STOTT PILATES F.A.Q - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the STOTT PILATES® Method?

A. STOTT PILATES is a contemporary approach to the original exercise method pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates. Co-founders Moira and Lindsay G. Merrithew, along with a team of physical therapists, sports medicine and fitness professionals, have spent over two decades refining the STOTT PILATES method of exercise and equipment. This resulted in the inclusion of modern principles of exercise science and spinal rehabilitation, making it one of the safest and effective methods available. This clear and detailed approach forms the basis for STOTT PILATES training and certification programs. It’s used by rehab and prenatal clients, athletes, celebrities and everyone in between.</p>

Q. Why are you touted as the “Professional’s Choice”?

A. Since its inception over 20 years ago, STOTT PILATES has grown from a small studio into the world’s most respected Pilates brand. While much has changed since we first opened our doors in 1988, our mission of promoting the ongoing benefits of mind-body fitness worldwide remains a constant. Our full-service company provides all the training, equipment and ongoing support you need to build a strong and successful Pilates business. Whether your goal is to establish Pilates group exercise programs, take your personal training to the next level, set up a fully equipped studio, or train to become a certified instructor – we go the distance to help you succeed. STOTT PILATES’ mission is to fulfill the needs of Pilates enthusiasts everywhere and that’s why we’re the number one source for everything Pilates – spanning equipment, education and media.

Q. What is the difference between the STOTT PILATES Method and other Pilates techniques?

A. STOTT PILATES incorporates modern exercise principles, including contemporary thinking about spinal rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement. For example, some approaches may promote a flat back, whereas STOTT PILATES exercises are designed to restore the natural curves of the spine and rebalance the muscles around the joints, placing more emphasis on scapular stabilization. As well, there are more preparatory exercises and modifications to cater to many different body types and abilities, making it applicable to everyday life.

Q. What are the benefits of STOTT PILATES?

A. The benefits may include but not limited to:

- Increased strength without unwanted bulk
- Increased core strength, stability and peripheral mobility
- Improved fitness levels which may help prevent injury
- Greater ease of movement through a full range
- Heighted body awareness and mindfulness of movement
- Decreased impact on the joints
- Added variety as a compliment to other forms of exercise
- Improved performance of specific sport skills (golf, skiing, hockey, etc.)
- Enhanced balance, coordination and circulation</p>

Q. What are the principles behind the STOTT PILATES Method?

A. STOTT PILATES exercise improves core strength and balances the muscles around the joints, improving the way your body functions, looks and feels. The Five Basic Principles focus on:

- Breathing
- Pelvic placement
- Rib cage placement
- Scapular movement
- Head &amp; cervical spine placement

Q. Is STOTT PILATES exercise like Yoga?

A. In some respects Pilates is like Yoga. Both are considered mind-body type methods of movement; both emphasize deep breathing and smooth, long movements that encourage the mind-body connection. The difference is that while Yoga requires moving from one static posture to the next, Pilates flows through a series of movements that are more dynamic, systematic and anatomically-based incorporating resistance equipment. The goal with STOTT PILATES exercise is to strengthen the postural muscles while achieving optimal functional fitness.

Q. Will I grow by doing STOTT PILATES?

A. Much of Pilates exercise requires you to look within, focus on your breathing, and feel the subtle differences within your body. Many people come to a very meditative state while doing Pilates, and therefore will grow mentally and spiritually over time through this type of exercise. By strengthening the postural muscles people have learned to maintain good posture thereby appearing taller.

Q. What kind of results can I expect from doing STOTT PILATES?

A. You can expect an increase in strength, flexibility, mobility, balance, and body awareness, as well as a decrease in back pain or other general pains.

Q. How long will I have to do the workout before I see results?

A. The average active person doing 2-3 classes per week should see some results within 10-12 classes. This will vary depending on each individual and other factors such as the number of classes a person takes each week, whether they are private or group classes, whether they participate in other physical activities, and whether they have any existing injuries. It is also important to work with a well trained Certified Instructor.

Q. I have a bad back. Will I be able to do Pilates?

A. Although you should always consult your physician before starting any fitness routine, a Pilates workout is gentle and controlled with no sudden jarring actions. It is therefore more important that you work with a qualified instructor to ensure that you are doing the movements correctly. An experienced instructor will be able to modify the exercises to accommodate your limitations, continually challenge you within your range and monitor your improvements. If you commit yourself to a consistent workout schedule you will certainly feel results.

Q. Will I get the same results with a mat workout as with a Reformer or equipment workout?

A. Mat-based workouts are very convenient and can be done anywhere.  Adding light equipment and the larger resistance equipment will place more emphasis on your outer limbs and add variety and intensity to your program.

Q. If I’m doing Pilates, should I still do my regular workout?

A. STOTT PILATES exercise is a musculo-skeletal conditioning program. It’s ideal in combination with some kind of cardiovascular exercise (walking, running, aerobics, aqua fitness etc.), and a great complement to your weight training program.

Q. How can STOTT PILATES be different than weight training or other resistance exercise?

A. Pilates is three-dimensional (i.e. exercises can be performed using all movement planes) spring resistance more closely resembles muscular contraction emphasis on concentric/eccentric contraction for injury prevention

- STOTT PILATES exercise is customizable for special needs in Pilates exercise, emphasis is placed on rebalancing muscles around the joints
- Pilates corrects over-training and muscle imbalance that leads to injury
- Pilates emphasizes balancing strength with flexibility
(for injury prevention and more efficient movement)
- STOTT PILATES exercise leads to an improvement in posture and body awareness
- Weight training and STOTT PILATES can be combined in your fitness program and are a great compliment to each other.

Q. Is it safe to do Pilates during pregnancy?

A. The following information should NOT be substituted for medical advice from your doctor. Please consult your physician for information on what will be appropriate for you during your pregnancy.The available information on pregnancy and exercise can be very confusing – even conflicting. STOTT PILATES follows the current standards practiced in the fitness industry regarding safety during pregnancy and the guidelines set out by professional organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada. We cover this topic in depth in our Injuries &amp; Special Populations course as well as workshops. What follows is some general information that should not be substituted for the advice of a physician and the guidance of a qualified fitness professional.No two women's bodies are the same, and this is especially true during pregnancy. There are workouts that are quite appropriate for some people during pregnancy and not for others. During a normal, healthy pregnancy, moderate exercise is safe for the fetus. Exercise is also said to prevent varicose veins, hemorrhoids and low back pain and helps to boost self esteem, maintain fitness levels and prepare the body for the physical demands of motherhood.A woman's body goes through many changes during pregnancy and exercise must be adapted and modified as the pregnancy progresses. The beauty of Pilates is that it can be individualized for anyone's ability. Workouts and schedules during the first trimester may have to be adjusted around fatigue levels. Over the course of the pregnancy the demand on the abdominal muscles should be decreased. During the second trimester, these muscles become stretched out, and some women experience diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles). With reduced abdominal support, there is a greater risk of injuring the lower back. Further, due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, the ligaments surrounding the joints become lax, leaving them loose and vulnerable. For this reason, you should be careful not to overstretch. It is important to continue strengthening and rebalancing the muscles around the joints – supporting the body as it goes through postural changes related to pregnancy.Today many guidelines for pregnancy indicate that during the second and third trimester, the supine position (lying on your back) should be avoided as the maternal blood supply and subsequently the fetal blood supply may be affected. Positioning must be adjusted and light equipment (particularly the Spine Supporter) combined with the Matwork exercises becomes very useful. As well, the possibilities offered by the Reformer, Cadillac and Stability Chair are helpful. Of course, drinking lots of water, avoiding overexertion and overheating are always important.

Q. Can I lose weight just doing Pilates? If so, how much weight can I lose?

A. Pilates can be a positive addition to your overall weight loss program. Weight loss occurs when the number of calories consumed is less than the number of calories expended. The most successful and healthy way to achieve weight loss is an exercise plan that includes an aerobic component coupled with a strength training component, such as STOTT PILATES exercise, and following a balanced diet. Combining Pilates with aerobic exercise also offers additional benefits: greater mind-body connection, improved posture, flexibility and functionality.

Q. What are the benefits of STOTT PILATES of exercise equipment?

A. STOTT PILATES exercise equipment is highly versatile. It facilitates hundreds of exercise variations, is no-impact (and therefore easy on the joints), allows for modifications for those with injuries or conditions, allows for three-dimensional movement and conditioning, and is suitable for a wide variety of clients (from rehab to pro athlete). It also facilitates balanced strength and flexibility, provides eccentric and concentric muscle contraction (resistance on the in and out moves), total musculo-skeletal conditioning (muscles and postural alignment), and facilitates core conditioning and peripheral mobility.

Q. Why are springs used for resistance instead of weights?

A. By using springs for resistance, STOTT PILATES equipment provides gradual resistance as your muscles contract, which ensures the muscles are being worked properly. There is greater resistance at the muscle's strongest point of contraction and less resistance on the initiation and completion of the contraction so there is less stress on tendons and ligaments.

Q. How much resistance (in weight) do the springs supply?

A. Initial tension is 5 lbs for the first inch of tension (for full strength springs), and then increases by approximately 1 lb per inch. Multiply the number of springs and distance traveled to get approximate tension in pounds. On a STOTT PILATES Reformer, four springs are full tension &amp; one is half. (Most people will simply note the number of springs used per exercise).

Q. Is this equipment good for flexibility?

A. Yes, STOTT PILATES equipment is excellent for improving flexibility. Flexibility is a key component of total fitness that has been largely ignored by other conditioning methods.

Q. How do I become a STOTT PILATES Certified Instructor?

A. You can attend a Comprehensive or Intensive Certification course at the STOTT PILATES International Certification Center or at a Licensed Training Center. Another option is to have your club/rehab facility host on-site STOTT PILATES Training. STOTT PILATES specializes in providing quality training, not crash courses; however, training is broken down into modules to make it more practical for people and organizations. This way, students are able to begin incorporating their knowledge of STOTT PILATES exercises into their classes and practice right away.

Q. What is the fastest way for me to become a Certified Instructor?

A. If you have the necessary prerequisites (knowledge of functional anatomy, familiarity with the works of J.H Pilates &amp; three years teaching experience) you may qualify for STOTT PILATES' Intensive Level 1 programs: Matwork (40hrs), Reformer (50 hrs) and Cadillac (25 hrs), Chair (15 hrs) &amp; Barrels (10 hrs). These courses are offered at the STOTT PILATES International Certification Center or on-site at your facility, and can be scheduled to suit the needs of any organization. If you do not meet the above mentioned prerequisites, you should enroll in the comprehensive program at the STOTT PILATES International Certification Center or selected Licensed Training Centers.