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A Short Guide to Different Styles and Trends in Pilates

Pilates is a fairly contemporary style of exercise and movement that is relatively new, and since its inception, it has morphed into a variety of styles and types. Nowadays, there are recognised disciplines with their own differences and ways of exercising, but the basics of this exercise style remain based on the classic movements promoted by Joseph Pilates.  
 
Rather than discussing all the varieties of the discipline, people are usually keener to learn more about the way Pilates is applied in studios today and what they can expect when they attend a session. There are even trends in Pilates that come and go – as with any other form of exercise.  
 
Classical Pilates 
 
The original form of Pilates, classical Pilates is not as varied as the new types of Pilates appearing today, as it is mainly focuses on a continuation of the original work done by Pilates. It is mostly flexion-based and quite rigid in the order that exercises are performed. Not all aspects of this discipline are good for everyone and as a result, variations have occurred that led to other forms of Pilates. It can be done using a mat or specialised equipment that was designed by Joseph Pilates. 
 
Contemporary Pilates
 
Whilst based on the classical form, contemporary/modern Pilates has made changes to some of the movements (or added some) and started to apply these to the basic form. Because this is a form that is continually developing, it can be very varied and not as rigidly applied as the classical form. Contemporary training also teaches instructors the repertoire of classical and contemporary styles, but then also encourages them to amend their styles according to the needs of their clients. This makes contemporary Pilates safer and more user friendly than the classical form. It can be done on a mat or standard Pilates equipment, but as other disciplines have flourished, new equipment and even small props have been added to the routines to make them more effective. The props are usually used during mat work, and include elastic bands (TheraBand), magic circles, support props, and those that challenge stability to increase balance.
 
Clinical Pilates
 
A highly specialised form of Pilates that focuses on movements taught by a physio to rehabilitate patients. It places strong focus on lower back pain and stabiliser muscles, and is usually taught individually or in very small groups with similar injuries. It is highly assessment-oriented and instructors have to be specially qualified.
 
New Trends in Pilates
 
Barre Pilates: Performed at a barre as in ballet, this type of Pilates typically involves classical ballet barre exercises, as well as Pilates movements.
 
Piloxing: A new and unlikely trend is the combination of Pilates and – yes, boxing movements.
 
Body balance: This is most likely to be a Les Mills class that is a combination of t’ai chi, yoga and Pilates performed to music.
 
Yogalates: Pioneered in Australia, this is a combination of yoga and Pilates that utilises complementary movements from both disciplines that work together to form a complete solution.
 
If you need some more information about Pilates in general or you are looking for a studio near you, give our team at BASI Pilates a call!
 

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