes. If you’re a more experienced Pilates practitioner do they offer intermediate and advanced classes. Do they offer private, semi-private, classes? How big are their group classes? What level of intensity are the classes.
Pricing and membership
Pilates classes are not necessarily cheap especially private one on one classes. Check to see if they offer a free or introductory pass and if can you buy a package of lessons in advance. If you are after a membership then find out what the membership fee is and how it works if you need to put in on hold or cancel it. You may want to attend classes 2 to 3 times a week.
Studios & Instructors
Do you need a studio that has a change room? Or a shower in case you intend going to work after your class. Do they provide towels or water? Find out what other facilities or amenities they have that you can use. Also ensure that they have insurance.
You may also want to know what type of Pilates equipment they have like mats, reformers, chairs, barrels, the cadillac and the tower. Do they offer women only or men only classes.
Ask what experience and qualifications the Instructors have. Also find out if they are able to create a tailored workout to suit your fitness levels, goals or to meet your rehabilitation requirements.
Here are some of the different types of Pilates classes offered by various studios:
Antenatal Pilates, Antigravity Pilates, Aqua Pilates, Back Pain Pilates, Ballet Fitness Pilates, Barre Pilates, Chair Pilates, Core Pilates, Fitness Pilates, Hot Pilates, Mat Pilates Class, Men Only Pilates, Mother & Baby Pilates, One-on-One Pilates, Pilates Ball, Polestar Pilates, Postnatal Pilates, Power Pilates, Pregnancy Pilates, Private Pilates, Reformer Pilates, Remedial and Rehab Pilates, Spinal Mobility Pilates, Sport Specific Pilates, Sports Injury Pilates, Stott Pilates, Studio Equipment Pilates, Tower Pilates, Women Only Pilates, Workplace Pilates, Yoga Pilates, Yogalates.
If you want to find out more about Pilates in Australia you can refer to the Pilates Alliance Australasia (PAA).
The Pilates Alliance Australasia (PAA) is an independent and not-for-profit organisation established by the Pilates industry as a regulatory body for control of quality instruction, member support and integrity within all legitimate approaches to the Pilates Method.
The PAA believes in an open approach to regulation and strives to ensure protection of the general public, industry employees and studios, whilst continuing to foster the original intentions of the Pilates Method.
So, go ahead and explore our Pilates Near Me directory to find a Pilates studio or class near you. We also have a few online classes listed if you prefer to do Pilates at home. If you are interested in doing a Pilates course or becoming a Pilates Instructor you can also use our directory to find different courses, instructor and teacher training.