Pilates is a system of over 500 controlled exercises that engage the mind and condition the total body. It is a balanced blend of strength and flexibility training that improves posture, reduces stress and creates long, lean muscles without bulking up. Pilates works several muscle groups simultaneously through smooth, continuous motion, with a particular concentration on strengthening and stabilizing the core (the abdomen, back and pelvic girdle region, sometimes referred to as the "powerhouse").
The focus is on quality of movement rather than quantity, which makes one feel invigorated rather than exhausted after a session. Pilates takes a balanced approach so that no muscle group is overworked and the body works as an efficient, holistic system in sport and daily activity. Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat or on specialized equipment; such as Reformer, Chair, Springboard and CoreAlign.
With regular committed Pilates workouts you can expect to:
Pilates can be beneficial for virtually all ages, fitness levels and body conditions. The method is like a bridge between physical fitness and physical therapy, and can be adapted, modified and customized for individual needs. Some advanced moves and sequences seem to demand youthful energy yet others are manageable for more frail physiques. We at EHS believe in Pilates for every body!
The fundamental Pilates workout can be performed on a Pilates mat alone, and great results can be achieved through beginner, intermediate and advanced moves. However, the various equipment pieces such as the Reformer, Cadillac and Chair incorporate light spring resistance that works like concentric and eccentric muscle contractions to safely sculpt, tone and stretch the muscles. The Arc and Ladder Barrel provide support that allows you to safely manipulate your body to stretch and engage muscles otherwise challenging to isolate. Smaller Pilates equipment pieces such resistance bands, Pilates circles and exercise balls also provide an element of variety and focus to a Pilates regimen.
A complete and satisfying workout can involve exercises on the mat alone or can be combined with various pieces of specially designed Pilates equipment. Each session can offer variety so that no two workouts are alike.
The CoreAlign method stimulates the core stability muscles to fire in perfect timing while performing challenging exercises, very deep stretches and core controlled aerobic training. This method is used for musculoskeletal rehabilitation, performance enhancement and as a regular sport for a healthy lifestyle.
Try to work out 2-4 times a week, taking a day off in between sessions to rest or enjoy some kind of cardiovascular activity (walking, bicycling, or swimming). This kind of regular, consistent practice will help you make the mind-body connection and integrate the various Pilates principles. You should start seeing and feeling results in about 10 to 15 sessions.
Walking into a Pilates studio for the first time can be daunting. A quick glance around will reveal a variety of odd-looking contraptions that you will rightly assume are "Pilates machines", but you may not so readily imagine how your body could actually engage with them. Not to worry, we are here to make your Pilates experience as engaging and informative as possible.
What to Bring:
You won’t need to bring much with you, as EHS provides all props and equipment that might be needed for the workout. You do not need to bring a mat. EHS has gym mats that are designed for a Pilates workout. Though you probably won’t be guzzling water, as some do during aerobic workouts, you will still want to have a water bottle available and make sure that you are well hydrated before you start. We have a filtered water system, if you need to refill. We do require socks. Grippy socks or toe socks are best.
What to Wear to Class:
There are a few things to consider when you dress for a Pilates workout. First, make sure your clothes give enough to let you move and stretch fully. However, your instructor will need to be able to see your body well enough to see the alignment of your bones and how your muscles are engaging, so while loose is OK, baggy is not. You will also want to avoid baggy clothes because some Pilates exercises could be a bit revealing if your clothes are too loose. Keep it simple and see what you feel comfortable with as you go along. You will also want to avoid excess accessories while you’re working out. Long necklaces, belts, dangling bracelets and such could not only be distracting, but could be dangerous if they got caught up in the equipment. Similarly, hair needs to be out of the face and tied back if it is long. EHS has complimentary hair ties if you forget yours. We are a sock only studio. We recommend grip socks. We have some available for sale at the studio, if you do not have them.
One other note: Many of our clients are sensitive to perfumes and strongly scented deodorants, so we request that clients refrain from wearing perfume or other scents in the studio.
This is a great place for beginners to start, and a fun, social way to continue Pilates practice. Our classes have a manageable student-teacher ratio so the instructor can monitor each individual's form and progress. EHS classes are leveled for beginner, intermediate and advanced students.
Sessions for 2 students:
Sometimes called duets, these small group sessions are a little more economical per participant than a private session, but still allows for plenty of individual assessment, guidance and monitoring. Various mat and equipment exercises will be taught in these sessions.
A personal training session is the most effective way to learn, practice and perfect your Pilates performance. Our instructors devote undivided attention to your specific needs and develop a custom program for optimum results.
In essence, Pilates exercise is not a cardiovascular workout and burning calories is not its main focus. However, in conjunction with a sensible diet and some cardio work such as brisk walking, bicycling, aerobics or swimming, Pilates can factor into a weight loss program.
Pilates exercises help strengthen, sculpt and tone the body while building long, lean muscles. Whether the number on the scale goes down or not, you will tend to look and feel better through continued Pilates practice.