What is Pilates?
Pilates s a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, after whom it was named.
It incorporates elements of stretching the body with strength and control and requires focus, effort, precision and attention to detail.
Pilates is more of a discipline than a “workout”, kind of like martial arts or classical ballet. It's a learned technique and method that is intended to be practiced consistently, long term.
The method includes work on the mat, reformer, wunda chair, cadillac, and various barrels and smaller gadgets that provide a varied amount of resistance and support with springs and pulleys.
What's the difference between mat and reformer?
Pilates mat is performed on a floor mat, with just your body and small props like a ball, hand weights, or resistance bands.
The reformer utilizes spring resistance, straps, pulleys and a carriage that moves back and forth on small wheels. The equipment supports and assists your movements and ensures you're in the proper position yet also adds additional challenge.
It's worth noting that Pilates is far more than just Mat vs. Reformer. There's an entire system of additional equipment out there, and Oxygen is proud to be among the most fully equipped studios in the area.
Start with REFORMER if...
you have any active disc injuries (or significant neck or back issues in general)
you are pregnant or newly post-partum
you have trouble being on your hands and knees or getting up and down off the ground.
you have very tight hamstrings, hip flexors or lower back, as sitting on the mat may be uncomfortable
Start with MAT if...
you want primarily core work - the mat order includes a lot of abdominal "crunches"
you have no trouble lying on the ground or kneeling or planking
you're looking for a method that you can learn and then do on your own at home
you're looking for a more cost effective group class but still want the benefits of Pilates
Still not sure? Give us a call or shoot us an email. We are happy to take the time to talk through your unique needs to find the best fit for you.
How often should I do Pilates?
It depends! What else do you do?
If Pilates is a small part of your big picture, and you do lots of other activities as well (maybe you take a yoga class once a week, you take a spin class once a week, and you also lift weights) - then maybe once a week can do the trick for you. Keep it in your back pocket as “pre-hab” or simply part of your own personal care routine.
If Pilates is your only activity, we recommend at least twice a week, if not three times. We have many clients that we see almost every day!
Any time you can make it in, we are happy to see you. Any amount of Pilates is GOOD! The more the better, but even if we see you once or twice a month, it’s for sure better than nothing at all.
But remember, to make progress more quickly and feel a consistent difference in your body, fewer aches and pains, better posture, improved mood and mental outlook - make it part of your regular routine, and make yourself a priority.