About the STOTT PILATES® method
About STOTT PILATES® Equipment
About Pilates and Pregnancy

About the STOTT PILATES® method

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.

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. longer, leaner muscles (less bulk, more freedom of movement)
improves postural problems
increases core strength, stability and peripheral mobility
helps prevent injury
enhances functional fitness, ease of movement
balances strength & flexibility
heightens body awareness
no-impact, easy on the joints
can be customized to suit everyone from rehab patients to elite athletes
complements other methods of exercise
improves performance in sports (golf, skiing, skating etc.)
improves balance, coordination & circulation

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 & 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.

About STOTT PILATES® Equipment

Q. What is a Reformer?

A. The Reformer is the main piece of equipment used in Pilates exercise. The Reformer glides forward & backward on rollers and uses springs for resistance, along with other attachments, for a wide variety of exercises and positions (i.e. lying down, seated and standing.)

Q. Is STOTT PILATES equipment like the equipment I’ve seen for sale on TV?

A. STOTT PILATES equipment is far more versatile and durable than that sold on TV. STOTT PILATES designs and produces top-of-the-line equipment primarily used in clubs, personal training and rehab facilities. The STOTT PILATES At Home and SPX™ Reformers are designed for people who want quality equipment for home use or for use in clubs or personal training facilities, respectively.

Q. What are the benefits of this type 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 & 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.

About Pilates & Pregnancy

Q. Is it safe to do Pilates during pregnancy?

A. Note: 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 & 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 after approximately the 16th week of gestation, the supine position (lying on your back) should be avoided as the maternal blood supply and subsequently the fetal blood supply may be affected. In the second trimester, 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.

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used with permission