What is Pilates ?


This form of movement was developed by Joseph Pilates at the beginning of the last century to support dancers, athletes, police officers and as a rehabilitation of patients to make their bodies stronger, more stable and more flexible. Nowadays, a modified Pilates is more popular and is applicable for everyone. In addition to a better posture, typical back, shoulder and neck complaints are being addressed.


Pilates has different performance levels, but the exercises on the mat are the most widely practiced. This involves an extensive system of conscious and specific exercises that are performed on a mat and in a certain order.


The system follows the principles of:


Consciously moving with control;

Intensive concentration, specific breathing;

Work-out from the center / powerhouse, this is the core: a corset of muscles around your back, abdomen and pelvis;

Unites body and mind and creates a more nice-shaped body.


For the practitioner who trains regularly and with precision, it delivers beautiful results with pleasant benefits in daily life. Self-knowledge also leads to self-realization. Of course, these Pilates also remain useful for sports training or physical rehabilitation.

What is the difference between Yoga and Pilates?


The poses of both show many similarities. The difference between yoga and Pilates goes back to the origin. Pilates was developed in the early 1900s as a form of rehabilitation and conditioning. Meanwhile, Yoga has been active for thousands of years, originating from Eastern forms of meditation and intended to provide holistic spiritual discipline with poses designed to control your body, relax and prepare for meditation. In general, yoga is more about meditation and the spiritual life, while Pilates is more physically oriented.


Can I lose weight doing Pilates?


With Pilates alone you don't lose a lot of weight in the long term (it is possible), but when you just start it can certainly lead to weight loss. How many calories you burn depends on your body type and the effort you put into your workout. Pilates promotes deep and efficient breathing that is essential for burning calories and tissue regeneration. What is certain is that you will always look slimmer because of a nicer posture.


If you want to bet on weight loss then opt for a minimum of two Pilates lessons per week in combination with another sport and an adjusted diet.


What to wear?


To prevent slipping, we prefer to use bare feet or anti-slip socks. Some socks even have individual toes that can improve stability and grip.


The clothing must allow you to move smoothly. With a slim-fit clothing with seams and stitching, your instructor can better see your bones and how your muscles contract.


Will Pilates improve my posture?


Certainly! Pilates exercises work on posture, movement and breathing. All muscle groups, in particular the abdominal muscles, the pelvic muscles and the back muscles, are put to work alternately, sometimes in unusual combinations. People who lead a sedentary life can get back in shape accompanied by a better posture.


Is it mainly for women? Men?


Pilates is good for everyone. It works on firm and flexible muscles and improves your metabolism, which is essential for a healthy and well-functioning body.


Pilates is certainly good for athletes (male and female) to improve the performance of other sports.


I am not flexible, shall Pilates be too hard for me?


It is never too late to start Pilates! You start very calmly and you will be surprised how your muscles react to the execution of the exercises. The Pilates lessons offer a step-by-step, integrated approach to experience the transforming power of Pilates. Working with people who are not flexible is very grateful because they usually make progress very quickly and are often very dedicated. Those who are dedicated will find that you can incorporate a large number of functional movements into your daily routine, regardless of whether you are doing the dishes, driving the car, or joining the supermarket ..... In this way you maximize the benefit of Pilates.


I have back injury, can I do Pilates?


Many studies have shown that for the majority of people with back pain it is essential that they "keep moving" to effectively manage their condition. Pilates builds up the movement intense step by step and is a particularly good exercise for many people with back pain, as it is designed to strengthen the deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles that support the back and relieve the tense of the back. Complaints due to chronic back pain will decrease.


Am I too old to do Pilates?


Pilates is good for everybody of every age. Joseph Pilates has developed this form of movement with the aim of improving his physical well-being and quality of life. Seniors can therefore really benefit from series of lessons in which the mind gains more control over the functioning of the body. Balance, strength, flexibility and your breathing are all areas that you notice change with age. With adjusted age exercises it will be possible to respond to the intensity that the person can sustain.

©2019 Benjamin Leys