Is Pilates Right for You? Common Questions Answered!

three people doing Pilates exercise on Reformer machines

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Have you been feeling like you need to change up your workout routine? Are your joints aching? Are you tired and not feeling refreshed after your workout? If so, you may be a great candidate for Pilates. Pilates is a low-impact total body strengthening workout that connects the mind and body, offering a rejuvenating and refreshing experience.

If you have previous injuries, pain, or any concerns, you may want to consider private Pilates sessions with a certified STOTT Pilates rehab instructor who will tailor an exercise program specifically for you with consideration to your unique needs. STOTT Pilates is a contemporary approach to the original Pilates exercise method, incorporating modern principles of exercise science and rehabilitation. Specialized physical therapists integrate STOTT Pilates techniques into their treatment plans to help patients recover from injuries, improve movement patterns, and strengthen their bodies in a safe and controlled manner.

To help you get started with Pilates and understand its benefits, here are some common questions and answers that can guide you through the process and address any concerns you might have. 

How can I prep for Pilates? 

I want to begin a program but am unsure if I am physically fit enough!

  • Watch online Pilates videos to get an idea of what it might be like. Does this seem like something you are interested in and fits your fitness level? (YouTube has lots of videos for mat and reformer workouts.)
  • Try an online class first! Pacific Northwest Pilates Online Classes
  • Check out the different types of Pilates classes: mat, reformer, beginner, intermediate, advanced.
  • Determine whether you’d want a private class or group class.
  • See if the studio offers an introductory class to try so you can see if you like it before committing.
  • Pilates is for every BODY, and modifications can be made for all fitness levels.

What should I know before I get started?

  • There are a lot of details in Pilates, so don’t get frustrated.
  • Proper breathing is incorporated into the class, and you will learn how to do this over time.
  • You’ll feel new muscles working.
  • The movements are very precise; take your time.
  • Your body should feel strong and lengthened after your session.
  • Learning the 5 basic principles will help you in class. Five Basic Principles
a group of people in a Pilates class

I’ve done yoga but am ready to expand into Pilates — how are they different?

  • Yoga and Pilates are different practices.
  • Pilates focuses more on connecting the core, breath, and movement for precise movement patterns.
  • Pilates is a bit faster-paced than yoga, depending on the class you take.

Pilates for rehab: I don’t tolerate intense exercise during PT and never feel good afterward. Would Pilates-based exercise be right for me?

  • Yes! Pilates-based exercise focuses on precise movements, core engagement, and breathing during exercise.
  • Spring resistance is used on the reformer and tower, which can be adjusted according to your strength and ability to stay in the correct position while doing the exercise. Your instructor can tell if the weight needs to be increased or decreased based on how your body is performing.
  • For mat and reformer exercises, we can make them harder or easier by adding props such as stability balls, toning balls, springs, yoga blocks, and resistance bands.
  • We will use movement to reset, restore, and build on your specific diagnosis so that the exercise is comfortable yet effective for you.
  • During Pilates-based PT, your physical therapist may provide hands-on cues to help with positioning and to activate the right muscles at the right time. If you want to feel and know you’re doing a movement correctly, you will enjoy your clinic time much more.
  • The changes integrated during your session should be long-lasting so that you can experience lasting improved freedom of movement.
a young woman works on her posture muscles with the help of a coach/PT
physical therapist assists male patient with exercise for core and pelvic floor utilizing a yoga ball
a trainer helps with spine alignment during Pilates

Pilates is a fantastic way to move and exercise your body. It is low-impact, and most people with pain feel better after a session. If you have any concerns, questions, aches and pains, past injuries, or weight issues, Pilates can be tailored to meet your needs. For those with specific injuries, working with a certified STOTT Pilates rehab instructor ensures a safe and effective exercise program. Pilates-based PT can treat all injuries and pain, helping you achieve better health and well-being. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a certified Pilates-based Physical Therapist if you need guidance and support for a safe and effective exercise experience. Find a Pilates-based PT.

Did you know Pilates can help correct posture?

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