Frequently Asked Questions
 

Q: What is the best way to start Pilates?

A: At Swissbody®, we ask each of you to first complete a minimum of 4 private lessons. During your first class, we will conduct a postural analysis and a body/fitness assessment to explore your goals and specific needs. We will discuss any medical problems or injuries that you may have had in the past or still have and will then find out your aims and ambitions so as to set up your personal Pilates training program. During the following classes we will introduce you to the principles of the Pilates method and teach you the breathing and important stabilizing exercises which will be the foundation for moving forward to the next levels.

After your first 4 sessions, you may choose to continue with private classes, work in semi-privates with one other person, or participate in group classes, with no more than 5 people. Or you may want to select a combination of classes that works best for you, depending on your needs.

Q: How often should I do Pilates?

A: For results that you can both feel and see, try to schedule a Pilates class 2-4 times per week, taking a day off between sessions to rest or enjoy some kind of cardiovascular activity (walking, running, cycling, swimming…). This kind of regular, consistent practice allows you to make the mind-body connection and integrate the various Pilates principles. You should begin feeling the difference in about 10-15 sessions.

Q: What should I wear?

A: Comfortable workout clothes that don’t restrict movement, but that fit the body well. Please wear sox. Swissbody® provides mats and towels and everything else you need for your class.

Q: Who can do Pilates?

A: Pilates can be practiced by people of all ages, from children to seniors, including athletes and fitness enthusiasts, as well as persons with specific medical conditions. We recommend that you consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Q: What is the difference between matwork and machines?

A: Matwork is the foundation of the Pilates method, and includes over 500 exercises that tone, sculpt, and stretch muscles of the entire body. The machines such as Reformer, Cadillac, Wunda Chair and the Barrels include variations of the same movements performed on the mat. Machines incorporate light spring resistance, allowing for concentric and eccentric muscle work across a wide variety of exercises.

At Swissbody®, you will begin your Pilates training with Matwork. Once you have achieved a foundation of stability and core strength, you will incorporate machine and accessory workouts to add variety to your training and to challenge your muscles in different ways with each session.

Q: What should I look for in a Pilates instructor?

A: Ideally your Pilates instructor should be certified through a comprehensive Pilates training program, one comprised of lectures, observation, practice, hands-on apprenticing plus a written/oral and practical examination. This level of training is especially important if you are going to be working out on any of the specialized Pilates equipment – some courses only cover mat exercises while others educate trainers in the full range of apparatus.

Find out if your trainer is educated in handling clients with specific injuries or body conditions that might warrant a modified approach. A professional Pilates instructor should keep up with the latest developments in exercise science, choreography, small prop usage and more thorough continuing education workshops. Make sure your Pilates instructor is confident, knowledgeable, responsive and personable so you can have a safe and effective experience.

Q: What is the difference between Pilates and Yoga?

A: Yoga is an ancient practice that was originally performed in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. Joseph Pilates was inspired in part by the ancient yoga asanas about 80-years ago, but also drew inspiration from other Eastern practices such as martial arts and Zen. The Pilates method is a system of effective but gentle, whole-body conditioning and corrective exercises that develop mind, body and spirit.

Yoga is considered a lifestyle, as well as an exercise. It’s known as the path to both physical and mental well-being. It includes everything from physical postures and healthy diet to breathing, relaxation and meditation skills.

Pilates concentrates on cultivating core strength in the body and strengthening and lengthening the spine. Also, Pilates is a valuable tool for increasing strength, definition and proper posture. Yoga aims to unite the body and mind equally, seeking harmony within and a release from stress. Breathing and concentration are fundamental to both practices; however yoga employs breath on a different level internally, and teaches inhalation and exhalation differently in relation to movement.

Q: Will I lose weight through Pilates?

A: In essence, Pilates is not a cardiovascular workout, and burning calories is not its main focus. However, in conjunction with a sensible diet and cardio work such as brisk walking, running, cycling, or swimming, Pilates provides an important element of an effective a weight-loss program.

As you become intrigued with your Pilates and more aware of your own body, your view of yourself changes. Your posture is changing; you may start to make incremental changes in your lifestyle, and one day you will catch yourself in front of a mirror and see someone “new”, someone with freedom of movement, open shoulders, and strong abdominals, with a lifted body and spirit.

Q: Can I do Pilates for rehabilitation after an injury?

A: Yes, if your doctor is in agreement, you can do your rehabilitation under the supervision of a qualified, experienced instructor!