Types of Pilates – Which One Is Right For You?

If you try to search for Pilates in any browser, you will know how famous it is. People around the world are so into it before and even up to now. According to Richard N. Fogoros, MD, “Pilates is a form of exercise emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility, and awareness to support efficient, graceful movement.” They love how the practice tones and strengthens their whole body and improves their mobility, flexibility and overall physical and mental wellness. But Pilates doesn’t mean only one type of exercise. There is one practice, Pilates, but different types, each different in efficiency and approach. Pilates sessions which somatically supports the psycho-therapeutic work. “When combined with regular massage therapy, the synergy of the combined approaches is the perfect combination for many people attempting to gain improved emotional regulation, physical health, and mobility,” James F. Zender Ph.D. says.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Deciding from the classical mat to the ubiquitous reformer can be really confusing, and when you get to know more of the types, it will be even difficult to decide which Pilates is best for you and your fitness goals. “It is generally recommended that you learn Pilates from a trainer who will take you through a work-out on the apparatus, the mat or both,” Christiane Northrup, M.D. wrote.

Below are the different types of Pilates and its pros and cons to help you discern which one you will incorporate into your way of life.


  • Classical Pilates. Classical Pilates is usually done in a studio with complete facilities, the setup a reflection of its inventor, Joseph Pilates. The instructor, a certified Pilates trainer, follows Joseph’s techniques all the way, or at least as close to his techniques. The students are taught the original series of moves, each done in the same particular sequence. This type only works if taught, again, by a trained Pilates instructor.


  • Mat Pilates. The moves are almost exactly the way Joseph taught his own students, with challenging routines that focus primarily on strengthening the core. However, the class will be doing the movements all on the floor and without any equipment. Also, many students can join in this type so there will be lesser time for the instructor to focus on each student’s positions. Classes for this one are relatively cheaper.
Source: commons.wikimedia.org
  • Modern Studio Pilates. The Millennials and those that have a knack for using equipment go for this type of Pilates. The studios here are fully equipped and the latest models that accommodate almost every aspect ranging from sports training, pregnancy, rehabilitation, and general fitness. Techniques taught in modern studio Pilates are a combination of Joseph’s methods and the contemporary styles that instructors modify and sometimes create right on the spot. This is so that they can achieve the best results for their students. Classes are composed of smaller groups, about 3 or 4. Studio Pilates is more individually dedicated and is a powerful type of exercise.


  • Group Reformer Pilates. This is a dynamic class that involves achieving full body training and concentrating on one equipment, the Reformer.

Students doing this type of Pilates focus on perfecting their flow through a series of movements using the machine. The resistance springs are decreased or increased depending on the difficulty. There is usually a bigger class for this one, from a minimum of 10 to a maximum of 30, so the atmosphere is lively, and a lot of fun, not to mention the energy that fills up the room as everybody sweats to the various moves. Because Group Pilates is becoming more popular, the quality of instructors has decreased so students should first observe and assess their instructors before they decide to join in.

  • Clinical Pilates. Also rising to popularity these days is clinical Pilates, perhaps because people connect this type to the medical field. However, this is in no way related to any medical aspect. In fact, clinical Pilates does not use any of Joseph’s conventional methods including the principles of working on the entire body. Rather, it uses Pilates equipment to deal with a specific injury. In a way, it discounts the holistic approach and goal of Pilates and does not achieve the real essence of the practice, other than rehabilitation.
Source: med.navy.mil



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