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Pilates: what is it?
Pilates is an exercise program originally developed by Joseph Pilates and has taken the fitness world by storm. It emphasizes drawing energy from your strong and balanced "core" because from a strong and balanced center your levers (arms and legs) move effortlessly.
What is the "core"?
Technically it is the area between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your pubic bone. It includes the abdominals, the pelvic floor, the muscles around your hip joint and the muscles of your lower back. Your core is like the foundation holding up your house. Your house is only as strong as the foundation.
How do I get a strong "core"?
Some essential principles of Pilates are connecting your full breaths, staying centered, concentrating and executing each movement with precision and control. This is how you get a strong core and you will learn how to do all of this in class.
How is Pilates different from Yoga?Both programs share the philosophy of mind-body connection however Pilates with Leigh differs from Yoga in many ways including using resistance springs on the Reformers so that you will feel and see results faster.
What is a "Reformer"?
It is an exercise apparatus with a moving carriage, loops, straps, pulleys and a variety of springs used for resistance. They are very efficent as we do all of our exercises on the same apparatus and they are fun to use!
How quickly will I see results?Most of our clients report a difference after their first session, mostly an increase in body awareness. This is important as what you do all day long every day, how you move, how you sit and how you stand is going to have a profound effect on your overall health and wellness. You can take the fundamentals that you learn in class and apply them to all parts of your life.
Can Reformer Pilates help relieve back pain?
When I (Leigh) was 39 years old I would wake up in the morning with lower back stiffness so intense that it was difficult to bend over a sink and brush my teeth. I thought "If I am like this at 39, what am I going to feel like at 50?" My lower back would loosen up throughout the day but I knew I had to do something so I started doing mat Pilates on my own. Even though I had no instruction and was doing many things "wrong", it really helped. Then I went a step further and started doing Reformer Pilates. I loved it so much I became an instructor. So yes, Reformer Pilates can indeed relieve lower back pain. I have never been stronger ever in my life than I am right at this moment!
How does Reformer Pilates help relieve back pain?Generally by strengthening and balancing muscles from front to back and side to side. One major gym exercise error is that many people only exercise what they see in the mirror. This causes the front of the body to be much stronger than the back and creates muscle imbalances and postural dysfunctions. Reformer Pilates corrects these imbalances and when the cause is corrected the effect (for example back pain) often times goes away.
Why do Reformer Pilates rather than mat?There are many exercises that we do on the Reformer that are impossible to duplicate on a mat. This can more easily be demonstrated that described.
How often should I practice Reformer Pilates?We have clients that come 5 days a week and some that come 1 day a week. We recommend 2 times per week minimum but understand that it's not always possible. You need to do what works best for you.
Do I have to schedule in advance?Most of our clients have a regular schedule and will tell us if, for some reason, they cannot attend their regular class but some clients schedule week to week depending on their availability. We work with whatever is best for our clients.
What about "walk-ins"?Walk-ins are welcome on a space available basis but we don't encourage it as many of the classes are full. It's always best to schedule in advance and it's easy. Call or text Leigh at 727-458-8347 and she will get back to you as soon as she can.
Do I pay for my classes in advance?Most clients do as it's more cost effective and convenient but you can pay as you go.
What should I wear?You should wear comfortable, fairly snug workout clothing as it's important for your instructor to observe your body alignment. We also recommend that you layer with a light shirt or sweatshirt which you can remove once you are warm. We exercise in bare feet but you are welcome to where socks with a grippy sole. Toe socks work best.
Please call or text Leigh at 727-458-8347 if you have any additional questions.