Common misconceptions about Pilates

Isn't Pilates like Yoga?

Physically, Pilates and yoga DO share many of the same goals. They both emphasize strength, flexibility, alignment and stability. The difference lies in the history: yoga originates from India and encompasses a larger spiritual philosophy and way of living. 
Pilates was developed to treat injury rehabilitation and focuses on strengthening and lengthening the muscles. Pilates takes a controlled and monitored approach to movement. It emphasizes the core and stabilizes the body's imbalances.

Pilates seems geared towards women, does it benefit men?

Joseph Pilates, a man, founded Pilates to help rehabilitate soldiers (also predominantly men) during wartime.
While it is true that Pilates is often associated with females (due to its low impact nature, focus on pelvic stability, core strengthening, and pre and post-natal benefits), it is designed to suit many different needs for all bodies. It can complement weight training, running and sports performance for both men and women. A lot of professional athletes incorporate Pilates into their regimes to increase flexibility and prevent injuries. 

Do we have to do crunches in Pilates?

Strengthening the core is an inevitable side effect of a regular Pilates routine… but it's not the only benefit.
While we do utilize pelvic stability and core moves into each workout, Pilates is a full-body effort. 
Little known fact: Pilates was initially coined 'Contrology', due to the emphasis on control and body awareness in each exercise. Overall, Pilates encompasses strength training, balance, coordination and postural work, with a focus on technique and mindfulness.

Isn't it just stretching?

Pilates is a challenging workout – but it's different from other forms of traditional weight based or cardio exercises. This is because it works by targeting the smaller, stabilizer muscle groups and obscure movement patterns to create a challenging workout.
There are also many different styles of Pilates practices to choose from. 
Mat Pilates (which uses your body weight and other small props) will look and feel different than Reformer Pilates (specialized pilates equipment that adds resistance and load). Both come with their own unique difficulties. 
I always recommend new clients do their research, and then discuss with your prospective instructor what class would be a good fit. 

Pilates can help you lose weight quickly.

Pilates has many incredible effects  – but a magical 10 pound, 1 week weight loss won't be one of them (and frankly, that's not a sustainable approach to weight loss). Weight loss ultimately occurs when you burn more energy than you absorb. Everybody burns energy at different rates, depending on many physiological factors. 
Increasing any exercise will encourage weight loss. Diet, which can be tailored to monitor energy intake, and exercise are most effective when combined. So to bust the myth: Pilates can help you if weight loss is your goal, but it's best done in conjunction with a healthy, tailored nutrition plan and practiced consistently. 

You have to be flexible to do Pilates. 

Pilates can be adapted for all ages and abilities – including those who struggle to touch their toes! The beauty of Pilates comes in the ability to teach someone how to move their body and gradually improve mobility and flexibility. This practice is hugely successful in pain reduction and injury prevention. 
Remember to take care of yourself!


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