So, you want to do Pilates... Are you after equipment based, reformer or matwork classes? You're not sure?
Each consists of different formats and also slightly different outcomes. Pilates is renowned for strengthening "the core" and giving joints good functional range of movement. In addition, it is considered to be beneficial for spinal and joint issues as well as many conditions.
Initially, (back in the 1920s and '30s) Pilates classes consisted only of the larger equipment that Joe Pilates created: such as the Reformer, Cadillac, Barrels and the Wanda Chair - or versions of.
The larger Pilates specialist equipment was designed by Joe to work muscles to increase their length under load without negative impact on joints, in a fully supportive environment that promotes symmetry and balance of muscles, and increases control from the core musculature (abdominals, pelvic floor and intrinsic back muscles).
Director of Pilates Canberra, Lanette Gavran said, "We recommend that if you want to start Pilates to rehabilitate from an injury or condition then you start with these larger equipment-based classes initially because they support you and help you to develop your strength where you need it. These classes have a maximum of only four people at one time, and can also involve two or one person only working with an instructor. For targeted strength and focus these are the sessions for you."
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Matwork Pilates classes are group classes that involve a series of exercises performed on a mat on the floor. Pilates Canberra have taken these classes to situations not common in the ACT such as:
- The "Fusion Class" that is half cardiovascular and half Pilates matwork - to provide a full workout
- A "Strength Class" that is perfect for people who want to strengthen their bones and muscles without stressing their joints
- A 60 minute "Advanced Mat Class" for instructors or people who have been doing high level Pilates for a number of years
- The "Pre-natal Pilates" classes for those who are pregnant but want to remain strong and vital
- The "Fundamental" class is perfect for people who want to use Pilates as a cross training tool, enjoy it once a week or who may have pre-existing injuries.
At Pilates Canberra these classes have a maximum of 15 participants and generally run for 50 minutes. They keep numbers small to ensure good instruction for all participants, and you will develop endurance in body and mind.
"The reformer classes offer a group format for learning Pilates with a maximum of only six people. All participants perform the same exercises in a flowing format; however our skilled instructors offer progressions or modifications to participants as they see fit to enable an effective workout for each individual," Lanette said. "The reformers provide resistance for participants to work against and therefore can offer immediate strengthening benefits."
Many fit and healthy clients do a mixture of equipment based studio classes and mat classes for a well rounded workout.