Pilates

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Pilates

Pilates is a system of focused movements and breathing techniques aimed at improving flexibility, posture, and strength without adding muscle mass. Pilates exercises draw on the "powerhouse" region of the body, comprised of the abs and buttocks, for the execution of poses. Whether you’re a staunch Pilates devotee, or are interested in finding some Pilates classes in your neighborhood, the following guide has the information you’ll need to enhance your practice (and your butt!).

Pilates

Although the practice of Pilates is approaching its centennial, its popularity has risen markedly in the past 10 years or so. The sites below deliver basic information on Pilates philosophy, Pilates exercises, and Pilates equipment.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • This section will introduce you to what Pilates is, but each instructor will have their own modifications to the technique.
  • Although Joseph Pilates first developed his technique using specific machinery, many people simply practice mat Pilates. Learn the difference between mats and machines before you choose a course of study. 

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For a history of pilates ...

For a general introduction …

For introductions to Pilates machines …

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Doing Pilates

Although there are many varieties of Pilates, you can’t do any of them without some preliminary instruction. That might mean checking out a few Pilates exercises online, finding a class to take, or committing to study with a Pilates instructor.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • If you’re a Pilates teacher or you own a studio, many online directories will let you add your studio for free.
  • Most argue that the best way to study Pilates, at least in the early stages, is with a private instructor. If you do elect to take a class or study at home, pay close attention to form and nuance. An exercise performed incorrectly may produce no effect, or could prove harmful.
  • Pilates necessitates special equipment and gear, such as a mat or a Pilates Reformer machine. Explore these options in the “Where can I buy gear and apparel?” section and the “What are the different kinds of Pilates?” section of this guide.

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For online instruction …

For finding a pilates instructor ...

For finding a pilates instructor or class by state …

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Types of Pilates

Various teachers have modified Joseph Pilates' original technique, and there are numerous ways you can practice. Several Pilates teachers have taken their knowledge of Pilates to develop and teach modified versions of the original practice, such as Fletcher Pilates, Stott Pilates, Power Pilates, and Winsor Pilates.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • If you're interested in reading about the court ruling that determined Pilates to be a generic form of exercise and not a trademarked name, you'll find the article on Balanced Body's Web site.
  • It's hard to say objectively whether one type of Pilates is really better than another. Remember that each of these styles is represented by a commercial business that wants to sell its product. Before you choose a style or program, carefully outline your goals so you can easily determine which classes can best meet those goals.

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For major branches of Pilates ...
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Pilates Gear

While some people will only need to purchase a Pilates mat and stretchy pants, others may decide to invest in their own Pilates reformer. Whatever your needs are, the sites below offer the best in Pilates gear.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • If you practice Pilates at a studio, the studio probably has most of the equipment you need.
  • Some of the sites dealing in machinery cater toward studio owners. Look for special information geared to helping you build your business.

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Pilates Certification

The following organizations have developed official certification programs and standards for what makes a good, safe Pilates teacher. You'll learn about teacher certification programs and requirements in the sites below.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Most of the organizations below offer their own teacher training programs, but in some cases, alternate training is accepted, especially if a teacher has a number of years of experience. Review the details listed on each site carefully.
  • The schools of Pilates listed in the "What are the different kinds of Pilates?" section of this guide also offer certification programs.

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