It truly is for everyone and does so much more than just “strengthen your core”. Whether you are new to movement, looking to improve fitness, working through an injury or managing chronic pain. Pilates can enhance both performance and your day to day health.
We hear a lot of Pilates myths at Soul Pilates. From thinking Pilates is yoga minus the meditation (it’s not), to assuming it’s not much of a workout (wait ‘til you try it!), many people seem to have the wrong idea. So, to sort the Pilates fact from fiction, we have broken down some of the common misconceptions.
Pilates is just for women
The suitability and benefits of Pilates is not biased towards women! It never has been and in fact, the Pilates Method was originally created by Joseph Pilates – a gymnast, boxer and a military trainer who had a ‘strong’ physique even towards his later years.
Whilst Pilates did become an integral part of conditioning for dancers, bringing a greater ratio of female instructors, this is evolving again. We work with men of all ages. Including Rugby players, cyclists, runners, footballers and elite athletes - men and women alike.
Pilates is easy and not a real workout.
Ever taken a Reformer Pilates class? Then you’ll know just how wrong this myth is. Pilates is indeed a real work out. You are working out every muscle in your body including the deepest muscles that often get neglected in a ‘gym’ work out. It’s not always the most obviously hard looking exercises that are the most challenging, a tiny adjustment can make a huge difference by increasing the challenge of the movement.
This is because Pilates exercises require precise movements and the holding of challenging positions. Reformer Pilates also uses springs, pulleys and gravity rather than heavy weights to sculpt and strengthen the body.
You have to be flexible to do Pilates
The truth is that regular Pilates will increase your flexibility, but that doesn’t mean you have be bendy to start with. Instead, Pilates on the equipment can make even the most difficult exercise work for you, no matter what your physical limitations are. So, remember: it really doesn’t matter if you’re nowhere near touching your toes and want to do Pilates. If anything, it is a reason to commit to regular Pilates practise.
And believe us, your hamstrings will thank you for it.
Reformer Pilates is harder than mat pilates
Both Reformer and Mat Pilates can be equally challenging. With Mat you don’t have the feedback of the Reformer or the resistance of the springs to work with or against which can actually make the class more challenging for some. For instance, hypermobile bodies may benefit more from the feedback given by the Reformer. With Mat Pilates, you are only working with your own body weight and gravity which may be more challenging for clients who struggle with their proprioception (knowing where their body is in space).
Pilates is only good for core strength and flexibility
Nothing frustrates a Pilates teacher more than hearing Pilates being described as an “a good stretch” or “core workout.” It does so much more than this!
Pilates actually strengthens the deep stabilising muscles found throughout the body, not just in the stomach and back region. These are in the neck and shoulder, as well as the spine and the pelvis.
So, whilst it is true that Pilates works the “core” muscles in the centre of the body, it also – and much more importantly – stabilises and strengthens the whole body
Pilates is just for rehab and pain
Another Pilates myth that persists is that the movement practice is only for rehabbing injuries. Not true. Pilates is a completely adaptable practice based on the needs and goals a person presents with that day. Utilising a variety of equipment, a movement/exercise can be challenged accordingly with spring resistance, playing with base of support/balance, orientation relative to gravity, coordination, etc. This is why Pilates is part of an elite athlete’s practice, even when they are out of an injured state.
Looking to get started? At Soul Pilates we want to make sure you start your journey in the right way, at the right level for your needs and goals. So we encourage everyone new to Soul Pilates to book in for a free consultation call, pop in to the studio or drop us an email, so we can make sure you get started in a safe and supported environment and set yourself up for the best possible results.