Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

Fitness Articles  ›  Focused Fitness

9 Myths & Misconceptions about Pilates

The Truth about the Pilates Method

-- By Kathy Corey, Master Pilates Trainer
Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.
 
Pilates is too hard.
Pilates can be very humbling, even for people who are in good shape.  Many other forms of exercise do not engage the deep core muscles in the same way that Pilates does.  A good Pilates class will include instruction for every level of fitness and a breakdown of how to properly perform the movements for your body.  
 
You need equipment to do Pilates.
Joseph Pilates invented several pieces of exercise equipment to enhance the mat-based program, but you don't need any equipment to do Pilates. Mat Pilates classes are available at most exercise facilities and are a great way to get a Pilates workout for your whole body.
 
Pilates only works your core.
While Pilates does build core strength, Mr. Pilates always emphasized that his exercises were for the whole body.  He believed the more muscles you use to perform a movement, the more efficient the movement would be.  This creates a system of functional strength that applies to all movements.  The Pilates system teaches a balance of strength and flexibility, or, "the uniform development of our bodies as a whole," Pilates often said.
 
Pilates is only for flexible people.
Flexibility is an inherent part of Pilates training, so you will gain flexibility by doing Pilates regularly.  The exercises are geared to improving flexibility for a more limber body with greater ranges of motion.  And for those people who are overly flexible, the core conditioning creates joint stability so the goal is a balance of strength and flexibility. All exercises can be modified or adapted to suit each individual's flexibility level.
 
Pilates is too expensive.
The area you live in will make a difference on the price of Pilates classes, but you can find affordable Pilates classes almost anywhere in the United States.  Mat Classes and even group Reformer classes can cost as little as $10 to $20. Many clubs even offer mat Pilates classes for no additional charge when you pay for a gym membership. These fees are comparable with most individual exercise classes, whether you take yoga, Jazzercise, Zumba or some other fitness class. But Pilates instructors and believers will often say that the investment is worth it, as Pilates almost acts as "daily rehab" in the prevention of mobility issues and injury.
 
Pilates is only for young, fit people.
There are many approaches to Pilates and the method can have a wide range of applications.  Many clubs choose specific populations to target children athletes, seniors, or moms to be. There are also classes and private sessions for the rehabilitation of knee injuries, back problems, hip replacements and more, often taught by physical therapists.  Pilates programs address scoliosis, arthritis and osteoporosis as well as specialized sports programs for equestrians, runners and golfers. Simply put, there is a style or modification available for all levels, almost all injuries and most health issues. Pilates can truly be enjoyed by just about everyone.
Continued ›
‹ Previous Page   Page 2 of 3   Next Page › Return to main fitness page »
Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

Related Content


Stay in Touch With SparkPeople

Subscribe to our Newsletters

About The Author

Kathy Corey Kathy Corey
Kathy Corey is a Master Teacher who began her Pilates career in 1979. She has been a leading expert in the Pilates community for over 34 years and was named by IDEA as one of 10 people who "inspire the world to fitness," the fitness industry's highest recognition. As Director of Kathy Corey Pilates, she developed the Kathy Corey Pilates Certification Program and designed the innovative CORE Bandô, which is used in studios around the world. She also serves as the Chairperson of the IDEA Pilates Task Force, as Contributing Editor for IDEA Pilates Today, and as an Advisory Board Member for Pilates Style magazine. You can work out with Kathy online at PilatesAnytime.com, a global Pilates studio.

Member Comments

  • If you can't afford regular classes, maybe attend a few and work out to DVD's at home.
    Some health channels on TV might have a class you can work out to.
    I am happy to read an article that says there are different levels of Pilates, if you have body restrictions.
    I am 72, started out in Yoga, changed to Pilates and do 30 minutes everyday. Attend a hour class maybe once a week, at my gym, and the other days at home.
    I am very flexible. But definitely have issues with RA, knee replacements, and back injury.
    I believe that if you think positive and give something a try, you might find it's not as difficult as you thought . - 3/29/2014 10:10:09 AM
  • Thank you! I have been hesitant to try it but I think I will try it! - 1/16/2014 12:17:56 AM
  • KJOYNER12
    Love (NOT) the response to the myth, it cost too much...10-20 a class!??? If you really wanted to get the benefits, I imagine one class a month is not enough, so what 2x a week, so now we are at $80-160/month. Jeez - 10/31/2013 11:52:40 AM
  • Good info. Thanks. - 10/29/2013 6:57:32 AM
  • BUTCHER999
    Hi:

    I do a lot of cycling and running but always had a painful back - in fact, I was born with scoliosis and have had back surgery. I've been doing a pilates routine for my core for over six years and I am now pain free!!! Yes, pain free!!!! - 10/27/2013 8:29:21 AM
  • LIBELULLE
    I love my PIlates sessions. I've invested (!) for one-on-one sessions with a really good and supportive instructor. She's good because she knows how to encourage me to push my boundaries safely, and keeps on emphasizing what I am able to do while working on the things I need to loosen, stretch and strengthen. After a session a lot of pain has gone away, I am relaxed, destressed , grounded and happy. For the time being Pilates works better for me than yoga, which I did for three years. - 10/27/2013 5:02:45 AM
  • Never did it before. - 10/1/2013 3:36:54 PM
  • Never did it before. - 10/1/2013 3:36:03 PM
  • I've done pilates videos in the past and it is certainly not an easy workout. You sweat! - 9/28/2013 1:52:07 PM
  • I took my first beginner Pilates class this week. I was able to do almost everything but I still felt well exercised and I was sore the next day. I need to modify the roll for now but I'm excited to get back to do another class. - 9/28/2013 9:13:32 AM
  • With Pilates there are movements that some might have difficulty doing. whether it be weight , arthritis issue or something else. The same can be said for yoga.
    So if one wants to try Pilates, do what your body can do. You don't have to adapt every move in the beginning or ever for that matter.
    When I first started weighing in at over 300 lbs, some of the moves were impossible. As I lost weight, got more flexible and my confidence built, I could do more. There will always be people better than I am, but that doesn't stop me from doing a Pilates workout every day. I try to get in 30 minutes a day.
    Some days working just certain part of the body.
    I enjoy doing Pilates better than Yoga. But somedays I will incorporate both into my workout.
    I'm a flexible strong 71 year old who hope to be the same at 81 and 91.
    - 8/15/2013 5:25:41 PM
  • I love it where the author says, "Pilates is for JUST ABOUT everyone." No mention was made if it could be adapted for those of us with serious weight issues. That's the sole reason I have not tried Pilates or yoga, because I'm just too darn fat to do them. - 7/7/2013 12:31:16 PM
  • PROUDHORSEMOMMA
    I love Pilates!! If cost is a concern for you, like it is for me, there are tons of good Pilates videos on Hulu Plus for $8 a month. I lay out a long mirror on the floor underneath my TV so I can see myself and watch my form, since I don't have an instructor there. It burns your muscles a little, but then you always feel rejuvinated afterwards! - 6/10/2013 1:02:22 PM
  • PUGGLEMONKEY
    I'm glad it works well for those who enjoy it. But for me it is painful both during and after. I don't just mean muscle soreness, but also skeletal and nerve pain as well. My knees and neck won't take it, though I can do the Total Gym and Leslie Sansone videos. I also find it stressful during the workout, whereas my TG and walking workouts are relaxing for me. I have arthritis also and agree with another poster that Pilates seems to make it flare up. To each his/her own I guess. - 4/4/2013 2:46:49 PM
  • LNTHACKER94
    I enjoy doing pilates...I mean at first when I was just starting out I was like "oh, it's going to be real easy!"...boy was I wrong,but I kept pushing and now I love it! :D - 4/3/2013 2:59:05 PM
Popular Calories Burned Searches: Biking/Cycling: 20-22 km/h (3 minutes per km - 2.72 minutes per km)  |  Biking/Cycling: 23-25 km/h (2.6 minutes per km - 2.4 minutes per km)  |  Biking/Cycling: 26-31 km/h (2.3 minutes per km - 1.9 minutes per km)