When considering the implementation of new courses, the primary objective is to execute a program that will increase participation, membership satisfaction and add variety to retain members and inspire seasoned clients.
Why is Pilates, an exercise system that was created over 90 years ago, experiencing such remarkable popularity and growth? People everywhere are becoming more aware of the full benefits of wellness. After decades of being bombarded with the important part physical activity plays in leading a happy and healthy life, lifestyles have grown increasingly less active and more stressful, impacting quality of life. The pace of today's society, the worldwide aging population, and the public awareness of the mind-body connection has created an increasing interest in Pilates and other mindful exercise programs
Media attention, high-profile practitioners and an increase in accessibility has helped Pilates and its benefits get to the mainstream. The popularity of Pilates with celebrities and athletes, whose careers can depend on keeping fit, is a clear indicator of its effectiveness. The list of famous names that swear by the Pilates Method of exercise is large and includes Jennifer Aniston, Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Walsh, Ben Stiller, Sally Field, Gwyneth Paltrow and numerous professional sports teams in the NFL and NHL such as the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Flyers.
The strength, posture and long, lean muscles that result from a Pilates practice has been widely hyped as the “Pilates body.” The unique series of exercises delivered in specific formats is an all-together different experience from the rest of any class roster.
While Mat classes are the typical entry into Pilates for many participants, Classical Mat exercises are often difficult for a beginner because they do not have the core strength to perform the exercises correctly.
The Classical Pilates Method is based on a full, integrated system of equipment—the Mat exercises are just part of the technique (only 25 percent of the Pilates exercise repertoire can be performed on a Mat) and often the first step toward learning the equipment.
By adding equipment, your members will experience a more authentic, quality experience. The equipment works better and faster to change the body, as the springs on the equipment provide support and resistance that allow an individual to enhance their core connection in a way that is difficult to do on the Mat alone. Because of this, the equipment allows you to shape, tone, lengthen and align quite differently than the Mat.
In short, the equipment works better and faster to change the body. Furthermore, additional advanced core work is available on equipment for the more accomplished practitioner.
Last but not least, working on the equipment is fun! Whether you offer Mat classes alone or a combination of Pilates equipment and Mat, a mix of programming options to challenge and progress your members is essential.