(386) 451-4686 tehila@tehilaspilates.com

Pilates FAQ

Why Come to A Pilates Studio?

When choosing where to practice Pilates, there are several things to take into consideration:

First, instructor certification.  Your instructor should have completed a comprehensive training program, not just a weekend mat course.  Inquire to the training and knowledge the instructor has; not all teachers are the same, and experience means everything in Pilates.

Second, look at class size.  The larger the class, the less personal attention for you. If everyone is doing the same routine, then the instructor isn’t addressing specific anatomical issues.  Every body is different, and a good Pilates instructor addresses this issue.

Third, experience. How much experience with different bodies has your instructor had?  The more bodies an instructor sees in a small setting, the more experience they will have to give to you.  If an instructor only works inside a gym, with athletes, or only with elderly patients, then the instructors ability to see a person’s body becomes narrow

Tehila has completed a number of advanced trainings, focusing on different areas of specialization. Having taught at a number of locations around the world, she brings a vast body of knowledge. While each location Tehila teaches at is different, small classes are a component in each location.

Here’s how to tell if your instructor is teaching Pilates the way it’s meant to be taught:

  • The instruction focuses on precision of movement and the engagement of specific muscles.
  • You are doing no more than 3 to 10 repetitions of any one exercise.
  • You are concentrating on your breath at all times.
  • You are continually focusing on the quality of your movements, rather than the number of repetitions.
  • You are focusing on the 6 Pilates principles:
  1. Breathing
  2. Centering
  3. Control
  4. Concentration
  5. Precision
  6. Flow

Will Pilates help my back/knee/hip/joint pain?

Although you should always consult your physician before starting any fitness routine, a Pilates workout is gentle and controlled with no sudden jarring actions. Pilates focuses on strength, flexibility, and posture, and lends itself well to those with any joint pain. We recommend that all clients with a history of joint pain, especially if it is ongoing, take a private session before participating in any mat class. This allows Tehila to evaluate your abilities and make recommendations to improve the safety of each exercise. Every body should be respected.

Do I need to be fit to start Pilates?

Pilates offers something for people at any fitness level.  The beautiful thing about the Pilates method is that it looks as each body as a unique structure, needing its own unique roadmap for success.  Any class that assumes every body moves in the same way should be suspect.  Pilates is an incredible on-ramp for people who are willing to learn more about their bodies, regardless of the body!

What Should I Wear?

It is helpful for our instructors if you wear comfortable yet form-fitting exercise clothes. That way we can make sure you are performing the exercises in the proper alignment. Please don’t wear loose or “short” shorts as many of the exercises are done with your legs open and elevated. You may exercise in either your bare feet or stocking feet. Proper alignment is key to learning the correct movements. Your instructor should be able to see bony landmarks, such as knees, ankles, elbows, wrists, neck, etc. clearly.

Is Pilates safe for pregnant women?

The short answer is yes.

The longer answer is that you always want to consult with your physician before embarking on any exercise routine.

Care should always be taken, but know that a qualified Pilates teacher looks at every body through a unique lens.  A program should be specifically designed to each body, including pregnant ones. Tehila taught and practiced Pilates into her ninth month of pregnancy, and did amazingly well.  One of Tehila’s specializations is prenatal and postnatal Pilates.

Do Men Benefit From Pilates?

Most people aren’t aware that Pilates is named after its founder: Joseph Pilates.  He used his techniques to teach soldiers and police officers.  The teaching was intended for everyone with a body.  Men have just as much to gain from a Pilates training as women.  Pilates helps to create longer muscles that are more agile, as well as strengthen the core and lower body, which fits men, who have a tendency to bulk up.

Professional sports organizations are quickly learning the potential of Pilates, teaching their athletes to effectively use their bodies in their sports.  Men are finding their way into Pilates studios around the world.

How Many Times Per Week Should I Do Pilates?

We encourage that you do Pilates on a regular basis, as clients who do it most frequently notice the results the fastest. Pilates is about conditioning, learning how to use your body as a musician learns an instrument.  Obviously, the more you practice, the quicker you will learn mastery over your body.  We recommend doing Pilates two to three times a week. At the same time we recognize that your life is busy and that a one session a week is better than none.

Why should I take private sessions?

Pilates is unlike any other form of exercise; it is a form of exercise that focuses on the deeper muscles, the ones that hold joints together and help create stability. Even those who are fit are often surprised at the initial effort it takes to correctly perform Pilates movements. Results are dependent on the individual’s ability to efficiently recruit certain muscle groups with precise alignment. While the instructor in a group format will make every effort to provide individual attention to each class participant, privates or semi-privates afford clients the chance to experience focused attention on their unique strengths and weaknesses to better maximize their potential.

How Quickly Will I See Results?

Joseph Pilates said “you’ll feel better in 10 sessions, look better in 20 and have a whole new body in 30 sessions.”  No child studying piano learns to play Bach in a week. We like to imagine our body as an instrument in the process of being finely tuned. The bottom line is that the more focused you are with your practice, the faster you will experience results. Every body is different, has its own story, and will naturally progress differently.  The importance on feeling better, bringing people out of pain, and into greater stability keeps people coming back.

Another factor will be in what setting you attend.  Some classes use the equipment; others use mats. The equipment allows for more control, more discipline. Mats are easier to use because they are mobile. What will work best for you depends on your own commitment to your practice and what you are looking to achieve through your Pilates workout.

What If I Am Overweight?

Pilates is not a cardiovascular workout; burning calories is not its main focus.  However, when combined with a sensible diet and cardiovascular exercise, Pilates makes an incredible component in teaching one how to move their body, how to shift weight efficiently, and how to use the body with more awareness.  You will learn to activate and move your body safely utilizing your muscles and will be able to engage in other physical fitness activities.

Also, it’s important to note that when someone makes the decision to do something positive for themselves, it creates a waterfall effect.  By choosing to come to a Pilates class, you will feel better in your body, feel better about yourself, and will want to continue to keep that positivity flowing.

What is the Difference Between Pilates Mat and Equipment Sessions?

Mat work is just one component of the whole system of exercises that Pilates Central offers.  When you do Pilates on the Mat, you must support your body weight through the movements.  Mat work is a great way to make sure you really understand your body and the principles of Pilates.

When you work out on equipment, such as the Reformer, your movements and the weight of your body are supported by the carriage as well as by a system of springs.  The specially designed springs can tailor the degree of difficulty of an exercise.  The equipment can simplify Pilates concepts for beginners, as well as provide unique challenges as you become stronger and more flexible allowing for a greater array of movements and positions.

Will I get the same results with a mat as with a reformer/equipment workout?

Mat-based workouts are very convenient and they can be done anywhere. However, a mat workout will provide no added resistance. A Reformer workout will add resistance to your routine and can correct muscular imbalances better than a mat routine would.

All of the exercises, mat or equipment, tone and strengthen the entire body. Pilates exercises are designed to deliver a full-body workout, with emphasis on motor skills, coordination, strength, and flexibility.

The Reformer/Equipment can improve performance through enhanced body awareness, as well as improved flexibility, joint range-of-motion, and strength. The machines allow for added resistance, more isolated control, and positions only possible on the machines.  Mats are great for mobility, for general classes, and great for new students to get comfortable with the cues and language of Pilates.

Why is there an additional cost for equipment classes?

A full Pilates studio contains the full range of apparatus that Joseph Pilates invented.  The producers of the machines have gone through incredible lengths to design strong, stable equipment to ensure optimal effects for a client.  These extra costs need to be factored into a business model.  Classes without equipment can be considerably cheaper, but the equipment is what brings Pilates to another level of precision.  We always try to keep our prices fair and reasonable.

What is the Difference Between Pilates and Weight Training?

Pilates strengthens AND stretches muscles (unlike weight training) and improves body posture and awareness. Pilates typically incorporates more muscles in one exercise than in weight training because it is three-dimensional—exercises can be performed using all movement planes. Pilates’ emphasis is on rebalancing muscles around the joints, and balancing strength with flexibility. It also focuses on concentric-eccentric contraction for injury prevention and corrects over-training and muscle imbalance that leads to injury.

How does Pilates compare to yoga?

In some respects, Pilates conditioning is like yoga. Both are considered mind-body type methods of movement; both emphasize deep breathing and smooth, long movements that encourage your muscles to relax and lengthen. The difference is that while yoga requires moving from one static posture to the next without repetitions, Pilates flows through a series of movements that are more dynamic, systematic and anatomically based. The goal with Pilates is to achieve optimal functional fitness.

How is Pilates different from Yoga?

While both incorporate the body, the aims of the two differ greatly.  Yoga is an ancient spiritual tradition that has an element of using the body. In many forms of yoga, correct anatomical position comes through years of experience.  Pilates begins with precise anatomy. While yoga has a thoroughly developed program of spiritual development, Pilates’ focus is on the body, its alignment, and working towards the most efficient use of posture.