The real truth about Pilates
Maybe you’ve heard that Pilates is similar to yoga or only for women. Or maybe it’s just all core all the time, or that it’s too expensive. Well, the truth is that Pilates has been around for a really long time. And it seems to be everywhere. But there’s a lot of myths and misconceptions around it. And today I’m going to be answering all of your questions, busting those myths, and making sure you understand the real truth about Pilates.
Hi, I’m Lesley Logan, founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com™. And I’ve been doing Pilates since 2005, teaching since 2008. I was lucky enough to take training from someone who was taught by Joseph Pilates, which allowed me to travel the world teaching people about Pilates and its benefits. And because of this, I have seen and heard many of these myths, many of these misconceptions and here’s what frustrates me, it actually keeps people from doing Pilates. If they think it’s just for flexible people, they think it’s too expensive or they think something that is not correct. It keeps them from actually having the real benefits in their body. And so that’s why I’m so excited to share these misconceptions and what the real truth is with you today.
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What is Pilates?
Let’s start with what Pilates actually is. Pilates is a strength-based workout designed to balance your imbalances. It was designed by Joseph Pilates and brought to the US in the early 20s. You can do Pilates on a Mat, Reformer, Cadillac or Tower, Wunda Chair. And Joseph Pilates also create some other pieces of equipment that you could also see in a Pilates studio or have access to in your own home studio.
So, over time, marketing experts have gotten their hands on what they think Pilates is and then telling you that you need to be doing Reformer Pilates or Tower Pilates or Chair Pilates. But actually, it’s all Pilates and originally was designed for us to do on the Mat, meaning you didn’t have to have access to any of this equipment. But then, Joseph Pilates realized that we needed some support, we need to have some connections so he created the other pieces of equipment to do in conjunction with the Mat.
Due to Pilates’ evergrowing popularity, a lot of different fitness modalities have tried to jump on the Pilates bandwagon. Meaning, if they are a low-impact workout, they’ll actually put it as a Pilates workout, when it’s not actually Pilates. So Pilates is low-impact fitness but not all low-impact fitness is Pilates.
What real Pilates feels like
So how do you know if you’re actually in a Pilates class? Well, first of all, you can ask the teacher. You can ask them about their training background. You can ask about their personal practice. You’re wanting to hear words like ‘comprehensive training’ or ‘450 hours.’ You’re also wanting to hear that they do have a personal practice of their own because that’s how they’re going to help teach you the best. Classes should also be about the quality of the movement, not the quantity of the movement. So if you feel like you’re doing more than 10 reps of an exercise, chances are that you’re not in a Pilates class. Ideally, you’re looking between five to 10 when you’re new to an exercise, and then around three to five, when you’re more advanced. Every session you’re in should feel like it’s a full-body workout, especially every exercise. Every exercise can feel like it’s full body every time you know you’re in a Pilates class.
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Myth: Pilates an ab workout
Let’s get into these myths. First one, Pilates is your ab workout or is your core workout for the week. Here’s the deal, Pilates can replace all your ab workouts but it is not an ab workout – it is a full-body workout. Now we move from our center, which is not just your abs, it’s the muscles around your torso around your hips, your upper back and arms, so everything that can stabilize your spine. And then your arms and legs are to destabilize it as you move.
Myth: Pilates is just stretching
Alright, next myth: Pilates is all about stretching or just stretching. Well, here’s the deal, you can get more flexible by doing Pilates – absolutely will happen for you as a benefit. However, it is not a stretch class. If you want to take a stretch class, by all means go take one, but Pilates is a strength-based workout. And then you will have increased flexibility because of the way the exercises ask the muscles to work.
Myth: Anyone can teach Pilates
All right, next myth: Anyone can teach Pilates. Here’s the deal. I would love that every Pilates lover out there who wants to teach does because their passion is going to bring more people to taking this method. However, just because you have been teaching some other fitness modality doesn’t mean you can just look at the choreography and teach Pilates, you do need to understand the whole method from how it was founded, why the exercises are the way they are, and what the true concepts of Pilates is so that you can bring the full benefits of Pilates to people that are taking from them. So find a teacher who has been comprehensively trained, and understands how the history of Pilates works so that you can really get the benefits of it as you do it. At OnlinePilatesClasses.com™ all of our teachers are comprehensively certified. I am a second-generation teacher, meaning, my teacher studied with Joseph Pilates. And, all of our teachers together have a combined total teaching experience over 70 years. Make sure you check out the about OnlinePilatesClasses.com™ video so you can see everything we have to offer including tutorials, classes, and an amazing community, someone who can actually give you feedback on your practice and so much more. Plus, you will enjoy new workouts for every level here on the channel. So make sure you subscribe and make sure you get those notifications so you never miss a workout.
Myth: Pilates is easy
Alright, next myth: Pilates is easy. All right. So here’s the deal. If Pilates feels easy, it’s probably because you’re understanding the choreography, the moves, what’s going where, but not from where it’s moving from. And that requires you to connect to your center which can take some time. In fact, I always tell people, if you really believe you’re an advanced practitioner, the beginner exercises are going to feel really hard, like the beginner exercises can be a little esoteric. And here’s another myth bust there’s actually no beginner from Joseph Pilates. Joseph Pilates didn’t have any levels to his exercises. In fact, when you would take from him, he would give you the exercises that were meant for your body. And then as you were ready, he would add more exercises in. Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels came in because people had to create levels of classes for people to do it, and to help train teachers. So, when you are doing Pilates, if it feels easy, something is disconnected. And that’s an exploration you can take with your teacher to find out where those connections can come from.
Myth: You need to be flexible to do Pilates
All right, next myth is: You need to be flexible to do Pilates. Let me just say this right now, you do not need to be more flexible before you do Pilates. You do not need to lose weight before you do Pilates. There’s nothing that needs to change about yourself to start a Pilates practice. All right, you are amazing the way you are and Pilates will meet you where that is. But, Pilates is actually harder for flexible people because they are able to make it look like they’re doing Pilates without actually being connected. So the tighter you are, the easier it is to connect to those muscles and the more you’re going to feel the benefits of Pilates. For my people who are hyper-flexible, hello, I see you. We have to work really hard to find those connections and Pilates will challenge us in that way. And take us on that next journey. Remember, it balances your imbalances. So if you’re tighter, it’s going to make you more flexible. If you’re super flexible, it’s going to make you stronger.
Myth: Pilates is mostly for women
And maybe you’ve heard Pilates is mostly for women. Here is the deal. Joseph Pilates was a man. And he was a strong man in the circus and he was a boxer. And back when he was creating his fitness modality it was for men. In fact, only in the last few decades have women been encouraged to workout and so while a lot of women do Pilates, it is for you no matter who you are.
On Pilates is for dancers is the next myth that sounds like a lot like Pilates is for women. Here’s the deal, dancers started working with Joseph Pilates. They were actually sent to him to be “fixed.” But it wasn’t actually designed for dancers, however, because so many dancers were working with Joseph Pilates, and then these dancers were traveling the world, they started to teach his methods to other people, a lot of dancers do Pilates. Why? Because it balances your imbalances. And dancers have a lot of them. So it is not just for dancers. However, it is amazing for anyone who is an athlete doing any kind of sport.
Myth: Pilates is like yoga
All right, so maybe you’ve heard Pilates is like yoga, similar to yoga or a derivative of yoga. Yoga is its own thing. And while there are some exercises that are inspired or may look like they were inspired from yoga, they are actually two very different modalities and they have very different intentions. Pilates does have access to equipment, whereas yoga is slightly different, it’s always on the mat. So then when you look at Pilates on the mat, some people think, Oh, it must be like yoga. But again, the intentions and the goals of the exercises are very different. The breath you need to do Pilates versus yoga is very different. So here’s what I love to tell people: Pilates is going to make your yoga practice amazing. They are different exercise workouts. And I’m super excited because I have an entire video about Pilates and yoga coming up very soon. So make sure you’re subscribed to this channel and get your notification so you don’t miss that video.
Myth: Pilates is expensive
Okay, so something I hear a lot is Pilates is too expensive. I just want to actually myth bust this in a big way. Here’s the deal. If you’re looking at private personal Pilates training, yes, that can be a little bit more than you want to spend on an hour-long workout. However, it’s also very similar to what personal trainers are charging of any kind, and often it’s a lot less. Alright, when we look at Pilates classes, the reason why they can look like they’re more expensive than other fitness modalities is just space. There can only be so many Reformers in a room, often 12, whereas a yoga class, some of them have 30, 40, 50 people. I’ve been in spin studios where there’s 30, 40, 50 bikes. So based on the limited amount of space that Pilates has, for the equipment that it takes up, it can be more expensive for the session, however, you’re getting more attention. And it’s personalized to your body even when you’re in a class because you are going to do the exercise that is meant for you. And at OnlinePilatesClasses.com™, you will see that we have memberships that are actually based on the pieces of equipment you have access to. And a monthly membership at OnlinePilatesClasses.com™ is going to cost you way less than a monthly membership in a brick-and-mortar studio somewhere else. And our classes are designed for all levels. They’re on the Mat, Tower, Reformer or Chair, and again, you pick the classes that you actually have access to the equipment to. You can take a class live with us each month, you can enjoy classes on our app or on-demand on your computer. And you also can get feedback on your form in our amazing, amazing community that’s going to help hold you accountable. So make sure you check out the promo code we have below. It’s OnlinePilatesClasses.com/youtube. Give us a try and see how we can help support you in your Pilates practice.
Leave your comments below
Thank you so much for watching. I hope I answered all of your myth-busting questions. If I didn’t, feel free to put them in the comments below. I’m Lesley Logan. I will see you next week.