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The Original Cadillac 
What is Pilates?

Pilates is a system of exercise designed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900’s to help flexibility, body awareness, core strength, balance, posture, breathing and endurance. This system utilizes a series of exercises on mats and equipment. Within this framework, Pilates focuses on control and precision of major and minor muscle groups. The six basic principles of Pilates are: Concentration, Centering, Control, Flowing movement, Precision, and Breathing.

Is Pilates considered a cardio workout?

Yes and No. When students of Pilates move into the advanced workouts, Pilates does become cardio. Beginning students will experience muscle fatigue, but not high enough heart rate levels to experience a cardio workout. Pilates is an exercise that needs to be done in addition to cardio exercise, to experience higher fitness levels.

Is Pilates like yoga?

Pilates produces some of the same benefits as yoga: increased flexibility, body awareness, and strength. Joseph Pilates drew upon some of yoga’s principles to design the system. However, Mr. Pilates also drew upon other disciplines such as dancing, boxing, and acrobatics to develop this system. In general, Pilates attempts to keep constant movement, without resting segments (unlike yoga). Some people have even described Pilates as a dance routine done lying down and/or on equipment.


Ladder Barrel
What are the realistic benefits of Pilates?

Pilates, done regularly (2-3 times a week) will greatly improve abdominal strength, posture, body awareness, muscle tone, low back problems, balance and flexibility. Pilates will not make you grow taller. However, it will allow you to utilize your full height, with proper posture. Due to the nature of the exercises and breathing methods, many people experience more energy and overall sense of well being after completing a session. You should not leave a Pilates session feeling exhausted and depleted.

Is Pilates as good for men as it is for women?

Yes. Designed by a man, Pilates takes into account some very important aspects of fitness for men. Increased flexibility and help with low back problems are the most common incentives for men. However, many male athletes (from professional hockey players to tri-athletes) use Pilates to help core strength. A stronger core (abdominals, glutes and upper legs) translates into increased power in any athletic or everyday performance.


Reformer
Who does Pilates and for what purpose?
  • The novice: With no experience in any athletic endeavor, the novice can experience an increase in overall fitness and body awareness. Due to greater physical and mental fitness, the novice can experience more ease trying different athletic endeavors.
  • The athlete: Pilates can help increase overall body awareness, strength and flexibility to help prevent and rehabilitate injuries in sports. Learning how to use lesser-utilized muscle groups can help in overall body balance, often lacking in sport specific training. For example, dancers are a group of athletes (prone to injury of repetitive muscular stress) that have taken advantage of Pilates on a widespread level to great success.
  • The moderate exerciser: Pilates can add diversity to a boring exercise routine. Due to the focused nature of a Pilates session, many moderate exercisers can experience a mentally challenging workout, focusing on your needs. Pilates instructors are trained to be good coaches-improving your fitness level, focusing on your abilities, and helping you to enjoy exercise.
  • The injured: Pilates is designed to be modified to help people recovering from all types of injury. Joseph Pilates had rickets and asthma as a child. As a result of his experiences, Pilates was designed to help people with injuries or special challenges. With full disclosure of conditions, instructors can guide clients through a workout that is safe and rehabilitating. From low back injuries to neck injuries, Pilates is helpful if used in conjunction with a doctor’s approval.

Chair

Is equipment used?

Equipment designed by Joseph Pilates are used in our private, small group, and weekly classes. Some pieces that are utilized are the Reformer, Tower, Cadillac, and Chair.

Are equipment workouts better than mat workouts?

No. Equipment workouts offer a different type of workout that supplements a mat workout. Done correctly, mat workouts can provide the most challenging workouts, based on the dynamics of gravity and your body weight. However, most people enjoy the variety that equipment adds to Pilates.

What type of equipment does Castle Hill Specialized Fitness utilize?

The Pilates equipment at Castle Hill is as close as possible to how Joseph Pilates designed it. While less expensive versions are available, we chose equipment based on the criteria of quality, traditional design, safety, and variety of use.

How many times a week should you do Pilates?

Just like any other form of exercise, repetition is the key to success. Two to three weekly workouts insure quicker and more consistent results. However, these workouts can be divided between mat, equipment, personal, group, or self-guided sessions.

Can you do Pilates on a budget?

Yes. Group mat and equipment classes have reasonable rates. Even a few personal sessions with an instructor can be helpful in enabling your at home self-guided workouts. Utilizing a program of group and at home workouts, the client can easily meet the 2-3 times a week suggested workouts.

What kind of formal training and certification do instructors have?

Since there is no licensing for Pilates instructors, certification programs can range from one week-end to two year courses. At Castle Hill Specialized Fitness, all instructors are certified through traditional programs which take almost two years to complete. Instructors are required to complete over 400 hours of workshops, observed teaching, testing, anatomy training, workouts and evaluation.

What does Castle Hill Specialized Fitness offer the Pilates client that is hard to find elsewhere?
  • Highly trained instructors with continuing education
  • The best available equipment
  • Reasonable rates
  • Small group classes
  • Private and exclusive environment
  • The ability to use the equipment for self-guided workouts (with instructor approval and membership)
  • A variety of training options-personal sessions, group sessions, semi-privates sessions, reformer classes, and mat classes.
  • An environment where Pilates can be integrated into other athletic endeavors (yoga, running, cycling, rowing, weight-lifting, kickboxing and more)
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