Top Ten Questions: Pilates Mat or Reformer Classes

How to Make the Best Choice:

Private or Small or Large Group Pilates Classes on Reformer and/or Mat

Many people start exploring the Pilates Method by trying a large group mat class often because a friend has suggested it, but…

Is Pilates on the mat the best way to begin and what about size of class?

Large group classes can be a lot of fun and a great challenge, but private sessions followed by small group training may best address your needs. Ask “yourself” these questions:

1. What are my goals in starting Pilates Classes?   Pilates - Mat Class
2. Have I learned or will I learn the fundamentals of Pilates?
3. Do I have poor posture?
4. Am I hyper-mobile? (Can I stretch too far?) Or do I have minimal flexibility?
5. Do I experience pain?
6. Do I feel stiff (Is movement painful walking or on stairs etc.)?
7. Do I have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis?
8. Do I have scoliosis?
9. Do I have osteopenia or osteoporosis?
10. Have I been in an accident or do I have a medical condition?

Your goals will help you to decide which stream of Pilates will best suit your needs. Large group classes may not meet your goals nor be suitable for you. Dropping into a large group mat class without understanding the Fundamentals of Pilates may result in neck pain regardless of your current fitness routine. Tune in for a blog on this topic soon.

If you answered yes to numbers 3 through 10, it is best to start with having your posture and gait (how you walk) assessed. Private training with a Pilates Specialist or Clinical Pilates teacher on Reformer and Cadillac will be your best choice. They are trained in specialized courses to work with clients with medical conditions and to correct posture and muscle imbalances. Then a safe transition may be made into a small group class in many cases.IMG_1116

To understand the choices in the different streams of Pilates, read my first blog:

Pilates Training: Make an Educated Choice.

At Pacific Spirit Pilates, new clients attend a consultation appointment to discuss their goals, medical history, current training and any physical issues they may currently be experiencing or have experienced in the past. They are then assessed as to their posture, gait and muscle imbalances. This process gives a clear picture as to how it is best for a client to begin their training.

When a client comes into the studio requesting to join a group class but the Posture and Gait analysis indicates muscle imbalances, I recommend starting in private sessions on equipment. Equipment provides spring resistance to challenge strength, mobility and core stability with the support needed at the beginning of training in these circumstances. We can then look at moving into a small group mat or mat and equipment class where clients are watched carefully and reminded as to how their exercises vary from others in the small group class.

The Benefits and Results of a Personalized Approach

  • Optimal Posture and Gait  Benefits of Pilates
  • Safe and effective exercise
  • Correction of muscle imbalances
  • Prevention of injuries and recurring pain
  • Improved flexibility and strength
  • Relief from stress and muscular/joint problems
  • A lifestyle change resulting in physical well-being and a balanced body as you age

Call or contact us to set up a consultation: http://www.pacificspiritpilates.com/contact/