Below we have given the answers to frequently asked questions. The answers are brief but, hopefully, sufficiently comprehensive.

Is the Pilates method suitable in old age?

There is no age limit in the practice of the Pilates method.

Some of the first pupils of Joseph Pilates who, despite having now between 70 and 80 years, are still in great shape and still in its activities due to the constant practice of the Pilates method.
The aging processes are opposed by constant exercise that, in fact, improves joint flexibility and muscle tone in a harmonious and posturally correct.


How many sessions of Pilates is right to do?

It depends on the starting physical conditions and the objectives we want to achieve.
After the individual lessons, initial assessment is drawn up a tailored program that also indicates the recommended frequency.
On average, it comes to 1 or 2 times per week.
In special cases it may also be daily, usually for a short period.


What is the Pilates Method Alliance?

The Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) is the international, not-for-profit, professional association and certifying agency dedicated to the teachings of Joseph H. and Clara Pilates.
The mission is to foster community, integrity, and respect for diversity; maintain certification and continuing education standards; and promote the Pilates method of exercise.

Since its inception, Pilates teachers from around the world have worked together to create a unified community, to share knowledge and information, and most importantly, to establish the practice of teaching Pilates as a profession.


Is it true that a Pilates lesson is expensive?

Each studio applies its own rates and specific subscription packages.
Prices may vary from city to city, and according to the level of the center.
Prices are still to be referred to personalized treatments where a professional devotes an entire hour to a single customer.
The comparison must be made with the rates charged by physiotherapists, massage therapists or much more expensive beauty treatments.


Can You practice Pilates on your own, with the help of a DVD?

In Pilates all starts from an individual lesson and a postural assessment that can be performed only by a third person watching us.
We believe that the exercises of the Pilates method can be carried out properly only under the guidance of a qualified teacher, a fundamental element of this technique.
T
hen it is better to do the first few lessons with a teacher and only later repeat the learned exercises at home.

Audiovisual (DVD, YouTube, etc.) may be useful as deepening for those who already have a basic preparation, enough to understand and interpret correctly in all its components, the exercise shown.

Mat Work. What is it?

The Mat Work is the free body work in Pilates, so named because the exercises are performed on a mat.
Developed in progressive c
omplexity exercises , however, it involves all the muscles of the body.
It can be carried out free body or with the aid of small tools and accessories (rubber balls, Magic Circle, etc.).

The Mat Work is a component of the "method" Pilates which is a structured technique that also includes the free body work, and is not to be confused with the work of an undifferentiated group.


Does it matter who teaches it?

Posture is the result of our equilibrium, physical but also psychological.
Allow a person who knows little or badly the anatomy, physiology, principles of posture and, most importantly, techniques on how to change it, we think it seems really risky.

The
Pilates method is one of the most complete and reliable technical posture.
It is complex and its learning process can not be reduced to a short period, even with the already present professional bases.
To get the benefits that Pilates method can offer, and not incurring unnecessary risks, its management must be left in the hands of a certificated professional trainer.
The certification, in our opinion, must come from a serious School that offers a complete program.
Even better if the trainer has been officially recognized by the PMA (Pilates Method Alliance).


What are the rules to perform it?

Our posture is unique and specific:
from this we can deduce that to get the best results that Pilates has to offer, you must start from an individual lesson that allows a postural assessment.
From this assessment will result a Custom Program to meet the special needs of the customer.

The optimal running is to 1 to 1: that is, a trainer for a customer.
For customers already familiar with the method, a good teacher can simultaneously follow more people, but, in our opinion, no more than 4 or 5.
The Pilates method can also be offered in group-classes: the purpose, however, in this case are different.
Clients in the group can have fun, introducing them at the same time to the principles of Pilates.

But you can not enforce the purely postural exercises in non-targeted manner: such exercises could be potentially harmful to some people, unsuitable, or worse, contraindicated.


What are the application fields?

The field of fitness is the most classic.
The use in orthopedic rehabilitation, but increasingly also neurological, is an established practice in the world.
In recent years it has attracted the attention of the medical world and physiotherapy obtaining significant results, even compared with other commonly used methods.
The currently most promising new frontiers are those of athletic training.


Who can practice Pilates?

An elastic body, toned and aligned in the correct position, it is more healthy and even more beautiful.
One of the reasons that makes excel Pilates Method, between postural disciplines, is the wide variety of exercises that can be performed free body "Mat Work" or with specific equipments.
The Teacher can choose the most suitable equipment to perform with, can modify each exercise and this allows him to customize, on the details, the best protocol "fitted" to the individual.

In addition, the intensity can be graduated according to the different needs: it can be sweet but also very intense.

This makes the Pilates method applicable to anyone.

What are the principles of Pilates?

The Pilates method has in itself the principles of stretching, muscle toning, mental concentration and physical balance.
We can understand it as a link between the ancient principles that we find in the eastern disciplines (balance, center of gravity, concentration, breath control and movements) and modern principles of muscle training (stretching, posture, work on kinetic chains).


Pilates Method. What is it?

The Pilates method has been described in various ways, mainly by describing the beneficial effects it generates in the body and mind of those who practice it.
It falls among the holistic disciplines because its effects involve us in a whole mind and body.

In technical terms it is a gymnastics that, starting from a proprioceptive feedback, it allows you to "re-program" the posture or balance the neuro-musculo-fascial in our body.

The muscle work is done for kinetic chains and muscle regions.
In this way, in the various exercises, it always involves the whole body with prevalence of the deep muscles, postural, of the spine.
We thus learn to move in space in a more elastic, flexible and harmonious way, with a consequent improvement of the physical and emotional well-being, saving energy.
They are not to be underestimated the aesthetic values of a body toned, elastic and flexible.

How quickly does it work?
The "magic" induced by the Pilates method you buy gradually, in a matter of ten sessions and is perceived with a feeling of well-being, relief from painful muscle tension associated with a mental relaxing pleasure.
Obviously the best results are obtained, and remain, with a constant application of the method.

What are the "postural" muscles?

The muscles involved in the postural system are muscles "tonic" located primarily in deeper location than the "phasic" muscles.
The "tonic" muscles have a structure making them suitable to a long contraction, protracted, while the "phasic" have the task of carrying out the rapid movements, typical in daily activities.
The phasic muscles are what we "see" and that is so important to our aesthetic image but the tonic ones, which you do not "see" are even more important because they keep us standing.


Our specific posture, depends on what?

It depends on our personal history:
  • Genetic factors
  • Acquired factors:
  • behavioral habits
  • Working habits, or daily activities
  • Sports practiced
  • Traumas and diseases
  • Mental attitude

What is an Inverse Pendulum?

Our body is a System in Dynamic Equilibrium with the fulcrum in the feet, our base of support.
It is defined as an Inverse Pendulum.

Postural stability depends on a complex system of control of the equilibrium (which substantially coincides with the system of control of the posture) that is realized through the continuous control of the tone of the postural muscles.
Assignment of the postural tonic system is to allow the body the postural stability, both in static position and in movement, suiting itself for the continuous environmental changes.

To realize such objectives the system uses a complex net of resources divided in 3 levels:
  •  Sensorial receptors (cutaneous exteroceptive and proprioceptive, visual, vestibular and auditory) that sends information to the brain on the various parts of the body, in relationship to the same body and the environment.
  •  Superior nervous centers that integrate and ri-elaborate the consequential data from the receptors, combining them with the cognitive process.
  •  Nervous effectors centers from which the commands depart to the oculomotors and skeletal muscles for the continuous process of antigravity stabilization.

What is Posture in Pilates?

"Posture" means the body position in space and its relationship among its body segments.

The correct posture is nothing other than the most suitable position of the body in space to implement the antigravity functions with the least energy expenditure both in dynamic and in static; it will contribute to various factors (neurophysiological, biomechanical, emotional, psychological and relational).

Important are the concepts of space, anti-gravity and balance arising from this definition.
The concept of spatiality is immediately subsequent to the posture, in fact, the posture is not more than the relationship of the body in the three spatial axes.

As regards
the balance, it is defined as the best relationship between the subject and the surrounding environment; it follows that the body, in both static and dynamic, assumes an optimal balance depending on environmental stimuli it receives and the motor program that adopts.


What happens in case of an accident?

The European Directive 2001/95/EC has been implemented by the Italian State and signed into law for years.
This law requires gyms and anyone faces customers for professional reasons, to use equipment in accordance with current safety standards in Europe.
The law is active, but rarely checks are made in this area.
However, these aspects become particularly important when insurance companies are involved in case of accident.

What is the TÜV-GS mark?

TÜV-Rheinland, headquartered in Köln, Germany is a leading provider for technical services worldwide.
More than 10,000 people work for the Group in over 300 branches in 58 countries.
TÜV-Rheinland releases in Europe on safety mark and TÜV-GS quality that, for more than 30 years, first in Germany and then throughout Europe, is a recognized guarantee.


What does "Certificated Equipment" mean ?

A certificated tool is a tool that has been subjected to a certifying body in a series of tests in order to verify the effective compatibility with the safety and quality standards.
The safety reference standards are Italian (UNI) that have implemented the regulations of the European communities (EN).
An equipment having been subject to such checks is considered safe according to the latest regulations, to the extent the activity for which it was built and the use to which it was intended.


It is true that a certificated tool needs less care?

It's true.
The stress-tests which has passed demonstrate the characteristics of the materials and the technology that as been used.

These are the best premises for the durability of the tools and their components.
High quality is synonymous with reliability and durability.


What is the importance of using certified equipment?

When a professional works, demands from business tools the ultimate in reliability and safety.
A tool must be complete, so that allows them to practice all the exercises provided by the Pilates method, and all variants.
Tools subjected to certification tests ensure the best durability performances, reliability and safety.
Managers of Studies and Wellness Centres know what may be the costly "downtime" and therefore choose tools that give the best guarantees to that effect.
They are also the best business card to the Customer, as a demonstration of concern for his safety.


It is true that you can do the same exercises on the different tools?

Yes, it's true.
It is for the Certificated Teacher, which must know all the Pilates Method, choose the most suitable exercise for postural habit of that specific customer, choosing the most appropriate tool with the most suitable variant.
Only in this way you can really bring to the solution of the problem.


What criteria should I take to choose the tools for my center?

The most important are the Universal Reformer, the Cadillac and the Barrel.
All other tools are part of the Pilates method, but have some peculiarities which provide for the use in special cases and for specific needs.
Other combined equipment can be chosen with space-saving criteria.


The equipment produced today are better than the original ones of the past?

Thanks to new technologies, the best companies are now able to produce more sophisticated tools, safe, comfortable and durable, as well as more attention to detail and design.
Practicing Pilates method on these latest equipment does not mean, however, modify the technique in its essence, but only practice it enjoying advantages impossible at the time of Joseph Pilates.


Who invented the tools for the Pilates method?

Joseph Pilates created his equipment for his method over seventy years ago.
These tools were very innovative for those times, but obviously rudimentary in their structure.
The equipment produced now need to maintain the same characteristics, to be suitable for professional use, while maintaining the original principles.
However, Pilatech uses new technologies and new materials to offer the very best in design, comfort and functionality, and especially to ensure safety.


The tools are necessary for the practice of the Pilates method?

The Pilates "method" involves the practice of free body work (MatWork) and also work with special tools.
Pilates himself has invented these tools and are an integral part of the method he invented.
The "mat work", is just one component of the method.
Only with the use of specific equipment, however, you can get the best of well-being that the Pilates method can offer.

I have a gym. Is it right to start with MatWork courses?

Giving Pilates MatWork courses has, usually, the more of an advantage.
First, the direct purpose, to provide a new method, funny, "fashionable" and so satisfy the curiosity of the customer without the need for investment.

After this stage there has been a twofold phenomenon:
the customer feel the first benefits of the method, it builds loyalty and often asks to access personalized courses to improve the results
and
at the same time the Center Manager who, not knowing the Pilates method was somewhat skeptical about the economic results of the experiment, is getting convinced and not only increases these courses, but also finds room to create a Pilates personal training program with equipments.

This evolution follows the general trend of the modern fitness world that is persuading more and more of the validity of the personal training programs.
The objective of the medium-high level customer, as the Pilates customer certainly is, pertains to entertainment and socializing, but certainly also, by demanding customers, to personalized treatment that will lead to tangible results of well-being and beauty.
We have seen many managers satisfied of the commercial success of these initiatives and pleased to have found another way to meet interesting and demanding clients.

What tools are used, and when, in Physiotherapy?

In the initial stages of treatment, in FKT, small tools will be more frequently used, in MatWork or Cadillac exercises.
This is because in post-traumatic early stages, or pre/post-surgery, the articular excursion range is usually minimal and the workload must be modulated with extreme care.
Exercises with important isometric components will be chosen compared to those in which the dynamic prevails.
Then, along with the progress and pain relief, a tool like the Reformer, especially for the lower limbs, enables a very fast and effective functional recovery.
As always, in the professional field, it is up to the individual therapist preparation to find the best solution to each specific problem.

How to position the Pilates space in my Center?

Within the Centre, it is essential to locate the space devoted to Pilates in an area where the physical and mental relaxation is really possible.
To increase the positive adaptation of the customer, the environment lighting must be cured, placing it so that it is warm, diffuse and never direct.
Remember that the customer is often lying with his eyes turned to the ceiling.
It is also important to avoid the noise impact of other activities in the center.
Relaxing background music contributes a lot to the mental and physical relaxation that we want to achieve.

What is the average configuration of a Studio?

There is no "standard" configuration of a Pilates Studio even if some tools such as the Reformera and the Cadillac are considered, by all, indispensable.
Even the application field is not demanding for specific equipment: both in fitness and in rehabilitation can be used all the tools at the discretion of the trainer or the rehabilitator.

Generally the average configuration of a Studio that can meet 7-8 customers every hour as part of a personal training program, which the Pilates is in its essence, has two Reformers, a Cadillac, a Large Barrel, one or more Spine Corrector and a number from 5 to 10 Magic Circle, Hemicylinders of various sizes, gym balls etc.
From this starting nucleus can then evolve according to the specific needs, depending on the type of clients and activities of the Center with a more targeted configuration.
Advice specific to that effect will be given by the Company to which it is addressed or by the responsible trainer.

What tools should I put in?

Universal Reformer

It is the original name given by J.H. Pilates to his main tool.

The Reformer consists of a mobile carriage which slides inside a supporting structure.
The cart is docked with the springs which, varying in number and tension, condition the elastic force of return to the starting position.
The cart has supports for the various anatomical parts and a footbar complete this configuration.

The exercises on the Reformer are mainly dynamic, with a wide combination of range of motion.
It allows you to work with both upper and lower limbs, always involving the spine.
The dynamic stretching exercises are simply wonderful.


Cadillac


The Cadillac, another original name, is a tool derived from the old physiotherapy beds used in hospitals in the last century.
It is a fixed table surmounted by a metal structure that allows the anchoring of various accessories.
Used generally more static, isometric exercises, is very useful in physical therapy, especially in early treatment.
It is considered one of the fundamental tools.


Barrel


Large Barrel, Step Barrel, Small Barrel, Swing Barrel and Hemicylinders: are similar tools in the principles.
They differ in size but all have similar characteristics: a hemicylindric part, "Barrel" in fact, on which to perform the exercises, varying supports and accessories.
Very valid  stretching programs with these tools.


Chair


The Chair, as progenitor of home-fitness equipment, offers a surprising variety of applications being able to work every single part of the body and, as always, in a harmonious co-ordination between them.


Minor Equipment

Other minor tools for size but not least, are the Magic Circle, The Twisters, postural balls, elastic bands and others.
Each of these may be used alone, with a specific program, or as a supplement in the exercises on major equipment.

It would take pages and pages to explain the endless job opportunities and, for this, I refer to full-bodied volumes dedicated to the students of the certification courses.

How much space do I have to leave for Matwork?

In any case it must be left a space for the free body exercise.
The free body "mat work" is a very important part of the Pilates method... but remember that it is only a part.

The groups based on this technique are definitely eye-catching, fun and effective.
They are a breath of fresh air in the fitness scene and are very popular everywhere.

They are very important to spread the knowledge of the Pilates method and entice customers to deepen their practice with tools in order to fully enjoy the benefits that Pilates, in the "complete" meaning, can give.

How much space I need to devote to Pilates?

The space required is usually not very large.
Speaking about "machine room", You can usually suffice about 50-60 m2.
Receptionlocker rooms etc, and other facilities can be dedicated or shared with other activities in the center.
This space will divide it between machines and open space for MatWork.

How to organize a space destined for Pilates?

First you need to analyze your situation and reply to the following questions:
  • How much space have I available?
  • What is the main purpose of Pilates in my center? Fitness, athletic training or rehabilitation?
  • How many people should I handle in a day?
  • It is the only technique available in my center or are various types of gymnastics, postural or not, I offer to customers?
  • I believe in Pilates enough to dedicate a fixed space or I interpret it as merely one of the many available options?
  • Or: in my room I want to do a bit of everything and equipments always in the middle are disturbing?
  • I want to offer a Pilates "complete" with certified trainers and professional tools or instead only MatWork to "recreate" my clients with enjoyable and not boring groups?

Why and how to open a Pilates Center

More and more people, for various reasons, are deciding to experience a discipline full and engaging as the Pilates method.
Specialized Studios and the Clubs that fit Pilates into their schedule - by acquiring the tools and by properly educating their instructors - continue to increase in all world and also in Italy.
FaLang translation system by Faboba