What are the different types of Pilates?

Pilates is most commonly taught using a Pilates mat. Due to the nature of the exercising involved and in order to minimize impact on the body, Pilates mats tend to be slighter thicker than those used for Yoga and at least 3/8″(10mm) thick.  Most people practise barefoot with loose-fitting clothing and when exercising in a public fitness center or attending Pilates classes, students may lay a towel on the mat for hygiene reasons. Many different exercises can be performed lying on your stomach, side, back or whilst kneeling or sitting. The weight of your own body is used for natural resistance in order to develop the core muscles.

Increased resistance is achieved by using:

  • Pilates Ball (often referred to as Stability Ball, Swiss Ball, Fit Ball or Gym Ball)  can be used to sit, lean or lie on
  • Beanbag
  • Toning rings
  • Dumbbells
  • Weighted balls

Additional resistance can be achieved by the use of specialized equipment that often employs the use of springs to work the muscles in a natural way. Springs have the advantage that they cause less stress on ligaments and tendons than typical gym- type weights whilst  providing gradual resistance through the cycle of muscle contraction. Less resistance occurs at the beginning and end of the muscle contraction whilst most resistance takes place at the peak and strongest point of contraction. Examples of Pilates apparatus include :

  • Reformer
  • Ped-a- Pull
  • Cadillac (“trapeze table”)
  • Ladder Barrel
  • Wunda Chair

‘Classical Pilates’ (Metodo Pilates), as taught by Joseph Pilates, has spawned numerous variants that each emphasise and modify different aspects of the original method. Examples of some of the more common variations include:

  • Winsor Pilates
  • Scott Pilates
  • Power Pilates
  • Fletcher Pilates
  • Yoga Pilates
  • Zone Pilates
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