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The What, Who, How, and Why of Pilates from a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist: Part 3

Last post we discussed who is appropriate for a Pilates practice, but...

How can you access Pilates?

Pilates instruction is available in virtual and live studios. Mat classes can often be accessed through online platforms that increase their accessibility for home practice, just like yoga. If you have equipment, there are apps like Pilates Anytime that offer virtual equipment classes as well; however, Pilates equipment is prohibitively expensive for dabbling. It also requires a good deal of space, which means it would not be ideal for most apartment environments. Typically only studio owners and very passionate Pilates students purchase their own equipment. It is also important that a student achieves a more advanced skill level before attempting to practice apparatus work at home without instruction. Most gyms, if they have Pilates equipment, prohibit members from using the equipment without an instructor present for safety reasons.

Expense and safety are two reasons why equipment classes seem a little more difficult to access. Most studios will require participation in a minimum number of private equipment sessions with a skilled instructor to ensure that you have a basic mastery of the equipment’s safety considerations and the foundational exercises. This ensures that you would feel comfortable keeping up in a group environment. Private sessions, while more expensive, are a fantastic way to accelerate your motor learning and skill so that group participation later on is the most beneficial. Understanding the purpose of an exercise, how it should feel, and the unique adjustments your body needs in order to correctly achieve those things will make your practice more effective in the long-run.

To determine the right form of Pilates for yourself, you have to ask yourself what are your goals and how much do you value achieving them? Is your goal a “it would be nice…” kind of musing or is it a “I must accomplish this, put it all on the line” sort of deal? When you know how much you want something, you know what you are willing to do to get there. If you are looking for convenience and a sense of accomplishment, find an online Pilates studio that you like and try some beginner mat classes. See what you think. If you are an athlete and you need a boost to take your performance to the next level, skilled one-on-one instruction with a Pilates instructor using a variety of equipment could be extremely beneficial. Just ask Lebron James.

So this brings us to our final question: Why should you practice Pilates? Check out next week’s post for this discussion.

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