1. Could you explain to me what the Pilates method is?

Pilates is a "method" of exercises created in the last century at the turn of the first and second world wars, by Joseph Hubertus Pilates, a German-born American-born scholar and researcher. Athlete, sports instructor, weightlifter and gymnast, but above all an eclectic, creative and brilliant man, Pilates has dedicated his life to researching and perfecting the wonderful method that bears his name, now known and appreciated all over the world. Pilates exercises are performed on a mat / bench and on machines - specifically designed and operated by springs - in which body and mind work together. Its regular and correct practice helps to obtain enormous physical and psychological benefits. Strengthens, tones and stretches the entire muscles; increases endurance; corrects muscle imbalances; improves posture; increases joint flexibility and mobility; develops concentration, coordination and balance; increases mind-body awareness; improves self-esteem; gives energy and vitality; helps in recovery after an injury or surgery.

2. I hear about Pilates with machines and free body practice. Can you explain the difference to me?

The practice of Pilates can be carried out both with machines (Universal Reformer, Trapeze Cadillac, Ladder Barrel, Chair) in individual lessons, duet or mini-group (3 or 4 people), or in group lessons with free body exercises on of a mat, (hence the approach called Mat Work). The substantial difference is that in the first case you will work with the specific tools mentioned above, with which it will be possible to modulate the resistance and intensity of the exercises based on the individual need, to exploit the movements in the complete ROM (Range Of Motion) thanks to the assistance of the machines themselves, to carry out those exercises with advantage where the weakest muscle areas are involved, working them more specifically. With the machines it will therefore be possible to progress more quickly, thanks to greater assistance and the possibility of better adapting the movements. In the Mat Work you will work with free body exercises on a mat, but also assisted by small accessories, such as magic circles, elastic bands, rollers and fit balls. Be wary of super crowded Mat Work classes, whose number of users shouldn't exceed 10 or 12 people. In any case, combining the two lessons (machines and Mat Work) is the optimal formula.

3. Are there different levels of difficulty in Pilates?

Of course. Both the Mat Work and the lessons with the machines, have three levels of difficulty: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced level.

4. How can I recognize a qualified teacher in the Pilates method?

For those who have been practicing Pilates for a long time this will be relatively simple, but it is certainly not easy for a novice user to understand if the person offering courses of the Pilates method is a qualified teacher. It is always good to check the teacher's training, asking which school he attended, what type of certification he has obtained, how many years he has been teaching and practicing the Pilates technique. Today, with a quick internet search, it is easy to check the seriousness of the school where the instructor was trained, and / or possibly find information or references on the instructor in question. We can give you some general information, useful for identifying a valid Pilates teacher: To have an effective knowledge of the technique, the teacher must have learned both free body work and that with tools, through theoretical training and a long internship, having passed a final exam and maintaining their level of training by attending at least one annual refresher course. The instructor should have at least three years of teaching experience and must also constantly practice the Pilates technique, both with large tools and matwork. Naturally, he must know perfectly the skeletal muscle anatomy and the functioning of each muscle district. It must have a "real" interest in the health and progress of its client, monitoring the work that is being done with periodic checks and tests. Last but not least, - but this is an innate gift engraved in the DNA of the person -, it must know how to convey the enthusiasm, pleasure, joy and motivation in performing every single Pilates exercise. With these assumptions, you will have a teacher who will possess such knowledge and sensitivity, that he will be able to modify and adapt the exercises according to your needs, structuring a program tailored to you and guiding you in the best way towards achieving your goals. You can ask the instructor for a trial lesson (but this possibility is at the discretion of the center or the instructor himself).

5. Is the Pilates method good for posture?

Due to its basic principles, the Pilates method is effective for postural rebalancing. The control of every single movement and the synergistic work of the abdominal area with the lumbar area allows to reduce the risk of injuries and of lumbar and back pain. Most of the exercises, in fact, are performed in a horizontal or sitting position, avoiding dangerous overloads of the spine and joints and the onset of postural defects. It is no coincidence that reaching the correct posture benefits the posture, but above all the spine very often overloaded by incorrect positions.

6. What are the effects of poor posture?

When a part of the body is not aligned, this is reflected in the entire structure: if you assume a bad posture, the bones are not aligned correctly and this strains the muscles, ligaments, joints. Poor posture can also impact internal organs, affecting their functioning, and even breathing. Imbalance and misalignment can cause fatigue and eventually pain in the neck, back, hips or other parts of the body. Poor posture also increases the risk of injury when playing sports.

7. I would like to sign up for a Pilates course, can you let me know the timetables?

The timetables for group lessons in the free body approach (Mat Work), are visible in the appropriate course schedule, which you can request at the reception. While for individual lessons the timetable is agreed upon by appointment, leaving the customer the freedom to choose the time and day most convenient for him.

8. How much does a Pilates class cost?

Each center applies its own specific rates and subscription packages, since the costs are different according to the type of path chosen (individual lessons with the machines, or the collective lessons of Mat Work). In our center for Mat Work group courses, you can start with a simple monthly subscription, or opt for a 10-lesson card, in both cases the costs are still low. As for the individual lessons with the machines (at our Pilates studio), you can opt for a package of 6-12 or 24 lessons.

9. How many lessons of the Pilates method is it good to do?

Before starting an evaluation lesson is always given. At that moment, with your teacher, the optimal frequency is decided with respect to your physical conditions and the objectives to be achieved.

10. Pilates has become a trend lately, and many gyms offer Pilates classes. Is it to be trusted?

Although Pilates has only recently spread to our parts, it is a tried and tested method created for almost a century. Its success is due to the countless benefits experienced by those who practice it and recognized in the medical field. The fact that many stars have chosen it as their training method has contributed to the boom of our days. However, when you go to a center to carry out lessons of the Pilates method, it is good to inquire about the teacher training (we refer you to answer 4).

11. I would like to practice the Pilates method with individual lessons, but such lessons are expensive. How can I do?

This is a cliché, which we are happy to dispel. The cost of an individual lesson of the Pilates method (1 hour followed by a qualified teacher) is comparable to that of a massage, a session with a physiotherapist or a beauty treatment (in some cases even more expensive). However, there are several very advantageous package formulas, the cost of which is not prohibitive at all. The characteristic of the technique, very vast and complex but also rich in benefits, provides lessons followed by a teacher and not of a collective type as in the gym, for this reason it is not possible to have lower costs as for the classic fitness center subscriptions. . The Pilates path with individual lessons is very different, as a work program is built based on individual objectives, on the balancing of any postural imbalances, recovery and / or functional improvement, and / or on other specific needs. Furthermore, by working individually with an instructor, you will have the awareness of performing every single movement perfectly, together with personal motivation which will always be increasing.

12. Does the Pilates method make you lose weight?

Despite being an anaerobic training system, the practice of Pilates involves all muscle chains, with an intensity that is modulated according to your level of training and the goals you are pursuing. In any case, after a lesson you will have burned calories, with favorable repercussions on the basal metabolism. Therefore, if the Pilates practice is supported by adequate nutrition, yes, it will help you lose the extra pounds. Even better if you combine the practice of Pilates with a fitness or cardio-fitness activity related to your needs, in the latter case let your instructor advise you.

13. Is the Pilates method a gentle exercise?

The Pilates method is considered a gentle gymnastics as it proposes a work of control of movement and breathing that leads to slow but fluid movements. However, this does not mean that the Pilates method is a "light" gymnastics. This technique involves exercises that are pleasant for the body and mind, but at the same time a very intense work that requires high concentration and allows excellent toning of all the muscles.

14. Does the Pilates method help eliminate cellulite?

The Pilates method, combined with a correct diet, helps to combat cellulite since the particular exercises that make up this technique promote and optimize circulation, helping to reduce the stagnation of liquids and detoxify the tissues.

15. Is the Pilates method indicated in pregnancy?

The Pilates method includes a specific protocol for the period of pregnancy in the training programs. However, the technique is indicated only after the third month and, if the gestation has a normal course, up to a few days before the birth, if it was already practiced before as an exercise activity. Otherwise it is good to wait for the postpartum period before starting the activity. Once delivered, if there have been no particular complications, sessions can be resumed after a month.

16. Is the Pilates method suitable in old age?

There is no age limit in the practice of the Pilates method as demonstrated by some of the first students of Joseph Pilates who, despite being between 70 and 80 years old, are in splendid shape and still in business including for example Lolita San Miguel, founder of the Ballet Concierto of Puerto Rico, which Joseph Pilates personally authorized to teach his technique. The Pilates method contrasts the natural stiffening process we are subjected to with aging. The exercises, in fact, improve flexibility with a stretching work that aims to tone all the muscles.

17. Is the Pilates method suitable for those suffering from back pain?

Due to its basic principles, the Pilates method is effective in the orthopedic field in postural rehabilitation. The control of every single movement and the synergistic work of the abdominal area with the lumbar area help to reduce the risk of injuries and lumbar and back pain. It is no coincidence that reaching the correct posture benefits the posture, but above all the spine very often overloaded by incorrect positions. Many doctors also recommend it as a post-operative rehabilitation, for example for knee ligament surgery or herniated discs. In general, the Pilates method is indicated for the functional rehabilitation of different body segments: cervical, lumbar, dorsal, shoulders, arms, hips, etc. The tools of the Pilates method allow any type of muscle contraction and extension - with the sole exception of isokinetic work - and the technique is in accordance with the principles of physiology and biomechanics. The use of the Universal Reformer and Cadillac, for example, allows early mobilization, in any condition the limb to be rehabilitated is found or when it is difficult to maintain an upright position. In addition, the ground clearance of approx. 70 cm. The Cadillac's horizontal plane helps older people or those undergoing a rehabilitation program to relax easily.

18. Is the Pilates method a rehabilitation technique?

The control of every single movement and the synergistic work of the abdominal area with the lumbar area help to reduce the risk of injuries and lumbar and back pain. Among the many causes that lead to back pain, the most frequent is the loss of mobility of one or more sections of the spine. It is also important to underline that many Pilates exercises are carried out in evolution of the spine, taking advantage of mobilizations without conferring compressions on it, fortifying all the muscles, recovering the natural mobility of the spine, together with the achievement of a correct posture which will benefit from it. bearing. Therefore, in addition to obtaining a functional improvement and an improvement in posture, further future problems will be prevented.

19. Any particular suggestions to give me before starting?

If you suffer from any pathology it is always necessary to consult with your doctor. Furthermore, once you have decided to start the practice of Pilates, always contact centers / gyms or studios that have all the necessary equipment, with qualified instructors who have demonstrable experience.