The Pilates Body Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Stott Pilates?
Developed by former professional dancer Moira Stott-Merrithew, with input from sports medicine professionals, Stott Pilates is a contemporary, anatomically-based approach to Joseph Pilates' original exercise method. Its exercises safely deliver optimal strength, flexibility and endurance, without adding bulk. This stress-relieving method can be performed on a mat or using dedicated Stott Equipment.
 
What is the difference between the Stott Method and other Pilates techniques?
Unlike the original series of exercises, Stott Pilates incorporates modern exercise principles, including contemporary thinking about spinal rehabilitation and performance enhancement. For example, unlike the original approach, which promotes a flat back, Stott exercises are designed to restore the natural curves of the spine and rebalance the muscles around the joints. They also place more emphasis on scapular stabilization. As well, there are more preparatory exercises and modifications to make the method safer and more effective.
 
What are the benefits of Stott Pilates?

  • You will lose inches!!!

  • Longer, leaner muscles (less bulk, more freedom of movement)

  • improves postural problems
  • increases core strength/stability and peripheral mobility
  • helps prevent injury
  • enhances functional fitness, ease of movement
  • balances strength & flexibility
  • heightens body awareness
  • no-impact - easy on the joints
  • can be customized for everyone from rehab patients to elite athletes
  • complements other methods of exercise
  • improves performance in sports (golf, skiing, skating, dance, etc.)
  • improves balance, coordination & circulation

What are the principles behind Stott Pilates?
Stott Pilates improves core strength and balances the muscles around the joints, improving the way your body functions, looks and feels. It focuses specifically on:

  1. Breathing
  2. Pelvic placement
  3. Rib-cage placement
  4. Scapular movement
  5. Head & cervical spine placement

Is Pilates like 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 Stott Pilates exercises is to achieve optimal functional fitness.
 
How is Pilates different or better than weight training or other resistance exercise?

  • Pilates is three-dimensional (i.e. exercises can be performed using all movement planes)
  • spring resistance more closely resembles muscular contraction
  • emphasis on concentric/eccentric contraction for injury prevention
  • Stott Pilates is customizable for special needs
  • in Pilates exercise, emphasis is placed on rebalancing muscles around the joints
  • Pilates corrects over-training and muscle imbalance that leads to injury
  • Pilates emphasizes balancing strength with flexibility (for injury prevention and more efficient movement)
  • Stott Pilates leads to an improvement in posture and body awareness.

Will I grow taller by doing Pilates?
Much of Pilates exercise is mind-body conditioning which requires you to look within, focus on your breathing, and feel the subtle differences within your body. Many people come to a very meditative state while doing Pilates, and therefore will grow mentally and spiritually over time through this type of exercise. There are also incidences where by strengthening the abdominal muscles people have learned to maintain their stretch and thereby are measurably taller.
 
Physically, many people have been known to actually get taller by working out consistently. By emphasizing posture, you learn to stretch your spine through Pilates, and by strengthening the deep abdominals to support the rest of the body you learn to maintain your height effortlessly. The most impressive results are those reported by people who have slouched most of their lives and after a few months of practicing Pilates they are able to stand up much straighter, and are therefore measurably taller. However, even people having studied dance consistently for years before beginning a Pilates program, have noticed an increase in their heights over time.
 
What kind of results can I expect to see from doing Pilates?
You can expect to lose inches, increase  flexibility, mobility, balance, and body awareness, as well as  decrease in back pain/other general pains.
 
How long will I have to do the workout before I see results?
The average active person, doing 2-3 classes per week should see some results within 10-12 classes. This will vary depending on each individual and things such as the number of classes a person takes each week, whether they are private or group classes, whether they participate in other physical activities, and whether they have any existing injuries.
 
I have a bad back. Will I be able to do Pilates?
Although you should always consult your physician before starting any fitness routine, a Pilates workout is gentle and controlled with no sudden jarring actions. It is therefore more important that you work with a qualified instructor to ensure that you are doing the movements correctly. An experienced instructor will be able to modify the exercises to accommodate your limitations, continually challenge you within your range and monitor your improvements. If you commit yourself to a consistent workout schedule you will certainly feel results.
 
Will I get the same results with a mat workout 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.
 
If I'm doing Pilates, should I still do my regular workout?
Stott Pilates is a musculo-skeletal conditioning program. In combination with some kind of cardiovascular exercise (walking, running, aerobics, aqua fitness, etc.), it's all you need. For people who reach advanced levels, they can actually elevate their heart rate with Stott Power workouts.

Is it safe to do Pilates during pregnancy?
The available information on pregnancy and exercise can be very confusing - even conflicting. Stott tries to stay on top of the latest research regarding safety and pregnancy and covers this topic in the ISP (Injuries & Special Populations) segment of our Certification program.

No two women's bodies are the same, and this is especially true during pregnancy. There are workouts that are quite appropriate for some people during pregnancy and not for others. During a normal, healthy pregnancy, moderate exercise is safe for the fetus. Exercise is also said to prevent varicose veins, hemorrhoids and low back pain - not to mention boosting self esteem. The guidelines stated by the American Council on Exercise are not as hard-and-fast as they used to be. However, research suggests that no new exercise routine should be started during your first trimester. As well, you should be careful of over-exerting the abdominal muscles. During the second trimester these muscles become stretched out, and some women experience diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles). With reduced support for the back, you also run the risk of injuring the lower back. Further, because of the increased amounts of relaxin and progesterone released in the body during pregnancy, the ligaments surrounding the joints become lax, which leaves them loose and vulnerable. For this reason, you should be careful not to over-stretch. It is important, though, to continue strengthening and rebalancing the muscles around the joints - still trying to center the body as it goes through many postural changes due to pregnancy.

Today many guidelines for pregnancy indicate that once you reach the second trimester you should not exercise in a supine position (lying on your back) as you may be cutting off oxygen to the fetus even if you yourself are not feeling dizzy. In general, we teach that it is better to be safe and not take any chances. In the second trimester we still do some Matwork courses but we make sure that the upper torso is raised as it is when using the "Spine Supporter". We then alternate the inclined position with sitting, kneeling and standing exercises done on Mat, Reformer and Cadillac. A great piece of the equipment for pregnancy is the Stability Chair, because it facilitates so many exercises in an upright position. Of course, drinking lots of water is always important, and be sure not to over-exert yourself. The beauty of this type of work is that it can be individualized for anyone's ability.

Why are Pilates classes more expensive than a gym membership?
At The Pilates Body Studio, mat classes are limited to a maximum of 8 people and equipment classes 6 people.  This ensures close supervision so that individual client needs are met.

Stott Pilates comprises more than 500 different mat and equipment-based exercise variations and our method is based on exercise science. Instructors not only learn how to train fit individuals but how to customize/modify programs for a broad range of people (from rehab patient to pro athlete).  The training usually spans over a one  year period and involves over 500 hours of training, including the study of anatomy and apprentice hours.

 
How long will I have to stay in one level before I can move to the next level of difficulty?
This depends on several subjective factors: your own level of fitness, how quickly you grasp the concepts, how often you do the workout routine, and even how committed you are to continuing. As a general rule, when you can successfully complete the exercises at one level and feel that you are no longer being challenged, you are ready to move to the next level.  We strongly recommend you ask your instructor if he/she feels you should move on.
 
If I am in good physical condition, can I start with the Intermediate or Advanced levels?
If you are new to this particular kind of exercise or to exercise in general, we recommend that you start with at least one private session before participating in the fundamentals group class and work your way up. The introductory private lesson will teach you the important principles about the technique as well as modifications that will allow you to customize you workout to suit your needs.
 
About Equipment:

What is a Reformer?

The Reformer is the main piece of equipment used in Pilates exercise. The Reformer glides forward & backward on rollers and uses springs for resistance, along with other attachments, for a wide variety of exercises and positions (i.e. lying down, seated & standing.)
 
Is Stott Pilates equipment like the equipment I've seen for sale on TV?
No. Stott Pilates designs and produces top-of-the-line equipment primarily used in personal training and rehab facilities. 
 
What are the other pieces of equipment used for?
A broad variety of stretching and strengthening exercises are done on the Cadillac, Chair and Barrels. While the Stott REFORMER is the key piece of equipment, all of the other pieces are highly versatile and have their own distinct features and benefits
 
What are the benefits of this type of conditioning equipment?
Stott Pilates core conditioning equipment is highly versatile. It facilitates hundreds of exercise variations, is no-impact (and therefore easy on the joints), allows for modifications for those with injuries/conditions, allows for three-dimensional movement/conditioning, and is suitable for a wide variety of clients (from rehab to pro athlete). It also facilitates balanced strength & flexibility, provides eccentric/concentric muscle contraction (resistance on the in and out moves), total musculo-skeletal conditioning (muscles & postural alignment), and facilitates core conditioning and peripheral mobility.
 
Why are springs used for resistance instead of weights?
In using springs for resistance, the equipment provides gradual resistance as your muscles contract, which ensures the muscles are being worked properly. There is greater resistance at the muscle's strongest point of contraction & less resistance on the initiation/completion of the contraction so there is less stress on tendons and ligaments).
 
How much resistance (in weight) do the springs supply?
Initial tension is 5 lbs. for the first inch of tension (for full strength springs), and then increases by approximately 1 lb. per inch. Multiply the number of springs and distance traveled to get approximate tension in lbs (Most people simply make a note of the number of springs used per exercise). 
 
Is this equipment good for flexibility?
Yes, Stott EQUIPMENT is excellent for improving flexibility. Flexibility is a key component of total fitness that has been largely ignored by other conditioning methods.  Emphasis is placed on the eccentric contraction (lengthening of the muscle) throughout the workout. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
   

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Copyrightę 2005. The Pilates Body Inc.