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9 Myths & Misconceptions about Pilates

The Truth about the Pilates Method

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Which brings me to my final point: The Pilates method is for every body and it is not about just a bunch of exercises.  It is a mind-body exercise technique that calms the mind and reduces stress; it develops strength, flexibility and control; and it's accessible to just about everyone. To get the most out of the Pilates, don't give up after one try. Find the approach that works for you and follow Mr. Pilates' words from his book, Return to Life through Contrology: "Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.”
 
I'll see you on the mat!
 
Sources
Return to Life through Contrology by Joseph Pilates, 1945.

This article has been reviewed and approved by SparkPeople fitness expert Nicole Nichols, certified personal trainer and certified Pilates instructor.
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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

  • Pilates IS expensive if you're training anywhere other than at home. And, even if you have some of the equipment (which all costs something, and something adds up), doing a move wrong does more damage than good, so it's actually to a person's benefit to take classes. In addition, not all Pilates instructors are created equal. I've had classes with a person who must've been in the bottom 5% of her class because she knew no modifications, was not helpful in body movement descriptions even when given specific questions, and left me hurting more than when I walked in. Yes, actual pain, not soreness. Then I found an amazing instructor with thousands of modifications and suggestions on body movement techniques. She's half the price of most instructors, but still $45 for private session. Too bad she's moving and it's entirely possible that I'm back to the "affordable" instructors who seem to be trainers with a mail order certificate in Pilates. - 10/3/2014 1:26:48 PM
  • what i found amusing was the comment about it not being expensive at 10 to 20 dollars a lesson. I used to pay 50 dollars for three months of karate. And it allowed me to train at ANY of their dojos at ant time (i could have trained 6 days a week if I had been so inclined) - 5/8/2014 10:04:35 PM
  • 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
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