As a Pilates Instructor and studio owner I am aware of the many myths surrounding Pilates when clients are new to Pilates Method. When clients are new to Pilates there tends to be a lot of misconception about what Pilates is and what it is not.
Here is list of the top 5 myths about Pilates Method:
1) Pilates is not challenging
Pilates utilizes all muscle groups which can be very intense and challenging for many people. It is normal to experience muscle soreness after class as you are using under-utilized muscles that are neglected as part of everyday life to include sitting, driving and inactivity which leads to de-conditioning.
2) Pilates is like Yoga
Although Pilates includes stretching, the primary focus of Pilates is on the spine and what’s known as the Powerhouse. The powerhouse area of your body goes from the bottom of your ribs all the way to your hip line. It includes the abdominals, glutes, low back muscles, pelvic floor and muscles surrounding the hip joint. Powerhouse muscles work together to support and stabilize the trunk, but they also create and support big-movements of the body. And they give those moves their dynamic strength. Joseph Pilates emphasized this area of the body in the program of training he designed.
The core muscles are included in the powerhouse and are the deep stabilizers. The pelvic floor, the psoas, the transverse abdominus and the multifidus are included.
3) Pilates is for dancers or celebrities
Although in recent years there is a proliferation of beautiful celebrities like Kate Hudson and Jennifer Aniston, known for their devotion to Pilates, the method is appropriate for all bodies and can be modified to suit most bodies. People who are post-surgical and with limitations in movement or body-awareness can help improve these conditions through mindful movement that protects the joints and back.
4) Pilates will eliminate excess body-fat
Pilates will not burn-off the ice-cream you ate last night. In-fact, no-exercise will do that despite claims that you can “burn-off” excess body-fat. Abs are truly made in the kitchen through a diet that is balanced and includes healthy fats and low in processed foods and refined sugar. Pilates can give you an amazing cardio workout by the use of the Jump board or when Pilates is done in a HIIT format. Abs can be sculpted as well as glutes and other muscle groups, but if you have excess body fat you will need to change your diet.
5) Pilates Reformer is appropriate in large group settings
Unfortunately, Pilates Method cannot be successfully taught in groups larger than six participants. Pilates Method was originally intended to be done in private training and small groups only. Pilates Instructors should be appropriately certified in the Method and attentive to safety and body-limitations. This is difficult to replicate in a group larger than six.