Your Pilates Questions Answered!

Home Studio Equipped with 2 Reformers, Treadmill & Spinning Bike

As an instructor – I get asked a lot of questions. I’m sure if one person is asking- there are others who are wondering as well.  So today – your pilates questions are answered!  And if I didn’t answer your question- comment and I will answer it.

Q.  How many times should I do Pilates per week?

A.  That really depends on what your goals are and what else you are doing.  If you are only doing Pilates as your workout and your goals are to get in shape, maintain shape or build strength/tone – you could do 4 or 5 classes a week and see great results. With any exercise – it’s important to take a day off and rest from time to time.  Let your body recover a little.

Q. How many calories will I burn in a reformer class?

A.  Once again it depends!  As a beginner in an hour class you may burn 250 calories but the more you can focus and engage more muscles that may grow to 450 calories.  BUT – that being said – I prefer you not to think about Pilates as a calorie burner.  The benefits are far greater and with the development of more muscle tone and especially the deeper muscles you may miss in bootcamp – you will increase your metabolism – making your body more efficient and meaning more calories burned all the time and more overall toning.

Q.  What should I eat before a Pilates class?

A.  You will want a little fuel to get you through your workout but not a heavy meal that will make you feel sluggish.  If your session is in the morning, a smoothie or some fruit and a bagel would be good options.  If you are working out at lunch time – you may want to eat a bit of your lunch before your class and the rest after.  That way you won’t be starving and lacking energy for class but also won’t be overly stuffed and trying to crunch your stomach during class!  If you are working out after work – you may need a quick snack to keep you going.  Again fruit or handful of nuts could do the trick.

Q. If I am strong to begin with – shouldn’t I use more spring weight?

A. No!  With Pilates often times the more challenging moves use less resistance and more muscle control and stability.  Adding extra springs will initially feel harder but you are powering through a movement and chances are missing the intent, adding in momentum and missing some of the stabilizing muscles.  Any movement even without resistance can be challenging when you really focus and employ your muscles properly.  Ask your instructor if you feel like you are not getting it. It may require a small change to really realize the benefit of an exercise.

Q. Is Pilates safe for people with shoulder issues, back issues, knee issues, etc.?

A. A resounding yes! Pilates was originally developed to rehabilitate injured dancers.  All movements are performed in as safe range of motion and a neutral spine.  Many physical therapist either use Pilates in their practice or refer patients to Pilates for rehab. If you have a specific issue – don’t hesitate to call ahead or email to discuss your situation.

Q. Is Pilates safe during pregnancy?

A. Yes – with some modifications.  Mat class is only advised up to 20 weeks because much of the class is performed in a supine position (lying face up) and this can be uncomfortable with the weight of the baby pressing against the diaphragm.  Reformer classes can be modified to allow for a slanted/lifted posture – elevating the head and torso and making Pilates safe throughout pregnancy.  Pregnant women produce a hormone called Relaxin that helps the body become looser for childbirth- because of this it is important to limit range of motion some so as not to overstretch muscles.  And of course – before beginning Pilates while pregnant it is key to consult your Doctor.

If you have a question I didn’t answer – I’d love to hear it! Leave a comment and I’ll send you an answer.

5 thoughts on “Your Pilates Questions Answered!

  1. I also wouldn’t do Pilates for its calorie-burning qualities! It’s so much more than that and benefits your lifestyle so much. It’s also something you can continue doing as you grow older.

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