In my attempt to help clarify Pilates, I introduced the concept of various types of Pilates. The first article in the series, “Which Pilates is Right for You?” I discussed the three groups of Pilates: rehab/physical therapy, sports fitness, and wellness. This was followed by an article describing the rehab/physical therapy approach. It is important to understand how the sports fitness approach compares to determine which fits your personal style. A sports fitness approach may use cues or exercises that focus on more athletic movements. Students may become discouraged from Pilates because they try a type that does not suit their needs; however, Pilates can benefit everyone. This article focuses on the sports fitness approach.
As mentioned in the previous article, the sports fitness approach is seen through the health club lens and focuses on the physical aspects of Pilates. Although some teachers using this perspective may utilize techniques from the rehab/physical therapy and/or wellness approach, the approach is rooted through the health club lens. Most health clubs offer Pilates classes and have added equipment classes. Personal trainers are starting to add Pilates as an add-on to their list of specialties. Even the company SPIN Fitness realizes the importance of the Pilates movement with the acquisition of Peak Pilates, a well known Pilates equipment manufacturer and training program.
This approach can be extremely beneficial for several reasons.
– Introduces Pilates to the fitness population on a large scale
– Introduce the notion of the body-mind-spirit technique
– Relate to individuals through the common fitness terminology
– Improve overall movement patterns
– The cost may be covered by a gym membership or is less expensive than at a typical Pilates studio
– Stresses core work
– The class may work at a faster pace offering a cardio aspect
There can be drawbacks to this approach.
– Exercises are altered or modified to fit the health club view
– Equipment is changed to be more similar to other gym equipment and easily stored
– Sometimes the focus may be on the isolation of muscles or extra exertion
– Class sizes may be large with little hands on corrections
– Creates an assumption that Pilates is mainly about the physical aspects
The main educational program for sports fitness Pilates training is Power Pilates and The Physical Mind Institute; however, other programs have some roots in this area such as Balanced Body and Peak creating a Pilates equipment line geared toward the health clubs. The key to finding the right fit for you is to understand your Pilates instructor’s training background. Finding a teacher that fits your personality is the key to your Pilates success.
Nicki Noftz is the owner of Mindful Movement, LLC in Big Bend, WI. Mindful Movement is a wellness community offering Pilates, Yoga, and massage. Nicki teaches Pilates to empower the body, mind & spirit of her clients. Visit http://www.youtube.com/mindfulmovementllc for a videos on Pilates or follow Nicki on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MindfulMovement