One solution is for clubs to add more group sessions to their itineraries to meet the demand for lower prices and more convenient schedules. This serves the dual purpose of retaining membership of people requiring budget-conscious options, and of concurrently increasing the club’s bottom line. Another option is to implement a high-quality Mat-based program that is cost-effective and attractive to all members.
“In this economy, some facility owners have been forced to take a more fiscally conservative approach, supplementing private sessions with group or Matwork-based programs,” explains President & CEO of STOTT PILATES®, Mr. Lindsay G. Merrithew. “However some owners are still hesitant to implement Pilates into their facilities as a whole because of the perception that this can only be done with large, expensive equipment. But this is simply not the case.”
DO YOU OFFER PILATES AT YOUR FACILITY?
There is a large misconception that Pilates involves very intricate moves that only dancers would be able to execute, or requires large equipment that is bulky, hard to obtain, and expensive. But what most facility owners don’t realize is that Pilates can be incorporated into regular workout programs by using a few basic props that can be found around your gym or fitness facility. Pilates Matwork-based programming is growing in popularity – and diminishing the amount of members going outside of facilities to satisfy their fitness needs.
Celebrities and pro athletes alike are incorporating mind-body fitness into their training regimens and exercise enthusiasts everywhere are becoming more familiar with its benefits. More importantly, members are becoming more attracted to clubs that offer “alternative” methods of exercise. Club owners are realizing the overall commitment to Mat-based programming is not what they envisioned and therefore, instead of losing members, they are driving new participants to their locations.
Moreover, the rest of the fitness industry is taking note. Fitness instructors, athletic coaches, and even rehab specialists are realizing that in order to keep their clients’ attention and/or enthusiasm for a specific targeted muscle group or body part – changing the way the move is performed is often crucial. Adding a prop or changing the dynamics of a particular move that is performed on the Mat makes all the difference.
The good news is that there are numerous basic exercises that can be performed and/or modified on the Mat that can be helpful in addition to an already established workout program. Some popular Pilates exercises can put strain on the low back in clients with typical postural imbalances, so it’s important that you ensure that your instructors are properly trained to teach more complex exercises.
Light equipment such as 1 lb, 2 lb or 3 lb Toning Balls help close the kinetic chain, add proprioceptive awareness and add challenge to exercises by increasing the load or de-stabilizing the base of support. Other small equipment such as Stability Balls, Circles, and Bands can also add variety to Mat-based programming.
STICK TO THE BASICS
Pilates Matwork is the foundation of the exercise system. All the basic exercises are designed to target very specific muscle groups in very specific ways. “Pilates focuses on active eccentric lengthening of muscles rather than prolonged static strengthening,” explains Moira Merrithew, Executive Director of Education for STOTT PILATES®. “This results in maintaining the integrity and strength of the joint while allowing it to move more freely in a greater range.”
It is widely known that Pilates-based exercises help improve performance, reduce injury, and relieve stress. Unlike other hardcore strength training regimens that focus more specifically on muscle mass, Pilates focuses on toning your muscles, thereby improving your balance and alignment.
“Pilates also assists in rehabilitation after injury and creates balance throughout the entire body,” adds Moira. “Pilates is a form of overall strength and conditioning used in the development of strong core muscles and joint stability, which also focuses on breathing, balance and range of motion.”