I have to admit that as a former bodybuilder, I’m much more familiar with the teachings of Josef (Joe) Weider than those of Joseph Pilates.
It was just last week that I was formally introduced — albeit briefly and via Skype — to a few quintessential moves from the mindful movement that is Pilates. I can certainly see the appeal of what is touted as an effective workout regimen.
And indeed, it’s no passing fad. Estimates peg the number of Pilates practitioners at more than 11 million in North America alone, along with 14,000 instructors.
Of course, the good folks at Merrithew Health & Fitness already know that Pilates is here to stay. (This year they’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of their premier brand, STOTT PILATES®.) They’re also encouraging exercisers to get the most from their Pilates instruction — whether on the mat or the Reformer, in a group class or training privately with an instructor — with five crucial tips. Read on …
They say 21 days forms a habit, but what if you’re inadvertently forming a bad one? Merrithew Health & Fitness™ is celebrating 25 years of the STOTT PILATES® method and encouraging exercisers to practice mind-body exercise and also sharing tips on how to get the most from the Pilates experience.
“There’s always room for novices and experts alike to improve their Pilates practice,” shares Moira Merrithew, Executive Director, Education, at Merrithew Health & Fitness. “To really take advantage of everything that Pilates has to offer, we’ve come up with five tips to ensure that exercisers get a well-rounded, rewarding and enriching Pilates workout.”
1. Find a Great Instructor. Dig a little deeper and ask questions when someone says that they’re a Pilates instructor – some certifications can be as short as a few days while others are far more thorough and require as many as 300 hours of training and apprenticeship. Ensure that you’re trusting your body with someone who really knows what they’re doing.
2. Work Within Your Limits. It’s tempting to observe others and test if you can match or outdo them but Pilates is a very introspective and mindful workout. Drown out your surroundings and focus on your breath and listening to your body. Don’t try to do things you aren’t yet prepared for – have patience, the time will come!
3. Invest in One-on-One training Before Taking a Group Class. Not sure how to navigate a Reformer or where your pelvic floor really is? Since Pilates focuses on precise, acute movements that target deep muscles, some private training will allow you to perfect the smaller details that can easily be overlooked without proper instruction.
4. Combine Pilates with Other Workouts. Pilates is praised for its ability to align, strengthen, lengthen and rebalance muscles. Take advantage of a strong body and put it to work in conjunction with other forms of exercise!
5. Use Pilates as a Supportive Extension of Rehab Work. If you’ve ever been injured and gone for rehabilitation treatment, Pilates presents itself as a great form of maintenance and preventing re-injury. As a non-aggressive and gentle form of exercise, Pilates is also a fantastic form of fitness that can be beneficial for those suffering from osteoporosis and many other physical ailments.
Done properly, regularly practicing Pilates offers a foundation to a better lifestyle that unifies the mind and body. The STOTT PILATES method has been refined over 25 years and remains one of the safest and most effective exercise methods available. Incorporating these tips will allow exercisers to get the most from their Pilates experience.
About Merrithew Health & Fitness
Merrithew Health & Fitness™ was co-founded by Lindsay and Moira Merrithew in 1988. For 25 years they have been dedicated to enriching the lives of others by providing responsible exercise modalities and innovative fitness brands across the globe. Merrithew’s premier Pilates brand, STOTT PILATES®, delivers best-in-class Pilates education and media to everyone from avid exercisers, elite athletes, and pre/post-natal clients, to rehab and fitness professionals, and is used by studios worldwide. Other high-end MH&F fitness brands include ZEN•GA™, Total Barre™ and CORE™ Athletic Conditioning & Performance Training™. Merrithew Health & Fitness has trained almost 38,000 students in over 100 countries. Merrithew’s Media Division (MMD) produces print and video-based content for professional and consumer markets. For more information visit merrithew.com.