Questions and answers about Pilates
Pilates Exercices (6)
How to do the Single Leg Stretch Pilates Exercise?
Here are three simple cues in how to do the Single Leg Stretch Pilates exercise.
The Single Leg Stretch mainly targets the following muscles: transversus, deep pelvic floor, obliques, multifidus, hip flexors and scapula stabilizers. Watch the video below, in order to get guidance in how to do the Single Leg Stretch Pilates Exercise.
Lie on your back with the upper body flexed off the mat, stabilize the scapula and bring the legs to tabletop, and hands on the outside of the leg.
On an exhale, extend one leg to a diagonal and move the outside hand to the ankle and the inside hand to the knee of the flexed leg.
On an inhale, begin to switch legs and hands. And on exhale fully extend the leg.
Repetitions: 10 repetitions
Caution: Only extend the leg as low as you can hold the pelvic stability.
Fun fact: Using a jumpsuit in your Pilates workout will help you be more present in each position.
How to do the Shoulder Bridge Pilates Exercise?
Watch the video below of how to do the Shoulder Bridge Pilates exercise.
The Shoulder Bridge mainly targets the following muscles: transversus, deep pelvic floor, obliques, multifidus, hip flexors and scapula stabilizers. Watch the online video below for guidance.
Lie on your back in neutral. Keep the knees flexed and hip distance apart with the feet on the mat. Keep the arms on the mat by the side of the body.
On an exhale stabilize hips and lift the pelvis off the mat. Keep the shoulders and knees in one line.
On an inhale lift one foot off the mat and extend leg towards the sky and point the foot.
On an exhale flex the foot and lower straight leg to knee height.
Repetitions: 5 repetitions on each leg.
Caution: Make sure to keep imprint at all time and avoid lateral tilting or rotation of the pelvis. Also, make sure to always consult with your doctor and your physiotherapist for a safe workout.
Fun fact: Elephants have a slow pulse rate of 27. For a canary, it is 1000!
How to do the Swan Dive Pilates Exercise?
Watch the online video of how to do the Swan Dive Pilates Exercise.
The Swan Dive mainly targets the following muscles: transverse abs, deep pelvic floor, back muscles, hip extensors, obliques and scapula stabilizers. Watch the video below of how to do the Swan Dive exercise.
Lie on your belly with the spine in neutral and legs extended long on the mat. Keep the legs shoulder distance apart with pointed toes.
On an inhale, lengthen the spine into extension and bring the hips off the mat if you can. Keep the abs engaged and shoulder blade stable. How high up you come depends on your flexibility.
On an exhale, keep the spine and hips in extension, keep your legs engaged and long while you rock forward. Let the legs go back and up as you come forward, and arms reaching forward with palms up.
On an inhale, rock back up again. Exhale, rock back down.
On the last rock up, place the hands on the mat again and maintain the extension in the spine. Slowly and with control lengthen the spine back to the mat.
Repetitions: 8 repetitions
Engage the abs during spinal extension and only come as high into an extension (back bend) as you can keep the ab support, and maintain shoulder blade stabilization.
This exercise is fun to do together with the children (if surrounded by any). Observe their spinal flexion.
How to do the Obliques Pilates Exercise?
Watch the online video with three simple safe cues in how to do the Obliques Pilates Exercise.
The Obliques mainly targets the following muscles: transversus, deep pelvic floor, obliques, hip flexors and scapula stabilizers. Watch the video of how to do the Obliques Pilates exercise.
Lie on your back with the upper body flexed off the mat, stabilize the shoulders, hold imprint, keep the legs in tabletop and the hands behind the head.
On an exhale extend one leg to a diagonal and rotate the upper body towards the flexed knee.
On an inhale return to centre and begin to switch the legs.
On exhale fully extend the other leg and rotate upper body towards the other knee.
Repetitions: 10 repetitions
Caution: Only extend the leg as low as you can hold pelvic stability.
Fun fact: The really clever thing about hippos is that they produce their own sunscreen, in the form of a sticky reddish sweat.
How to do the Pilates Hundred Exercise
Here are three simple safe cues in how to do the marvelous abdominals Pilates exercise the Hundred
The Hundred exercise mainly target the following muscles: transversus abdominals, deep pelvic floor, rectus abdominals, scapula stabilizers and hip flexors.
Watch the video below of how to do the Hundred Pilates exercise.
On an exhale lengthen the back of the neck and stabilize the shoulder blades. Contract the abs and slide the rib cage towards the pelvis and flex the upper back and reach the arms off the mat. Extend the legs and lower them as low as you can while still holding imprint (lower back and pelvis imprinted against the weight of legs).
On an inhale do small pulses with your arms up and down and count to 5. On an exhale do small pulses with your arms up and down and count to 5.
Inhale and remain spinal flexion and bend your knees while you continue to reach your arms (level with shoulders), and on an exhale lower upper body to the mat.
Sets: 10 sets (100 pulses up and down with arms)
Caution: Make sure to stabilize the scapula (the shoulder blades) throughout the exercise in order to avoid the upper body tension and maintain imprint (lower back and pelvis imprinted against the weight of legs) at all time. The movement of the arms shall come from the shoulder joint, not the elbow. Focus on the downward movement of the motion with the arms. Don’t let your abdominal appear as popping up to high.
Fun fact: The thoracic spine (the upper body in flexion) plays a role in the respiratory function and the flexion is required for chest expansion during inhalation.
How to do the Roll Up Pilates Exercise
Here are three simple safe cues in how to do the Roll Up Pilates exercise.
The Roll Up mainly targets the following muscles: transverse abdominis, deep pelvic floor, rectus abdominals, obliques, hip flexors, hip extensors and scapula stabilizers. Watch the pictures or video of how to do the Roll Up exercise.
Watch the video below of how to do the Roll Up Pilates exercise.
Lie on your back with the pelvis and spine in neutral. On an inhale stabilize your shoulder blades and let the arms come up towards the ceiling.
On an exhale lengthen the back of your neck, stabilize your shoulder blades and then begin from the top of the head to roll off the mat follow with your shoulders and your spine off the mat (one vertebra at the time). Shorten the distance between the lower bones of the rib cage towards the hip bones and keep a flexed spine. Reach the arms parallel to the floor, towards feet and the top of the head towards fingers.
On an inhale roll forward, keep your spine flexed and begin to roll away from the legs. On an exhale, still with a flexed spine, roll back down on to mat (one vertebra at a time). Think pelvis away from the legs when rolling down and once the lower back hits the mat, come to the neutral spine. Let the arms come over the head and stabilize shoulder blades.
Repetitions: 8 repetitions
Caution: This is a real challenge for your abs. It is really important to stabilize the scapula and rolling through imprint. Articulate your spine, roll up and roll down one vertebra at a time. Don’t collapse over the legs on the roll up.
Fun fact: This exercise is amazing for working your mobility in your spine and pelvis and a killer for your abs.
The History of Pilates (9)
Centering, Concentration, Control, Precision, Breath, and Flow
Joseph Pilates is the founder of the Pilates method. Pilates is a method of physical fitness that focus on the core of the body. Joseph Pilates was born in Mönchengladbach, Germany and died in New York, USA. His parents name were Heinrich and Helena Pilates. Together with Joesph’s wife Clara they started to teach Pilates in 1926 at a gym in New York. It became popular among dancers as a practice in order to prevent injuries but also in order to improve techniques. Joseph also used the Pilates method during the Second World War when he worked at Isle Of Man where he served at the hospital working with people unable to walk. Today Pilates has evolved and continue to grow, as a form of workout integrating modern anatomical and bio-mechanical thinking.
Joseph Pilates was born in 1880, in Möchengladbach close to Düsseldorf in Germany. His father was a gymnast, a very successfull one, and his mother a woman who believed in naturopath forms of healing. As a young boy Joseph Pilates learned self-defense techniques and started boxing.
Joseph Pilates was born in Möchengladbach close to Dusseldof in Germany in 1880. In 1912 he moved to England where he practiced self-defense classes as well as boxing. After World War 1 Joseph Pilates moved back to Germany, now to the city of Hamburg. In Hamburg. In 1925 Joseph Pilates immigrated to New York, United States where he met Clara who he soon married. Joseph and Clara Pilates lived and taught Pilates in New York until his death in 1967.
Joseph Pilates died in New York, United States in 1967 at the age of 83. He was vital and full of energy and teaching Pilates until his death.
Joseph Pilates wrote Return To Life Through Contrology with his wife Clara Pilates in 1945. The book describes the benefit of Pilates and instructs how to perform the exercices correctly.
Joseph Pilates wrote the book About Your Helth in 1934. The book is about Joseph Pilates philosophy about fitness and health. Joseph Pilates bases his theories on studies and research. In the book he describes the methodology which he named Contrology.
A Movement of Movement is a documentary movie featuring Joseph Pilates. The movie is about the philosophy of Pilates.
Clara Pilates was Joseph Pilates wife. Joseph Pilates met Clara Pilates on a boat to The United States when he immigrated to New York. They married soon after and opened up the very first Pilates Studio that taught the Pilates method.
The Benefits of Pilates (10)
Pilates is a system of exercices practiced on a Pilates mat or Pilates machines, designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, posture, body control and enhance mental awareness.
Barre is a workout that incorporates influences from ballet and is usually performed in group classes at a Barre studio or gym.
Pilates is a sustainable workout method focusing on core strength, stability, body control, endurance and balance. Pilates can be practice on a mat or on specific Pilates machines. The intensity of the workout varies and depends on which level you are at. People with back problems and joint problems tend to favour the workout. But also athletes practice Pilates for body control, strength, improve their technique and mobility.
Pilates is the surname of the founder of the workout method, Joseph Pilates. Pilates is a system of exercices designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, body control, posture, and enhance mental awareness.
A reformer is a specific Pilates machine that is designed to perform Pilates exerices that will challenge your body, strength, stabiity and control. The reformer machine is designed so that you can workout, lying down, sitting or standing. The reformer has springs with tention and is designed so that you work against gravity which gives you a feel of really lenghtening and reaching when doing the Pilates repetoire on a reformer.
Mat Pilates is simply Pilates exercices performed on a mat with your own body as the only equipment. Sometimes mat Pilates can be harder than doing Pilates on various machines as your body is moving free in space and requires much body control.
A Cadillac is a Pilates machine made to challenge your, strength, stability and body control by doing various Pilates exercices by using spring tension.
Hot Pilates is Pilates performed in a heated room. It combines cardio and muscle toning. it will keep your heart rate up. The humidity makes you sweat elevating your heart rate and some mean that it is boosting metabolism, and promoting detoxification.
STOTT Pilates is a full education, that many instructors decide to do, in order to become a certified Pilates instructor. However, there are other certifications, like BASI, Peak Pilates, Pure Body and more. They are all regulated programs including anatomy training and an understanding of how the body moves, in order to be bale to teach the method safely to clients.
Yoga is a spiritual discipline, a part of which, including breath control, meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures. It is widely practised for health and relaxation.
Common Questions about Pilates (28)
Pilates is usually practiced during 60 minutes at a proper Pilates studio, but can be practiced less or more than that, depending on what your goal is.
Pilates works on smaller stabilizing muscles and on your core and shoulders, which helps improve your posture.
The main difference between Yoga and Pilates is that Pilates can be done on specific Pilates machines apart from a mat. Aslo, Pilates is less spiritual and has no chanting or OMing components in its workout. Pilates focus more on the stabilising muscle groups and helps you obtain a good posture, while working on balance, endurance, breathing, stability and control.
Pilates is not easier than Yoga and Yoga is not easier than Pilates. It is two completely different kind of workout.
Barre is not better than Pilates. In order to get the best results of your Barre class it can be recommended to practice Pilates, as it will help you with body control, strength and flexibility.
Pilates is necessarily not better than Yoga. The two works with different focus. Pilates may be understood as more of a structured form of workout focusing on strengthening core, pelvic stability and other stabilizing muscles of the body.
Pilates is an amazing workout method if you want to improve your core strength, flexibility, body control, posture, and enhance mental awareness.
Pilates is a sustainable form of workout method that you can practice from a young age up until an old age. Pilates is known for strengthening your core and improve posture and balance. Pilates is usually well received by everyone from athletes to people with back and joint issues, who are looking to improve body control. Pilates consists in exercices and modifications paying attention to your ability to move and your mobility goal.
If you train Pilates on a regular and is committed to the workout, you can expect results after ten times. You should feel a difference both on your inside and outside.
Pilates can be done everyday. You can select the intensity in your workout by practicing Pilates exercices ranging from essential to advanced. Essential to advanced exercices requires different level of focus, control, endurance, strength and flexibility.
A Pilates session that you perform at a studio or gym usually goes on for an hour. Sometimes shorter and sometimes longer.
Pilates is excellent for your body as you can always find exercices suitable and challenging depending on your goal and your body.Pilates will help you improve in other daily routines and sports as it pay so much focus on posture and body control.
Pilates can make you taller in the sense that you work on your posture and you can expect to begin to cruise through life with better body control.
You want to wear clothes that allow you to fully focus on your workout. Wear a jumpsuit or something tight with a slight hug feel around your body. Something that you do not need to drag into place, or that is falling over your head, when your are twisting and turning.
Pilates can, just like Yoga, be done with more cardio components to it. But in the end when it comes to losing weight, it really depends on how often you workout, your quality in your workout and other factors such as what you eat, and how much you sleep etc.
How often you do Pilates depends on what your goal is with the Pilates training.
If you should practice Pilates everyday depends on what your goal with the training is. It is good to consult with a Pilates instructor.
Pilates can be done everyday but it is suggested to vary the intensity, length of the workout and type of Pilates exercice if doing it everyday. Doing it everyday or not, really depends on your goal with the workout and what else you are doing or not doing or if you have any injuries.
Yes. You can do Pilates at home, at a gym or at a Pilates studio. Usually if practicing Pilates at home you would do mat Pilates whereas if you do it at a Pilates studio you can also practice it om specific Pilates machines.
Pilates is widely appreciated as a form of workout if you have back pain. But as with everything, you need to consult with your doctor and Pilates instructor if having back pain before you do any kind of workout. Many times it is important to move and stregthen up core and the entire body when having back problems. Pilates is great as you can work with various machines that you can adjust depengin on your injury and still being able to get a workout.
Pilates usually gives you long lean muscles. In order to loose weight there may be better form of high intentisity training such as running. However building muscles is also an important part in weight loss. As there are many factors playing a part in weight loss such as, food intake and overall psychological well being it is not fair to suggest soly one thing in order to loose weight in a holistic and sustainable way.
According to a Wells’s research the core-strengthening perks of Pilates may also ease pain and improve daily life for people suffering from chronic low-back pain. Low back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting an estimated 540 million people, according to the Lancet. Pilates can do wonder to both your mental focus and back pain and although there is less research on back pain and yoga it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor.
Both Yoga and Pilates require much focus, balance and body control. The one is not harder than the other. Practice the one you like the most, or do both. You may benefit from the body control you gain in Pilates, when doing Yoga.
It really depends on what you aim for and what your goal is with your workout. Pilates may be better than Yoga or vice versa, but it is also clear that they both complement each other very well. So by practicing Pilates you may get better in your Yoga practice, and vice versa.
It depends on what your goal is. Pilates can be more of a cardio workout if you for instance use the jumpboard. However, it focus more on strengthening, stabilizing, gaining better body control and breathing, Nevertheless, it can be good to do Pilates and cardio, depending on your goal.
Many gyms do have Pilates. Usually mat Pilates and neccesarly not the Pilates machines. The Pilates machines are usually more often seen in a classic Pilates studio. It can be argued that the classical Pilates studios have more equipments and teachers who are fully certified with many years of education in Pilates, thus understand Pilates and the body more in depth compared to the gym. Hence, Pilates may be better than gym.
Chair is a piece of equipment that you use in Pilates in order to perform different exercises on. The most common machines and equipments in Pilates are Chair, Cadillac, Reformer and Barrel. They all look very different, but you can perform the same exercises on them. The fact that they are designed differently, will allow you to select the type of equipment best suited for your range of movement, and your goals with the workout.
For instance, a Swan Dive exercise performed on the Chair compared to the Reformer, may be easier or harder for you depending on your body. You may find it easier to engage the target muscles better on the Chair compared to the Reformer, or feel that you challenge certain body parts more on the Chair compared to the Reformer or Barrel.
The Reformer in Pilates is a piece of equipment or machine used to perform Pilates exercises similar to those made on the mat. Doing the exercises on a Reformer machine will challenge your body in different ways compared to, when doing Pilates on a mat.
The Reformer is working against the gravity so doing the exercises on the Reformer gives you a sense of elongating. You also work with resistance similar to weights on the Reformer, so the exercises may seem a bit tuffer and may increase your cardio and muscle engagement compared to Pilates performed on the mat.
We have created a Pilates Questions and Answers including questions and answers about all you need to know about Pilates. At Pebbles Pilates, we want to inspire more women to incorporate Pilates as part of their daily routine. The Pilates practice has its roots in Germany and in USA. The first studio was in fact opened in New York. Today, Pilates studios are opening up all over the world. Pilates is known for its great effect it has on strengthening the back and core muscles, but also to help with your posture and gain better body control. In Pilates you focus on building the body up from within, focusing on stabilising muscles, to build longer and leaner muscles. As part of the Pebbles Pilates community, we are working close with Pilates instructors and studio owners, in order to inspire your Pilates routine. But, we also get a lot of questions from our client community, be it moms, sisters, lawyers, doctors, artists, musicians etc. about Pilates. That is why we have created a Q&A about all you need to know about Pilates, and all you have ever wondered about Pilates. The questions are inspired from all our customers who have asked us various questions about Pilates. It is a range of questions and answers about, for instance, the difference between Yoga and Pilates, what is a Pilates Reformer, how often one should practice Pilates, if one can practice Pilates on a mat and on specific machines, who invented Pilates and much more. Be sure to learn everything you have always wanted to know about Pilates, and the benefits of Pilates. If you have any questions still unanswered. Then, make sure to shoot us an email with your question, and we will add it to the Q&A about Pilates