Can someone explain to me what pilates are?

  1. I think the title says it all - lol - thanks!
  2. I was wondering the same just the other day. Is it safe to do pilates if you have issues with your spine? Is it low-impact?
  3. Thinking the same thing..
  4. Its somewhat similar to yoga, however the focus is using your core abdominal muscles to perform every exercise, and there is also a method of breathing used to initiate and complete each exercise. You can do different exercises using either a mat or a machine. You can use your own body weight as resistance or use additional weights for more of a challenge.

    As for it being hard on your spine, I don't believe it would be (better to ask a pilates teacher, I've just been doing it for about 3 years). If your doing pilates on a mat, you can add an additional mat for more cushioning; and if on a machine the machine is well cushioned so it shouldn't be too much of an issue. If anything, because the focus is on core strength, once you do pilates often, you may have less issues with your spine. There is also emphasis on 'lengthening the spine', essentially just a lot of stretching out the spine so that you feel taller.

    Hope this helps? :smile:
  5. ^^^I've been doing yoga with a tape as of recently - and there's also alot of focus on "lengthening the spine".
  6. yes, the core is that main thing. I love pilates!
  7. I found a pilates video for inflexible people which combines yoga and pilates. That might be good for me with my crappy spine. I need to find something to strengthen it. Is it incredibly painful when you first begin? (You know, from using muscles you haven't used in a while)
  8. well, with any exercises that uses muscles you haven't used in a while it'll be a little painful the first time round... well, sore is the more appropriate word i suppose. The key is to take it slow, and use the tips that the instructor in the video/class to help you do each of the movements correctly. After you get used to some of the terms like 'imprint' and 'neutral spine' ... the exercises will come a lot easier to do. As for your spine being painful after doing pilates for the first few times, my experience is that you tend to do stretches for the spine rather than working out the spine itself.. (is that even possible?? :smile: ) I just know that every time I finish a workout I feel so much longer and my posture improves greatly!!
  9. If you're really interested in Pilates there are quite few good sources out there. I've taken mat and apparatus classes since 2002. Try anything by Brooke Siler, Anna Caban and Mari Winsor's stuff is good, too. There's also a magazine called PilatesStyle that you may want to check out. If you ever do take a class find out about the instructor's level of certification because Pilates is not patented. Although it is a matter of opinion -- those instructors that have guild certification from a Joseph Pilates protege are more highly regarded. And depending on your skill level -- instructors should always give modifications for each exercise. Also be aware that the strengthening the core muscles may help alleviate some of the spine issues since they are opposing muscle groups. But please do check with your physician before beginning anything strenuous so you don't injure yourself. Good luck.

    Toni Annette
  10. If you are worried about your spine talk to your doctor first. You may also try a low impact yoga. My mom has a hair line fracture in her spine and doing the low impact yoga is hard on her back sometimes. It all depends on your back pain, strength, and flexibility.