to know before starting


the pilates has been around for a long time now. But in 2020 – 2021, it has experienced significant growth thanks to its benefits and accessibility. This so-called “gentle” gym can be done easily from home, through online pilates programs or in class. Today, let’s find out why this method has imposed itself over the years.

Definition: what is pilates

We can define pilates as : a workout that brings together exercises to strengthen the core muscles while improving the balance of the body.

But it is also much more! Work on yourself, strengthening often neglected muscles, controlled breathing, and even benefits for our mental health.

Joseph pilates the creator of the method

So where does the method come from? What is his story ?

The name “pilates” comes from its creator Joseph Pilates.

Joseph Pilates, founder of the pilates method

Joseph Pilates

  • Birth: 09/12/1883
  • Death: 09/09/1967
  • nationalities: German & American
  • Activity: Coach

What is interesting in the pilates method, it’s his story. Joseph Pilates had a medal-winning gymnast father and a naturopathic mother, which quickly sparked his interest in many physical activities.

As he grows up, he understands and sees the modifications of the body through the practice of sport, which leads him to analyze the movements of the human body to establish his own philosophy.

It is interesting to know that yoga has well inspired pilates training on specific movements and stretches.

The evolution of the practice

The pilates method

The first ones pilates class trials are for sick prisoners in England during WW1. The goal ? Improve their conditions and their health. Following this, he also helped soldiers injured in the war to accompany them during rehabilitation by adapting the movements.

Pilates took on a bit of momentum when Joseph Pilates left for New York and worked on the sport’s reputation with dancers and then more widely in the artistic world.

But surprisingly, it was after the death of the founder that it developed considerably. His students take over and share the knowledge of pilates across the United States and other English-speaking countries.

If we take a step back, it hasn’t been that long since pilates has really been established in France.

It is interesting to see that today, in certain disciplines such as dance, pilates is often set up to develop coordination of movements or even precision and posture.

The 8 fundamental principles of pilates

On what principles is pilates based? In fact, there are 8 fundamentals (some say rather 6).

pilates program

My method will teach you how to gain control of your body instead of being at its mercy.

Joseph Pilates

What are the different types of pilates?

Over time, the pilates has undergone evolutions and several currents appeared highlighting differences with the classical method. Here are some known examples, but many other variants exist!

classic pilates

The so-called classic pilate respects the “basis” given by its founder while keeping the principles and objectives of this one. It is very interesting when you start and you want to start without equipment and at home.

Stott Pilates

This variant comes from a collaboration with physiotherapists, sports doctors and sports professionals. They take up the basics by adding modernity thanks to new knowledge of the human body.

It is extremely close to the original version, but not yet very widespread in France.

yoga pilates

Often, the question that arises is what to choose between these two practices? However, they can be carried out simultaneously. Joseph Pilates was inspired by yoga for certain movements, it comes to add more flexibility, stretching and stretching. The benefits of these two practices can be very complementary.

Test one, then the other, and find out if you’re more into pilates vs yoga or both at the same time!

Reform Pilates

reformer pilates example illustration

During the sessions, an iconic machine can be used: the Reformer.

It was invented to increase the difficulty of exercises or to facilitate some of them. Bars, cables or springs can be used.

Course of pilates classes

Example duo pilates class

When you start, I recommend to practice a little and to test before doing a course. For that, I have some videos on youtube that you can make as well as a pilates program to accompany you and help you understand the basic information.

Between the different variations of pilates, the multiple exercises and the mastery that requires a little time… In group lessons, this can sometimes be demoralizing.

Look for an apprenticeship with a small number of people or specialized for beginners in order to fully understand the aspects of the method.

Often, these gentle gymnastics sessions last between 40 minutes and 1 hour, depending on the location and the type of class. You will either have a carpet or a carpet + a reformer. After a warm-up phase, and maybe some breathing exercises, you will start the core of the training with strengthening for example, to finish with some stretching.

L’session intensity will depend on who will accompany your group.

Again feel free to test it online with me to take the first step. If many women are very interested in pilates, this practice is mixed and should also motivate men!

The benefits of the method

We have seen it together, this gentle gymnastics is well established in English-speaking countries and is gaining momentum in France, in particular thanks to the Federation of Professionals of the Pilates Method.

I have already devoted a full article to the benefits of pilates but I will come back to it quickly.

Through its main principles, the method will work

  • your abdominal strap,
  • your flexibility,
  • your posture,
  • your physique
  • can help soothe muscle pain.

Positioning work acts on the spine and slows back pain and/or relieves chronic pain. And yes, the practice of sport also has a lot of effect on your joints and your bones!

But it also plays a role in your mind. Indeed, it helps to evacuate negative emotions as well as stress, which really helps to feel good on a daily basis.

Change of condition comes through movement and it is movement that heals.

Joseph Pilates

By working the deep muscles, you can also see an interesting improvement on your waistline.

I advise you to try in order to discover a new sports practice, get out of your comfort zone and see the physical and psychological benefits that it can bring you.

What are pilates exercises?

Certain movements and exercises are very well known and are often integrated into other sports programs without always specifying that they come from pilates. Moreover, many abdominal exercises come from this practice because they are very effective.

In my pilates session, I show you some warm-ups as well as exercises.

Whether you are young, parents or seniors, pilates adapts to everyone through control. For the moment we are on discovery, not performance, so don’t worry if you find it complicated (or too simple). The important thing is above all to test and go at your own pace.

What are the pilates accessories?

Today, in addition to the mat for its comfort and the famous reformer, you can find many accessories for doing pilates, whether in group lessons or alone at home. If they are not obligatory, they can help later in order to complicate its practice.

Here are some examples:

  • The foam roller : often used for rehabilitation or stretching
  • Light dumbbells : to make certain exercises harder
  • An exercise band : a stretch band to remove or add resistance in certain positions
  • A tennis ball : allows you to work the feet or relax certain muscles (like the back for example)

There are many others, but some have too “gadget” side and are sold under the effect of trend. A simple mat is enough to get started!

The questions I receive about pilates



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