1.) Can Pilates Help Me When I’m Pregnant
2.) What’s the Difference Between Yoga and Pilates
3.) What’s the Difference between Classical Pilates and Modern Pilates?
4.) Pilates Vs Gym
5.) Studio Policies and Procedures
There are several reasons why Pilates is the best type of exercise for pregnant and soon-to-be pregnant women.
Pilates workouts are designed to strengthen your core muscles with an emphasis on abdominal muscles, the lower back and the muscles of the pelvic floor. All of these muscles are important in pregnancy because of the changes to your body as your baby grows, especially as your abs are stretched and your lower back is pulled forwards.
If these core muscles are toned by doing Pilates they will support your baby properly so you can have a more comfortable pregnancy with less back-ache and you will have more control over the muscles during delivery.
When your abdominals and pelvic floor muscles are strong and in good condition they have a better chance of full recovery to normal after birth making your life easier in the few months after childbirth.
Modern Pilates is designed to strengthen postural and core muscles and to create proper patterns of movement. Understanding what is correct alignment will in turn enable better functionality during any other activities you perform whether it’s sporting pursuits or just day-to-day things like sitting at a computer or driving a car.
Having strong core abdominal and postural muscles means that you don’t get tired as much during every day activities and you will be less prone to injuries. Pilates breathing works with the movements of the spine – inhaling on extension and exhaling on flexion of the spine. The breath is also used to help connect with the deep core muscles to build strength and stability around the pelvis and lower back.
The movements in Pilates are done in a controlled and stable manner and stretches are maintained with muscles still active to protect all the body’s joints. Small props and equipments are used for modifying Pilates exercises to make them easier or harder depending on individual ability, strength and injury status.
Most schools of Pilates offer modules of training so you can find an instructor with the relevant experience and training for your needs. It is important that your instructor is aware of how to modify exercises depending on your ability so that you maintain correct form and gain the maximum benefit from your Pilates classes.
After your Pilates class you should feel tall, balanced and posturally aligned.
Yoga has been around for centuries but some styles of yoga have been developed more recently. Most forms of yoga use relaxed breathing and follow fixed poses which may be held statically or flow smoothly depending on the style.
The physical aim of yoga is to gain flexibility and movement of the muscles and joints as well as to relax the body. Many styles of yoga also include an element of meditation and many people find the combination of the physical and mental aspects provide relief from daily stress even when they are at their desk or in stressful situations.
There are hundreds of different schools of yoga, some provide full instructor development and some are less thorough. Since it is possible to hurt yourself during some of the poses if your body is not balanced to begin with it is important to find an experienced and well trained instructor.
Combining Pilates and Yoga classes
Many people feel that they get the best benefit from taking both types of classes, Pilates for control and stability combined with yoga for the stress reduction. Now it is even possible to find blended classes that combine both styles together for the best of both! At OptionsPilates we offer ‘Pilates Infused Yoga’ classes for those who want a mat based workout combining the structure of Pilates with the relaxation of yoga.
The most important point to remember is that a good instructor from any method will be better than a bad instructor from any method, and an instructor who has learned many different methods is likely to know and understand more than someone who has an idealized opinion of one particular method.
Classical Pilates is a prescribed set of exercises following the original design of Joseph Pilates as taught to ballet dancers in the middle of last century. Several of Pilates’ students continued their own style of Pilates as learned from Joseph Pilates himself, including the widely known Ron Fletcher and Romana Kryzanowska.
Classical Pilates is a one-size-fits-all method that follows the principle that a ‘flat back’ is the ideal spine alignment rather than the anatomically normal S-curve. For some people, especially ballet dancers this makes the method feel natural since the posture they typically develop over years of practicing fits well with the exercise routine taught in Classical Pilates classes.
Strictly taught Classical Pilates classes follow a set routine that is intended to be followed perfectly by students and this routine does not change over time.
Modern or Contemporary Pilates is used to describe any Pilates method that does not strictly follow the original teachings of Joseph Pilates as taught to ballet dancers.
Methods such as Pilated Academy International use modifications and changes to the original exercises to allow a gradual progression of exercises according to a client’s ability. This makes the class more beneficial to clients who want to build up their ability over time and also allows Pilates to be used by clients with conditions such as back pain or scoliosis. Modified Pilates is especially good for pregnant women who need special consideration because of the physiological changes during pregnancy.
These days many workout methods are incorporating the importance of core strength into all exercise and it is common for personal trainers to take a Pilates qualification in order to broaden their scope of understanding of movement and exercise.
In fact it is very beneficial for personal trainers to have an understanding of correct posture and deviations from correct posture in order to know which gym based exercises can help or hurt individual clients. Although this knowledge can be gained through many different courses or certifications it is best standardised and practiced by contemporary Pilates methods such as Pilates Academy International.
If you work out on your own at the gym it is useful to have a knowledge of Pilates so that you can make sure your joints are safe and your alignment correct while you are using heavy weights. This can help prevent injuries and protect the body against general wear and tear.