Joseph Pilates’ exercises executed in the order he created with his vision of health in mind. The repertoire, tempo, rhythm, energy, transitions and the order of exercise were Joe’s vision of health. Joseph Pilates intended that the session be a strong full body and mind workout. Note the word “workout”.
Pilates is everywhere these days, but are you getting a true effective full body workout?
If you haven’t done a well-constructed workout, you’re missing out on the most important element of the classical Pilates method.
In a good strong Pilates session, the individual components of the workout are defined. They must work together in an organised manner to achieve specific goals. It’s a complete system.
The full Pilates workout includes a mat, reformer, and typically two additional pieces of equipment that are selected by your instructor during your workout to improve, intensify, and address your unique body challenges. There are three types of Pilates chairs, (Wunda Chair, Arm Chair and Electric Chair), three types of Pilates barrels, (Ladder Barrel, Small Barrel and Spine Corrector) a large high flat bed known as the Cadillac, Pedi-Pole, plus smaller apparatus such as foot and toe corrector, neck tensor-meter and many more to choose from in order to satisfy a complete Pilates workout.
Taken together, each apparatus improves the work on every other apparatus in a powerful system.
The classic Pilates mat and reformer takes your body through all planes of motion and addresses every joint in a flowing, structured workout. . The system uses both compound and simple movements and low repetition to accomplish full body training.
The transitions between exercises are exercises in themselves. Joseph Pilates’ intention of his original work was to keep the work one continuous flowing and seamless. It’s fluid and efficient.
You’ll practice each element of a movement and find what’s limited or weak in order to finally master that elusive move. Pilates choreography was set and devised by Joseph Pilates for a reason. It’s a disciplined method of training intended to be practiced as a system.
The Pilates order on the mat and reformer is critical and is a major part of the system. It requires focus and concentration so that you know what’s coming next. Knowing your order on any routine frees you up to focus on form.
The exercises you do in a Pilates class should be precise and detailed with a focus on form.
Its dynamic, controlled, flowing and yes, bring a towel because you do sweat!
Teacher Training: When taking a teacher training course, apprentices must complete all levels of the teacher training program from pre Pilates right through to the Advanced level before being certified and calling themselves a “Pilates Instructor”. The training is not broken down into various levels ie: level one mat, level one reformer, level one Cadillac etc. Only those successfully completing the entire course over 800 hours become a certified Instructor.
Classical Pilates repertoire:
Beginner exercises – foundation.
Intermediate exercises are physically accessible and appropriately challenging to a majority of clientele.
Advanced exercises are extremely challenging for even the strongest, normal healthy client
Super advanced exercises are the extra challenge for elite athletes and Pilates professionals.
When progressing a client from basic / beginner level to Intermediate, the repertoire is introduced slowly until they have gained the strength to complete a full Intermediate workout. The same applies progressing a client from Intermediate to the Advanced level. Super advanced is rarely taught to regular clients as it is extremely challenging and usually reserved for elite athletes and Pilates professionals.
As mentioned earlier, the Classical Pilates teacher needs to complete the full body of work In their training to fully understand the method and system. How the exercises are linked and what the progressions are. It’s less about isolation and more about integration and progression.