What is Pilates?

 It is a psychophysical conditioning method developed by Joseph Pilates, and when practiced correctly gives you great psychophysical benefits.

Pilates, unlike almost all other training methods:

  • requires continuous control commitment, body execution and mental display and control;
  • the proprioceptive feedback that follows, during Pilates sessions, can correct our body posture;
  • it always involves the entire body, including deep postural muscles;
  • in the individual lessons, the exercises are molded on the individual.

Who was Joseph Pilates?

Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. During the adolescence, became a good gymnast, skier, diver and he practiced many other techniques. He studied philosophy, anatomy and oriental medicine. In 1912, he left for England where he carried out different activities, such as boxing and trapeze, and he soon became a self-defense instructor. He remained a prisoner of the Germans at the beginning of the First World War, he gave lessons to his fellow prisoners. In prison he worked as a nurse. Despite the injuries sustained by many soldiers were severe, Joseph was able to make them heal thanks to the acquisition of muscle strength, argued that it would be impossible to heal without a valid workout consisting of physical exercises. Joseph Pilates was looking for new possible tools, optimizing their use; inventing many of the tools and accessories that are used today. In the ’20s he met Rudolf Van Laban, and he had his first contact with the Dancing world. At 46 years, he decided to emigrate to the United States, on the ship he met his future wife; with her he opened a studio in New York for teaching training techniques beginning to codify HIS training technique, the one that today we all call Pilates Method. In the United States Joseph Pilates Method attracted the attention of the dancing world, dancers found great benefits from the use of his techniques. Characters such as Martha Graham and George Balanchine practiced and recommended this method to their students. Joseph Pilates was a physical activity visionary, he developed a system of exercises whose precision and efficiency is still current even after more than thirty years after his death.

Who can practice Pilates?

Comprehending the good working practice of receiving a written health authorization from our own doctors for any physical activity we want to play (but a prevention program is also valid for the idlers), EVERYONE can practice Pilates adjusting the exercises to the specifically physical conditions of the subject, a situation that can occur only in classes with few participants or even better during a “one to one” lesson, so if you are physically healthy you may participate in small group lessons but, sometimes, it might be essential to take individual lessons.

How long before we get the results?

Our body is a very sensitive dynamic element and immediately always ready to adapt to situations we undergo, therefore from the very beginning of a Pilates course our body begins to produce results. More our body has been overlooked, the more obvious and rapid will be the first results, so much so that there have been people who coming out the first lesson of Pilates felt different, sometimes even the other noticed; this immediate result is due to the body consciousness of its limitless possibilities, which brings us immediately to look for a more natural and healthy posture. Also, equally important is the positive influence on our mood and attitude, in fact, is now scientifically proven that posture affects the attitude – try to be happy keeping a posture with shoulders bent forward and chin pushed down, or else to be sad with high shoulders, repent out and chin up -. After a few months you will no longer recognize yourself both from functional and aesthetically point of view. If you have yet to start a Pilates work program, annotate your athletic and aesthetic skills: you’ll be amazed with the results that you will get after a few months of consistent and proper Pilates training.

Does Pilates make you lose weight?

Starting from the principle that our body can not make any movement or even maintain their own body temperature without consuming energy, otherwise it would be eradicated world hunger, we must think of Pilates as a fantastic tool, and the end result will be due to the way of use of this tool, combined with the actions we take outside the Pilates Studio.

Explaining better, so that we can clarify this point, so much discussed around the world:

  • with a balanced diet that has all the necessary nutrients in the correct ratio to each other, it can be said that the weight loss happens when we have a greater energy expenditure compared to the calories we assumed;
  • Pilates can be an aerobic or anaerobic method depending on how we carry out the activity, and on the physical conditions of our body. To verify this is simple enough: to calculate what our aerobic and anaerobic thresholds are, acquire a heart rate monitor and perform some Pilates classes of different intensities;
  • If we start a Pilates course, and in the meantime we maintain, or even worse, we worsen our eating habits trying to justify it because we train so much now, it is not Pilates fault if you do not lose weight, or worse, we gain fat.

Pilates, together with a few healthy living habits, can give us a complete renewed body and mind, making us more efficient, safer, excited, strong, durable and aesthetically pleasing.

Who created the tools for the Pilates method?

The tools were created by Joseph Hubertus Pilates, developing the eponymous method and the tools that are commonly used to perform Pilates lessons.

What are the differences between the tools invented by J. Pilates and those present today and between different manufacturers' products?

It depends on the manufacturer:

  • some faithfully produce the tools that were invented by J. Pilates who put them up with the technology and the knowledge of the time; other measures and make improvements based on technology and current knowledge… The question is: a person forward in time as J. Pilates, if he was alive today, would he retain his creations the same as when he invented them?;
  • other companies faithfully produce equipment copying it from other production companies, without evolving them, in some cases they do not even know what they do and you can see it from some details that are the result of a scheduling production, but not the consequence of decisions weighted on the basis of the knowledge of method;
  • as in all fields, also in Pilates, there are some products that are placed on the market to be sold to non-professional users. Sometimes these tools become instruments of work of professionals who have purchased them from salesmen who can sell anything, or basing the choice only on the lowest price;

Then there are companies that produce quality tools, designed for professional use and for long life, by choice of materials, research, after sales service, etc… They have higher costs though; however, these should be the tools adopted by professionals. We identify our company in this last category, and being a small company, with the advantage that manages to contain costs, thanks to an efficient chain production comprehending research and innovation, facilitated by our long experience, over thirty years in the field, being able to offer our products with an excellent value for money.

What are the ideal characteristics that must have the Pilates equipment for a professional How do I choose the tools for my Pilates studio?

Taking into account that the tools are intended for professional use, for which the contractor is responsible both to its customers and to the service that provides and the active and passive safety equipment, the Professional Pilates Teacher should make his choices choosing equipment produced in a workmanlike manner.

These are the main characteristics to be verified during the purchase:

  • the structure must be sturdy and robust, must be able to withstand usage loads greater than those that are theoretically expected in normal use;
  • they must have rounded edges;
    there must be a minimum of 3 cm of free space, in the movements of the levers to avoid the scissor effect;
  • the frame has to be done in order to have an excellent stability of the structure; a greater support base from the point of maximum imbalance;
  • it must be painted with water-based paints to avoid the release of solvents into the environment;
  • the elements that slide or rotate must be on bearings balls or synthetic self-lubricating balls;
  • they must have many settings to adapt to different anthropometric sizes of the costumers;
  • they must be produced with oxidation resistant metal, preferably stainless steel or aluminum;
  • maintenance should be simplified;
  • they must be equipped with safety belts, where necessary;
  • there must be no external pins or anything else that can cause cuts or snagging of clothing.

The company that produces them should:

  • be present in the area with spare parts in stock and customer service;
  • research and continually test the equipment produced in order to keep them updated and regularly innovating them, even better if they directly have Pilates studios where every day they can use their products;
  • exist for some years;
  • always be available and will be available with a corporate approach of problem solving;
  • before they even sell the products they must give an advisory service.

What is the difference between the various training schools in the world?

 With the spread of the Pilates method in the world many training schools for teachers are born, schools with sometimes very different characteristics from each other, some other very valid… other, a bit less. What is the best, it is virtually impossible to tell because everything depends on what we are looking for, a school may be ideal for one person and not for another one:

  • there are schools of very valid formations, no matter how famous they are, where from the very first contact you perceive their availability and competence. They understand the problems of those who approach a training course, sometimes even at great age, and they are always oriented to the solution. They stimulate people to deepen the method;
  • some teach the Pilates method in a precise and specific way, as it was created by Josef Pilates, without any changes dictated by research and experience, also the tools they normally use are the exact copies of the originals; by analogy, you’d think to the first great car phone of the 80′, compared with today’s smartphones;
  • others are just the opposite of the above, it being understood that there is a course for Pilates teachers, because so they say, and because we recognize the tools;
  • in some cases we are faced with the real manufacturers of industrial-grade teachers, in these cases you are in classes of aspiring teachers with more than 50/60 participants, sometimes with very little equipment, especially when compared to the number of participants, and in those cases the exercises are explained with virtual tools;
  • there are rigid organizations that require almost religious devotions, where the teacher businessman in his Studio Pilates must necessarily follow the laws dictated by the school, teachers collaborators are exclusively of that particular school, they are prohibited to have any type of relationship with other schools without their permission, or else they will be canceled from the school;
  • some teachers change the exercise names, in order to create school names to exercises in order to create their own training course;
  • at times, courses seem to want to prepare the athletes for the competitions, forgetting that they are forming technical teachers and not competitive athletes; the performance of a teacher in carrying out the exercises, is much less important than its ability to transmit and use their knowledge to take care of your customer.

How to choose a training school for pilates teachers?

 First you need to ask yourself those questions:

  1. Are you a private and you want to learn a discipline as it was created at the beginning? Do you want to take this job because you think it is just work, you earn a lot and this will matter more of the benefits that your costumers can get? Have you been practicing Pilates on yourself getting excellent results and it excites you practicing it and the idea of ​​teaching it? Do you want to start a new profession or supplement your workout with an excellent method in which you believe, because you understand that Pilates if taught with passion and dedication, taking into account the human being that you will have in front of you, can give important psychophysical benefits favoring an healthy lifestyle?
  2. Are you interested in learning exactly what Joseph Pilates invented and develop until his death in 1967 (almost 50 years ago), or you are more oriented to a Pilates method that, while remaining faithful to the principles of the original method, has undergone a natural evolution and integration with current knowledge of anatomy / physiology and scientific principles and with the experience gained through years of application and use of this method?
  3. Do you want to work in Italy or abroad? Because if you attend a course that is not recognized in the country where you want to work, it does not matter whether if for you is the most important and beautiful school in the world.
  4. Are you doctors or physical therapists? In this case you could use knowledge of medicine and rehabilitation that are given in a number of training courses. Otherwise it is better that a Pilates teacher does the best he can do and works in collaboration and synergy with doctors and physiotherapists. You can not carry out a profession that is not certified to do so, the law is very strict in these cases.
  5. Did you try calling the training school? Did they prove their availability? Did they give you the information you wanted? Did they limite themselves to respond to what you asked for, or did they try to give you all the information you need to decide and start the course? Did they spend a long time to denigrate other schools, compared to the information they gave you?
  6. The same teacher holds training courses in many different disciplines?
  7. What kind of equipment does the school have? Did they make quality decision or did they make their choice trying to spend as little as possible? Do not forget that they professional working tools.
  8. Does the school give you some guarantee in case you do not find yourself well during the beginning of the course? Does the school provides for cases in which gives you the ability to freely repeat part or all of the course that you have attended? Did some training schools discourage or even denied you to sign up for the course because you do not have this or that previous certification?

Once you have answered all the above questions, you will have a better idea about which school you should choose.

Any school you choose, after finishing, remember that you make a difference, give the best you can do as Pilates Teachers and you will receive great satisfaction.