THE DIFFERENCE IN PILATES CLASSES
Are all Pilates classes the same?
Pilates is in demand and something people look for when joining a gym, but it’s hard for group instructors at the gym to provide a personalised program to many participates. So, how do you receive the real benefit from a Pilates program?
Pilates exercises are much more a principle, than doing a specific exercise or using a specific machine. The Pilates exercise equipment, the Pilates reformer is a tool, just as any other piece of exercise equipment. The choice of exercises and how you do the exercises will make a difference as to whether the exercises are effective for you.
What is the best way to start on this program?
Start an individual program with a qualified Pilates instructor or ideally a health professional, physiotherapist or exercise physiologist trained in clinical Pilates. They will assess your individual needs, checking your joints, muscles to determine your strengths and weaknesses. It is important to check initially with your local doctor to have a health risk assessment whenever you commence a new exercise program.
The best programs will have the following elements: 1. Your individual needs.
Each exercise will be based on your needs, addressing the areas in your body that need strengthening.
2. What is the desired outcome?
A good program will involve exercises addressing these needs for your best outcome.
3. Different areas of the body will be checked.
It may not just be your core that needs to be strengthened. In fact, it may be weak gluteal muscles (the group of three muscles which make up the buttocks) or poor upper body postural muscles.
4. Technique and control.
You will be taught good technique and control under supervision to ensure you are doing the exercise properly.
Supervision is very important on an individual basis, with a properly qualified instructor. This should mean you are minimising your risk of injuring yourself and getting the most benefit from your Pilates program.
6. Considering Injuries.
If you have injuries, these need to be considered. In a group class, it is impossible to check every individual for any pre-existing injury, but on an individual basis, a properly qualified instructor should understand the injury and know how to modify the exercise so that you achieve your goal, but do not aggravate your injury.
• To get the basics right and receive the best long-term outcome start with an individual, one-on-one program with a properly qualified Pilates instructor.
• If you decide to join a Pilates group class later, you will have knowledge of the basics and be aware so that you can work to your original plan.
Michael Dermansky is a Senior Physiotherapist and Managing Director of MD Health Pilates. Michael has over seventeen years’ experience of treating clients from all walks of life, from sixyearold children up to the age of 92. Michael can be contacted through his website.