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Q. What is STOTT PILATES ® exercise?

A. Developed by former professional dancer Moira Merrithew, with input from sports medicine professionals, STOTT PILATES® is a contemporary, anatomically-based approach to Joseph Pilates' original exercise method. Its exercises safely deliver optimal strength, flexibility and endurance, without adding bulk. This stress-relieving method can be performed on a mat or using dedicated STOTT PILATES® equipment.

Q. What is the difference between the STOTT PILATES® Method and other pilates techniques?

A. Unlike the original series of exercises, STOTT PILATES® incorporates modern exercise principles, including contemporary thinking about spinal rehabilitation and performance enhancement. For example, unlike the original approach, which promotes a flat back, STOTT PILATES® exercises are designed to restore the natural curves of the spine and rebalance the muscles around the joints. They also place more emphasis on scapular stabilization. As well, there are more preparatory exercises and modifications to make the method safer and more effective.

Q. What are the benefits of STOTT PILATES® exercise?

A. longer, leaner muscles (less bulk, more freedom of movement)

 * improves postural problems

* increases core strength, stability and peripheral mobility

* helps prevent injury

* enhances functional fitness, ease of movement

* balances strength & flexibility

* heightens body awareness

* no-impact, easy on the joints

* can be customized to suit everyone from rehab patients to elite athletes 

* complements other methods of exercise

* improves performance in sports (golf, skiing, skating etc.)

* improves balance, coordination & circulation

Q. What are the principles behind the STOTT PILATES® method?

A. STOTT PILATES® exercise improves core strength and balances the muscles around the joints, improving the way your body functions, looks and feels. It focuses specifically on:

* Breathing

* Pelvic placement

* Rib cage placement

* Scapular movement

* Head & cervical spine placement

Q. Is STOTT PILATES® exercise like yoga?

A. In some respects pilates conditioning is like yoga. Both are considered mind-body type methods of movement; both emphasize deep breathing and smooth, long movements that encourage your muscles to relax and lengthen. The difference is that while yoga requires moving from one static posture to the next without repetitions, pilates flows through a series of movements that are more dynamic, systematic and anatomically-based. The goal with STOTT PILATES exercises is to achieve optimal functional fitness.

Q. What kind of results can I expect from doing STOTT PILATES exercise?

A. You can expect an increase in flexibility, mobility, balance, and body awareness,as well as a decrease in back pain or other general pains.

Q. How long will I have to do the workout before I see results?

A. The average active person doing 2-3 classes per week should see some results within 10-12 classes. This will vary depending on each individual and other factors such as the number of classes a person takes each week, whether they are private or group classes, whether they participate in other physical activities, and whether they have any existing injuries.

Q. I have a bad back. Will I be able to do pilates?

A. Although you should always consult your physician before starting any fitness routine, a pilates workout is gentle and controlled with no sudden jarring actions. It is therefore more important that you work with a qualified instructor to ensure that you are doing the movements correctly. An experienced instructor will be able to modify the exercises to accommodate your limitations, continually challenge you within your range and monitor your improvements. If you commit yourself to a consistent workout schedule you will certainly feel results.

Q. Will I get the same results with a mat workout as with a reformer or equipment workout?

A. Mat-based workouts are very convenient and can be done anywhere. However, a mat workout will provide no added resistance. A reformer workout, on the other hand, will add resistance to your routine and can correct muscular imbalances better than a matwork routine would.

Q. If I'm doing pilates, should I still do my regular workout?

A. STOTT PILATES® exercise is a musculo-skeletal conditioning program. In combination with some kind of cardiovascular exercise (walking, running, aerobics, aqua fitness etc.), it's all you need. For people who reach advanced levels, they can elevate their heart rate with STOTT PILATES® Power Paced workouts.

Q. How is STOTT PILATES® exercise different or better than weight training or other resistance exercise?

A. Pilates is three-dimensional (i.e. exercises can be performed using all movement planes)

  •  spring resistance more closely resembles muscular contraction
  • emphasis on concentric/eccentric contraction for injury prevention
  • STOTT PILATES® exercise is customizable for special needs
  • in pilates exercise, emphasis is placed on rebalancing muscles around the joints
  • pilates corrects over-training and muscle imbalance that leads to injury
  • pilates emphasizes balancing strength with flexibility
  • (for injury prevention and more efficient movement)
  • STOTT PILATES® exercise leads to an improvement in posture and body awareness

Q. What is a reformer?

A. The reformer is the main piece of equipment used in pilates exercise. The reformer glides forward & backward on rollers and uses springs for resistance, along with other attachments, for a wide variety of exercises and positions (i.e. lying down, seated and standing.)

Q. What are the other pieces of equipment used for?

A. A broad variety of stretching and strengthening exercises are done on the Cadillac, Chair and Barrels. While the reformer is the key piece of equipment, all of the other pieces are highly versatile and have their own distinct features and benefits.

Q. What are the benefits of this type of conditioning equipment?

A. STOTT PILATES® core conditioning equipment is highly versatile. It facilitates hundreds of exercise variations, is no-impact (and therefore easy on the joints), allows for modifications for those with injuries or conditions, allows for three-dimensional movement and conditioning, and is suitable for a wide variety of clients (from rehab to pro athlete). It also facilitates balanced strength and flexibility, provides eccentric and concentric muscle contraction (resistance on the in and out moves), total musculo-skeletal conditioning (muscles and postural alignment), and facilitates core conditioning and peripheral mobility.

Q. Why are springs used for resistance instead of weights?

A. By using springs for resistance, STOTT PILATES® equipment provides gradual resistance as your muscles contract, which ensures the muscles are being worked properly. There is greater resistance at the muscle's strongest point of contraction and less resistance on the initiation and completion of the contraction so there is less stress on tendons and ligaments.

Q. Is this equipment good for flexibility?

A. Yes, STOTT PILATES® equipment is excellent for improving flexibility. Flexibility is a key component of total fitness that has been largely ignored by other conditioning methods.