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February 11, 2016

12 Comments

One style of exercise does not fit all. So it’s great to see activities such as Pilates gain a lot of coverage. From blogs to newscasts, there is a lot of coverage on Pilates. But like anything on the web or in the media, not all of it is useful. In some cases, it can be downright wrong.

We’ve outlined the 5 Pilates myths it’s time to let go of – for good!

  1. Pilates is too easy

Nothing could be further from the truth! The key to Pilates is technique. Great technique comes down to:

  1. a) The right breathing technique. Pull that air through the nose, let it enter the diaphragm and exhale
  2. b) Think about your posture. Think about your alignment from feet to shoulders, drop your tail bone and focus on your abdominal core
  3. c) Notice your shoulders. Open your back and allow for your core, not your shoulders to drive a straight, broad and open back and chest

The right technique applied with the correct exercises gives your muscles and bones a great workout. Pilates is strength training with posture and balance at the centre. It burns a lot of calories and builds long, lean muscles. The challenge is in the proper execution!

  1. Pilates Only Works Your Core/Abs

Ah, the old washboard Pilates myths! It is true that there is a strong focus on working your core in Pilates. But don’t be fooled.  It’s not the only thing that gets a work out.

Pilates starts with activation of the core and includes exercises designed to target butts, thighs, mid back and arms. In Pilates, we focus on engaging arm and leg muscles in tandem with the abs. You gain fitness and muscle strength while encouraging the correct posture and technique. Over time, this becomes second nature.

Just think of lugging your groceries out of the car but with perfect posture and abs engaged. That’s what we’re talking about! Pilates allows us to work out our entire body while improving posture, balance and strength to give us long and lean muscles.

  1. You Need Special Equipment to do Pilates

If you’ve looked at Studio Pilates before, you’ve probably seen equipment names like the Cadillac, Reformer and Wunda-chair. While this equipment can compliment your Pilates workout, they are not necessary.

Pilates is as versatile as yoga or aerobics. All basic Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat. And with variations available for almost every exercise, you are guaranteed to get a rigorous workout. No matter what your fitness level, there are Pilates exercises to suit.

  1. Pilates is not suitable for new mums

No Pilates myth is sillier than this one. Pilates is actually one of the best forms of exercise a new mum can do! Pilates is perfect because of its strong focus on improving core abdominal strength. This shores up overstretched abs and helps restore your body to its pre-pregnancy state. It can even make it even stronger than it was before.

Another advantage of Pilates is that it is low impact. This means it does not put strain on the pelvic floor. In fact, it focuses on making the pelvic floor stronger, preventing stress incontinence.

  1. You have to be flexible or a yoga devotee to do Pilates 

You do not have to be bendy and flexible to begin Pilates. Pilates helps improve your flexibility. The more you do Pilates, the more your flexibility will improve.

Remember, every little bit of exercise helps. You don’t have to look like the cover girl of Women’s Health to be strong and flexible.

Yoga and Pilates based exercise is an individual journey. It should never be about keeping up with the person on the mat next to you. It’s how you feel that particular day in that particular moment. 

The aim should be to make incremental improvements. Feel a good stretch and listen to your body. After all, enjoying your exercise regime does more to motivate you in the long term!

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • I was dying to try Pilates, then discovered the reformer makes me dizzy, so we switched to floor only, only marginally better, lying flat on the floor gives me head spins, oh well and least I discovered something new about myself

    Reply

  • Like everything it works well for some and not so well for others.

    Reply

  • I do yoga, it makes me feel good, it definitely is not easy. I sure do feel like I’ve had a good workout at the end. And I lost weight. It’s not Pilates, but they’re similar

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  • thanks for busting the myths, I would love to try it, but it is so very expensive

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  • I love pilates! I think people listen to too many of these things rather than just giving it a go

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  • This reminds me that I need to try this again.

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  • I love Pilates and it is an enjoyable form of exercise.

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  • This is very interesting. I hadn’t heard these myths. Thank you

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  • There are myths about all forms of exercise. Wish the myth that it will come right in the end without exercise were true.

    Reply

  • I agree with all of these too.

    Reply

  • I agree with all of these… after all I am a self confessed pilates addict!

    Reply

  • Oh – I thought these myths were long gone.

    Reply

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