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PILATES FAQS

ASPIRE Pilates: Frequently Asked Questions



What is Pilates?
Pilates is a method of exercise, developed by Joseph Pilates in 1920s. Pilates increases strength and flexibility and develops stability in order to gain greater control within movement. Because of its core focus, Pilates is popular not only in the field of fitness, but also in rehabilitation. The focus on strengthening the core and improving postural awareness are especially well indicated for the alleviation and prevention of back, neck and joint pain. All bodies have their own unique muscle imbalances regardless of gender. Pilates conditions the body from head to toe with a no- to low-impact approach suitable for all ages and abilities. It requires patience and practice, but results will follow. The initial Pilates exercises can feel slow and relatively gentle because they build strength slowly from the inside out. However, the fact that many elite sportsmen use the method to enhance their performance indicates how challenging the exercises become.

Who should practice Pilates?
Pilates is for everyone! It doesn’t matter if you are fifteen, forty five, sixty or more ASPIRE Pilates has the perfect Pilates routine and workout for you! At ASPIRE Pilates Studio, clients are given exceptional one-on-one attention to help develop an exercise programme that fits their personal needs and goals.

How is Pilates different from other regimens?
Pilates is a gentle and effective form of exercise that combines eastern and western principles of mental awareness and physical vitality. You will be taught to exercise with the main Pilates principles of concentration, focus, and centring. The exercises work the whole body. At ASPIRE Pilates Studio we incorporate both mat and apparatus training as part of the entire Pilates programme.

Is Pilates an effective weight loss method?
It is recommended that Pilates is incorporated with cardiovascular workouts as part of an entire fitness regime. Although Pilates is highly effective at improving flexibility, postural alignment, circulation, muscle toning, and core strengthening, cardio and Pilates mat class or private training session is also highly effective and recommended.

I have an injury. Can I do Pilates?
If you have injury or restricted movement, please call us or email so we can advise on the most suitable way forward.

How do I choose between privates and group classes?
If you have any significant injuries or pain in your body, privates are your best option to begin. Privates are taught in a highly personalised way. Group classes are designed with generally healthy bodies in mind. For a healthy person they offer great benefits, but they may contain some exercises which could aggravate a pre-existing injury. If you don’t have any injuries the choice is up to you. If you’d like access to the full range of Pilates repertoire, including equipment and floor-based work, choose private over group mat classes. If you’d like the fastest possible results, choose a personalised studio programme in preference to group classes. Finally, consider what suits you best in terms of cost and time. Group classes are less expensive but you are restricted to a set timetable. Privates cost more but offer far greater flexibility as you book them at times that suit you.

What do I need to bring to class? What should I wear?
We provide all the equipment you need when you attend class, including mats. All you need to do is wear comfortable exercise clothes (such as leggings and a t-shirt or tracksuit pants and a t-shirt) and bring a clean pair of socks and a water bottle.

Is Pilates also for men?
Pilates is often seen as a ‘woman’s’ activity but Joseph Pilates developed the exercises on his own body. In addition to this, many of the original instructors were male and many elite male athletes have used the method within their training. Men are often generally used to going to the gym and/or participating in team sports. Often these activities encourage ‘power’ but at the expense of developing deeper ‘core’ strength and stability. As a result, many muscle groups can become tight and over dominant and begin to inhibit movement and technique.

Can I do Pilates when pregnant?
The exercises are gentle enough to suit pregnant women. The programmes are tailor-made to accommodate the structural and physiological changes that happen month to month, so that you can safely and effectively condition your body during all stages of your pregnancy. After giving birth, Pilates will help train and strengthen your body, quickly bringing your body back to shape and giving you the much needed energy to look after your new born baby safely.

What about Pilates as “Sports Training”?
A custom programme to help attain specific body and/or muscular performance objectives for sport enthusiasts and professionals. It will greatly enhance your performance whether you play golf or tennis, whether you run, cycle and swim. Olympic athletes incorporate Pilates into their training routines, so why not try it?

Can Pilates be done at a young age?
Scientific research continuously points to the fact that our children do not exercise enough and that the quality of their exercise is not sufficient to maintain optimal physical and mental health. Why not introduce them to a safe and effective form of exercise that will not only increase their strength, stamina and flexibility, but also help improve their concentration, mental agility and self-esteem? Pilates has been shown to increase both strength and flexibility in children. Simultaneously, learning Pilates at a young age may help prevent injuries and stimulate a more positive attitude toward lifetime physical activity.

 

Marije Veenstra

Marije Veenstra

When I first met Lucy in December 2014, the relationship I had with my body (and mind) was a negative one. I was struggling to find ways to get back to myself and regain trust in the body that had let me down. Lucy welcomed me. She saw the potential, but also saw the struggles. The Pilates studio became a safe place, where I got to know my body again and learned that it is capable of so much more than I gave it credit for. Over the past six months I have learned that it was not my body letting me down, but letting me know. Now, stronger, leaner and much more balanced, I love pushing through those boundaries I thought were there; mastering exercises, trying out new things - it is empowering for both mind and body. I have incorporated Pilates in my daily routine, which to me means that I have incorporated 'me-moments', where I work with my body instead of against it. I move more, I move better and have been able to get back to cycling, running and other forms of exercise I hadn't been able to do for a long time. Pilates is one of the best presents I could have given myself! The Pilates sessions at ASPIRE have brought me focus, coordination, strength and confidence. But most importantly, it has brought me acceptance, by others and myself.

Monesa Cook

Monesa Cook

/ Shell

Pilates with Lucy Bosscher has changed my life! Breathing Pilates helped me learn how to breathe! I am a former smoker and had a problem taking in enough oxygen to exercise properly. I can now jog distances and feel confident and relaxed enough to enjoy exercising because all of my organs are getting sufficient oxygen. Lucy has taught me that through Pilates I can isolate muscles for development to create the long, strong muscles that allow me to stand and walk gracefully. Pilates has provided me the type of exercises that I can age beautifully with strong muscles, aligned body posture, and balance! Lucy created a custom Pilates program to target my physical inefficiencies. Suffering with muscle stiffness and weakness for over two years inhibited me functioning to my best abilities. After fourteen sessions, I have the flexibility and strength to perform movements and carry weight like before my injury!

Graham Nickolson

Graham Nickolson

Competitive Cyclist / Oil Industry

I started Pilates in 2014 at the suggestion of my doctor who examined me at the time for the purpose of issuing a medical certificate for competitive cycling. I have a history of lower back problems and the doctor suggested that Pilates would be a good way to reduce the risk of further lower back issues. I had already started a programme of core strength exercises designed for cyclists and Pilates seemed a natural extension to this with the benefit of regular sessions to keep me focussed on progress. When I started Pilates I had good strength in my legs and cardio-vascular system but that was about it. Now I have much better all-round strength and especially noticeable are the core muscles that form a more protective ‘corset’ to support my lower back. My balance and flexibility have also improved substantially. All these changes have improved my cycling performance; much of my ability to climb mountains on the bike comes from the contribution core strength makes to powerful pedalling. Also I have become much more aware of my posture and the muscle groups and functions in my body. Pilates has become a very important part of my fitness regime. Combined with the cardio-vascular workouts cycling provides, I feel it addresses most of the other aspects of general fitness I would otherwise miss. I enjoy the regular sessions when I am not away taking part in cycling events and it feels good to see that there are still challenges to face in Pilates even though I have made a lot of progress so far.

Mindy Carlson

Mindy Carlson

Finance Professional / Ernst and Young

I had never tried Pilates before I started taking classes from Lucy. She is a great observer with her eye always on the small details. Lucy ensured I was completing the exercises with good form and without straining. With her guidance, I was able to learn the core exercises, build my strength and improve my flexibility. My Pilates classes with Lucy also helped to eliminate many aches and pains in my back and joints. Lucy is such a caring instructor. She was very supportive throughout the learning process, and she always pushed me to do my absolute best! Mindy Carlson, Finance professional

Jennnifer Harding

/ Mead Johnson

I began Private Pilates lessons with Lucy Bosscher in the Fall of 2013 after relocating to the Netherlands with my husband. My body and mind have completely transformed through increased strength, toning and lengthening, as well as overall confidence. Through her process, Lucy focuses on body awareness, which has resulted in a healthier lifestyle for me. Lucy is very conscientious of my capabilities and limitations, she customizes each session in accordance with how my body and mind are feeling during each session. Most importantly - it’s apparent that she has a personal interest in my personal wellness. I emphatically recommend Lucy to anyone looking for a short body restart or long-term wellness goals.