Q: What is Pilates?
Please see our What is Pilates? page for more details.
Q: What are the principles of a STOTT PILATES® session at Pilates Integration Mind. Body. Spirit?
STOTT PILATES® helps the student to develop optimal strength, flexibility, endurance and posture without building bulk or stressing your joints. Improve core strength, balance the muscles around the joints and improve the way your body functions, looks and feels.
At Pilates Integration Mind. Body. Spirit. we teach the STOTT PILATES® Five Basic Principles. These five biomechanical principles raise awareness of how the body moves and ensures focus on precision and control so that you can realize the full benefits of any exercise program.
We focus specifically on these FIVE BASIC PRINCIPLES:
2. Pelvic placement
3. Rib-cage placement
4. Scapular movement
5. Head & cervical spine placement
Q: How is Pilates different from other exercises?
Pilates trains the body from the inside out.
Deb Preachuk practices STOTT Pilates® the "ivy league" of Pilates instruction. At Pilates Ingegration you will be taught how to feel and connect your core stabilizing muscles before you move, versus moving the body around in attempt to feel something working.
Pilates is a gentle yet very effective form of exercise that requires an individual to learn how to focus attention of a movement completely from start to finish.
Students of Pilates are taught to work all of the muscles simultaneously from the start to the end of a movement. From there you are able to move the body in all planes of motion with control, efficiency and strength, while maintaining flexibility for ease of movement.
Once well trained in Pilates based techniques, you can translate the principles of Pilates into any form of exercise, work related setting, or activities of daily life.
Q: How does Pilates compare to Yoga?
Both are considered mind-body type methods of movement. Each emphasize deep breathing and smooth, long movements that encourage your muscles to relax and lengthen. Because the body and breath are emphasized, movements flow from one to another, and a great deal of mental focus and concentration is required some circles have defined Pilates as "yoga with movement". That however, is where the similarities end. Pilates does not include a philosophical or meditative component.
The major difference is that while Yoga requires you to move from one static posture to another, STOTT PILATES® flows through a series of movements that are more dynamic, systematic and anatomically based. The goal with STOTT PILATES® exercises is to achieve optimal functional fitness. Yoga requires moving from one static posture to the next without repetitions, and adheres to a meditative focus.Here is a fantastic article on the differences between Yoga and Pilates as posted by Pilates-Pro I hope you find it helpful and insightful. Please email or call if you have any further questions.
Q: How many times a week should I attend to get better at Pilates?
My experience is that students progress the fastest when they can come 2-3x/week.
That, however, is not feasible for everyone so I recommend a minimum of training privately at least 1x/week.
A well-trained student of Pilates can practice it everyday.
Q: When can I expect to notice results (and/or lose weight) from doing Pilates?
Joseph H. Pilates himself was famous for saying
"In 10 classes you will feel the difference.
In 20 classes you will see the difference, and in 30 classes you will have a whole new body".
Noticing results however, depend largely upon your lifestyle and habits.
In my opinion, Pilates alone will not change your body.
That said, I have had clients who've had amazing transformations by incorporating Pilates alone into their lifestyles. Sometimes it truly can be the missing piece of the health and wellness puzzle that transforms an individuals body.
For the average person, it is in my my personal opinion that a healthy and balanced diet, consistent cardiovascular exercise, and regular attendance in STOTT PILATES® sessions can create a transformed posture and physique.
The average active person, doing 2-3 classes per week should see some results within 10-12 classes. This will vary depending on each individual and things such as the number of classes a person takes each week, whether they are private or group classes, whether they participate in other physical activities, and whether they have any existing injuries.
I've had numerous client's lose weight (as much as 40 pounds). Was it Pilates alone? Absolutely not. It was consistent Pilates training combined with a newfound awareness to the mind/body connection. Establishing better nutrition, fueling the body versus nurturing emotional issues, and a resolve that change is possible.
Q: What are the benefits of doing Pilates?
By participating in a STOTT PILATES® program, you can expect an increase in flexibility, mobility, balance, and body awareness, as well as a decrease in back pain/other general pains over time.
Q: What is the difference between an equipment-based class and a mat-based class?
There are different forms of Pilates training; the two most common are matwork and reformer. One of my favorite quotes is "Pilates is a Massage to Your Body using your own Body Weight, and the Reformer is the support that allows the magic to happen". I like it because it is an accurate description of the difference between equipment-based and mat-based Pilates classes.
Matwork Pilates is done without any equipment, using one's own internal resistance to stretch and strengthen the core stabilizing muscles. Because there is no need for specialized pieces of equipment or additional training for the instructor, the cost of a matwork session tends to be lower than a reformer session. Matwork however is actually very difficult for most beginning students (de-conditioning, postural misalignment, old injuries) and in my experience, a form of exercise to work up towards. Many new students need cervical or lumbar support, assistance in ranges of motion you and I consider being normal, and building blocks to step up from. That's where the reformer and small equipment come into play.
The Reformer helps one establish torso stability and postural alignment while working peripheral limbs through full range of motion. There are adjustable springs, straps, cushions and other small pieces of equipment that allow for progressive resistance, which helps to lengthen and strengthen the muscles. The biggest difference is that matwork once learned properly, can be done at home by oneself. The reformer will always require a trained instructor to be at a client's side for safety. The training for the reformer is extensive as is the equipment, and therefore the cost difference.
Mat-based workouts are very convenient and they can be done anywhere. However, a mat workout will provide no added resistance. A Reformer workout will add resistance to your routine and can correct muscular imbalances better than a mat routine would.
Since Pilates has gotten so hot over the past few years, most people think that it's just the matwork and should be easy to do at home with a video. Unfortunately, that same audience is probably missing a big piece of the puzzle. Without trained instruction it is very easy to hurt yourself, or totally miss the picture.
A highly trained Pilates instructor will teach you not how to move to feel something (as we do in the fitness studio), she will teach you how to feel something before you move.
Q: Where should I start - on the mat or on the equipment?
I usually recommend that students start with private instruction and use the equipment.
This allows the student to learn the basic principles in a very safe and restorative way. This will enable you the student to experience a positive experience, or try a session for size in a very non-intimidating way. Once you know the basics, you can move on to the much more challenging yet much more portable matwork.
Q: Can the Pilates reformer replace strength training?
I usually recommend that students come and try a session first so I can explain Pilates to them, do a postural analysis, review the key principles of Pilates, and give the student an opportunity to try all of the different options available to them. From there, most students have an idea of which workout suits them best to continue with.
On a Pilates reformer, you are working with resistance, and your own body weight acts as resistance as well. Some of the benefits of working on the reformer include:
Pilates reformers are great for building longer leaner muscles without bulking up. You can get a total body workout on the reformer and perform rehabilitative exercises. A Pilates reformer is also great for athletes and, depending on the accessories of the reformer, it is also great for a cardiovascular workout with the jumpboard.
Whether the Pilates reformer will replace strength training or not depends on your fitness goals. I don't think one will replace the other as they both have great benefits and can be done together. You can get a lot of variety of movement from both strength training and the reformer, and you can also be muscle specific with both. If you wanted to bulk up for a competition or something like that, then I would add in strength training with free weights or machines on top of a Pilates workout. If you are looking to simply tone up without bulk, or if you are working on injury recovery and improving posture while gaining a greater sense of core strength, a Pilates reformer workout a few times a week is perfect.
Q: Will I be sore after doing a Pilates workout?!
The question is to first ask is "Is it good pain or bad pain?"
The answer is yes and no.
Pain is your body's way of telling you that there is something wrong, but not all pain is bad. Many people seek out exercise that gives them the 'good pain factor' as they like to feel that they have worked themselves hard.
So how do we distinguish good pain from bad pain?
Here are a couple of pointers...
Good pain feels like a moderate to strong discomfort (sometimes burning as in lactic acid build up sensation) in the muscles you are working and should go away discontinuing the movement. Any delayed onset muscle soreness as a result of the exercises session should disappear within a day or two after exercise.
Any sharp, shooting or electric like pains in the muscle or swollen, aching or throbbing joints is bad pain.
During a Pilates class many people experience a moderate amount of muscular fatigue and discomfort in certain muscle groups and possibly mild to moderate discomfort during stretches ( depending on flexibility ).
Muscular soreness a day or 2 after the class is sometimes felt but will usually ease up with movement or by taking hot shower or bath.
People often say they can feel they've worked there stomach muscles if they laugh or cough the day after a class!
Any 'creaks cracks or crunches' felt during exercises ( although they don't sound too good ) are nothing to worry about as long as they aren't painful.
Pilates helps condition your body without punishing it - there is no bouncing, jarring or stress to your body.The emphasis is on the quality of the movement and not the number of repetitions.
Pilates is the perfect way to help avoid 'bad pain' during other forms of exercise because you retrain your body to move more efficiently.
I asked a few people how they felt immediately after a Pilates class and here were some of the responses: "taller", "I feel like I've just had a massage", "energised and alert", "I feel like my body has been worked in the right way", "muscles worked and more aware of how I'm standing". Sometimes they will feel light-headed from the diaphragmatic breathing and oxygenation to the body.
WHY NOT GIVE IT A TRY? Call today to book your first session!
Q: Can I drop-in to a class at Pilates Integration?
Please call ahead to book a session.
Q: I have an injury/medical condition. Can I do Pilates?
Deb is highly trained and specializes in this field. As with any medical condition or injury, it is vital that you have consulted your physician prior to starting any exercise program. STOTT PILATES® is a very safe and effective method of training a person recovering from an injury or working with a medical condition. Look for a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor who has completed the Injuries and Special Populations program.
A STOTT PILATES® workout is gentle and controlled with no sudden jarring actions. It is therefore more important that you work with a qualified instructor to ensure that you are doing the movements correctly. An experienced instructor will be able to modify the exercises to accommodate your limitations, continually challenge you within your range and monitor your improvements. If you commit yourself to a consistent workout schedule you will certainly feel results.
Q: Can I do Pilates if I'm pregnant?
Women with with prior Pilates experience can and do continue in their Pilates training while pregnant. Pilates is an ideal exercise for expectant mothers as all the exercises can be adapted to suit pregnancy.
If you have never done STOTT Pilates before conceiving, it is recommended that you train privately with an instructor like Deb Preachuk who specializes in pre and post natal Pilates instruction, or wait until after delivery and your six-week check-up before beginning.
Both mother and baby will benefit tremendously by exercising gently and staying fit and healthy during the pre-natal period. Pilates is an ideal exercise for expectant mothers as all the exercises can be adapted to suit pregnancy.
The breathing techniques used in Pilates and correct use of pelvic floor muscles will also help with labor and delivery. During Pregnancy, your abdominals and pelvic floor muscles need to be strong enough to support your bump and protect your spine however you don't want to over strengthen your abs as the baby needs to grow without restriction.
You will also need to be able to release the pelvic floor muscles during delivery. It is recommended that the abdominal work during pregnancy is limited to gentle pelvic floor control and Transversus Abdominis (TA) strengthening. ( The TA is a corset like muscle that wraps around your mid section ). The common 'pregnant posture' whereby the woman lets her belly hang out and stands with an over arched lower back should be avoided, as this places undue stress on the lumbar spine.
Pilates emphasises the importance of correct posture during pregnancy and also serves as a good preparation for after the baby is born when correct posture will make lifting and carrying the baby more comfortable and injury free.
During pregnancy, changes in hormones cause the body's ligaments to become more flexible so that the pelvis is able to expand during labor. This often causes joint instability, therefore it is very important that all exercises are performed in correct alignment and that you don't over stretch the stabilising muscles of the pelvis.
Ideally it is best to work privately one-on-one with a highly trained instructor like Deb Preachuk to have the exercises modified to your unique needs throughout each stage of the pregnancy and post-partum period. The next best option is to join a Pilates class specifically designed for pre-and post natal mothers, or if you have been practicing Pilates regularly prior to conception you may be able to maintain your regular training routine with modifications and alternative movements given to you as necessary.
At Pilates Integration M.B.S. we always recommend that you discuss your pregnancy with your physician and instructor to develop a safe and effective workout throughout the course of the pregnancy.
We are happy to report that 8 children have been brought forth into this world, all through healthy and happy mama's who have been clients with Deb.
Q: What are the ages of your clients?
My youngest student is 9 years old; the oldest I've ever trained was 102! Each client receives individualized attention designed to help meet his/her goals, regardless of age and physical condition.
Here is an excerpt from the STOTT PILATES® May 2010 Newsletter regarding younger Pilates students.
"Mind-body exercise like Pilates can help pre-teens achieve physical fitness, be aware of good posture and habits, create optimal movement patterns and increase self esteem and confidence. At this age, an exercise program should focus on proper execution of exercises and ensuring ideal muscular activation. Although the Matwork repertoire is the perfect place to initiate a fitness program, the Reformer can be used as a valuable adjunct.
It was once thought that any exercise using resistance was inappropriate for the ‘tween’ crowd, because of the risk of developmental abnormalities. Nowadays, the benefits of gentle resistance training are paving the way for a healthier young person. It is imperative to ensure that the level of resistance on the Reformer promotes smooth muscular contractions and that the movements can be performed in a controlled and fluid manner. This is most effectively achieved by focusing on the Five Basic Principles of STOTT PILATES® and creating a program that will challenge balance, strength, flexibility and endurance. The Essential-level exercises are a great starting point. To get the best results, make sure you are working with a qualified instructor. Someone who is well trained will be able to tell if the exercises are being performed correctly and will choose the most appropriate moves to get the best results.
Remember that achieving fitness may take some time and will require a certain amount of dedication and commitment. By following these guidelines, any young person should be able to enjoy the many benefits a fit and healthy lifestyle can bring. - Laureen Dubeau "
Q: Is Pilates good for Men?
Yes, absolutely without question!
Pilates is an excellent form of conditioning for men.
Pilates works perfectly for men because it increases flexibility and strengthens all the muscle groups. It also requires coordination and balance during every exercise, so training in Pilates carries a cross over effect into all other athletic endeavors.
Q: How do I start?
If you are recovering from an injury, please consult your physician first. Otherwise, seize the day call to book your first session.
Q: What should I wear?
Please wear comfortable exercise clothing (which may be loose fitting, but not bulky), socks or barefoot only. Tights or yoga pants with a form fitting tank top of t-shirt work well.
Q: What if I have more questions?
Please call or contact us at your convenience.
There are two mottos I live by when teaching and learning.
The first is "you don't know what you don't know", so go ahead and ask!
The second is, there is no such thing as a "dumb" question. We are here to serve and help guide you through this wonderful learning process.
"We learn by observation, imitation and repetition."
~ Denis Waitley