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Pilates FAQ's

Your questions answered to see if Pilates is for you!


1. Do I have to be very fit to do Pilates?

No, Pilates is for everyone and can be adapted to suit your needs. Pilates is a journey and not a destination so once you learn the Pilates principles and the language – that is when the magic starts.


2. What is involved in the assessment session? Is it a consultation or am I going to get a workout?

The assessment session consists of muscle testing, movement analysis and a full biomechanical assessment. You will be required to move into different positions in order for me to assess how your body works. This is all valuable information so I can write a customised programme for you.


3. What is the difference between Mat work Pilates and Reformer Pilates?

The mat work classes really focus on Pilates exercises done on a mat on the floor and require you to support your body – which can be very challenging and not suitable for some people who are recovering from surgery or an injury. 

The Reformer was invented by Pilates founder Joseph Pilates. It is a bed-like frame with a flat platform on it, called the carriage, which rolls back and forth on wheels within the frame. The carriage is attached to one end of the reformer by a set of springs.

Springs provide choices of differing levels of resistance as the carriage is pushed or pulled along the frame.

The carriage has shoulder blocks on it that keep practitioners from sliding off the end of the reformer as they push or pull the carriage.

At the spring end of the reformer, there is an adjustable bar called a footbar. The footbar can be used by the feet or hands as a practitioner moves the carriage. The reformer also has long straps with handles on them that are attached to the top end of the frame.

They can be pulled with legs or arms to move the carriage as well. Body weight and resistance of the springs are what make the carriage more or less difficult to move. Reformers parts are adjustable for differing body sizes and different levels of skill.

4. Can I do Pilates after surgery?

Yes, depending on what surgery you have had and as long as your Doctor gives you the all clear to exercise it will be very beneficial. This is where the initial assessment it so important so we can see what you can do. The joy of working with the Pilates equipment in a Private session offers flexibility to adapt any exercise to what you are capable of.


5. Will Pilates help me lose weight?

I am asked this question so often! Pilates will definitely enhance your energy levels throughout the day which will give you the desire and enthusiasm to do some other form of exercise but it is not an aerobic exercise programme which maximise weight loss. Following a healthy eating plan is the best way in which to lose weight combined with doing Pilates is the key factor. Without a doubt, Pilates will definitely create lean muscle mass which will tone and shape the body. One of the best ways to feel ‘thinner’ is to develop a good posture which can be achieved with Pilates by emphasising both length and good alignment.


6. Can Pilates help Cancer Survivors?

Macmillan Cancer cites research that found that people who took regular exercise had:
about 40% lower risk of breast cancer returning
about 50% lower risk of colon cancer returning or dying of colorectal cancer
about 30% lower risk of men dying from prostate cancer


Fatigue and a low immunity are the most common factors that plague Cancer patients and survivors. Pilates offers restorative movements for those who have been treated for any form of cancer because it places emphasis on correcting the bodies alignment through gentle and progressive strength and flexibility exercises. The Passion4Pilates studio is very private and clean which offers a safe haven for those who do not yet want to be in the public eye or be exposed to germ infested environments.


I began doing one to one Pilates training with Susie because I had suffered with back pain for at least 6-7 years. I had tried various activities to ease the pain but nothing worked. When I first started doing Pilates with Susie I was very stiff and inflexible. After doing Pilates for 6 months on the mat and with the Reformer bed, my overall strength and flexibility improved and my back pain had drastically reduced. I can now touch my toes!!

~ Rachel

'You don’t do Pilates to get better at Pilates,
you do Pilates to get better at all the other things you love to do'

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