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Frequently Asked Questions - Answers to the most common questions

Pilates Pro






At STOTT PILATES we pride ourselves in offering superior service to our customers, and are eager to hear your questions, concerns and suggestions. We'll use your feedback to improve our service.

We have compiled a list of our most commonly asked questions here. If we haven't answered your question online, visit our Contact Us page and use the email link which most closely matches your question. In most instances, you should receive either a complete answer or an acknowledgment that we're researching your question within 24 hours.

Topics

About the STOTT PILATES Method
About Pilates and Pregnancy
About Pilates Classes and Finding Instructors
About STOTT PILATES Media
About STOTT PILATES & Weight Loss
About STOTT PILATES Equipment
About Shipping & Freight
About Education & Certification
About Third Party Accreditation and PMA exam

Download our printable FAQs

About the STOTT PILATES Method

Q.

What is the STOTT PILATES® Method?

A.

STOTT PILATES is a contemporary approach to the original exercise method pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates. Co-founders Moira and Lindsay G. Merrithew, along with a team of physical therapists, sports medicine and fitness professionals, have spent over two decades refining the STOTT PILATES method of exercise and equipment. This resulted in the inclusion of modern principles of exercise science and spinal rehabilitation, making it one of the safest and effective methods available. This clear and detailed approach forms the basis for STOTT PILATES training and certification programs. It’s used by rehab and prenatal clients, athletes, celebrities and everyone in between.


Q.

Why are you touted as the “Professional’s Choice”?

A.

Since its inception over 20 years ago, STOTT PILATES has grown from a small studio into the world’s most respected Pilates brand. While much has changed since we first opened our doors in 1988, our mission of promoting the ongoing benefits of mind-body fitness worldwide remains a constant. Our full-service company provides all the training, equipment and ongoing support you need to build a strong and successful Pilates business. Whether your goal is to establish Pilates group exercise programs, take your personal training to the next level, set up a fully equipped studio, or train to become a certified instructor – we go the distance to help you succeed. STOTT PILATES’ mission is to fulfill the needs of Pilates enthusiasts everywhere and that’s why we’re the number one source for everything Pilates – spanning equipment, education and media.


Q.

What is the difference between the STOTT PILATES Method
and other Pilates techniques?

A.

STOTT PILATES incorporates modern exercise principles, including contemporary thinking about spinal rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement. For example, some approaches may promote a flat back, whereas STOTT PILATES exercises are designed to restore the natural curves of the spine and rebalance the muscles around the joints, placing more emphasis on scapular stabilization. As well, there are more preparatory exercises and modifications to cater to many different body types and abilities, making it applicable to everyday life.


Q.

What are the benefits of STOTT PILATES?

A.

The benefits may include but not limited to:
Increased strength without unwanted bulk
Increased core strength, stability and peripheral mobility
Improved fitness levels which may help prevent injury
Greater ease of movement through a full range
Heighted body awareness and mindfulness of movement
Decreased impact on the joints
Added variety as a compliment to other forms of exercise
Improved performance of specific sport skills (golf, skiing, hockey, etc.)
Enhanced balance, coordination and circulation

Q.

What are the principles behind the STOTT PILATES Method?

A.

STOTT PILATES exercise improves core strength and balances the muscles around the joints, improving the way your body functions, looks and feels. The Five Basic Principles focus on:
Breathing
Pelvic placement
Rib cage placement
Scapular movement
Head & cervical spine placement


Q.

Is STOTT PILATES exercise like Yoga?

A.

In some respects Pilates is like Yoga. Both are considered mind-body type methods of movement; both emphasize deep breathing and smooth, long movements that encourage the mind-body connection. The difference is that while Yoga requires moving from one static posture to the next, Pilates flows through a series of movements that are more dynamic, systematic and anatomically-based incorporating resistance equipment. The goal with STOTT PILATES exercise is to strengthen the postural muscles while achieving optimal functional fitness.


Q.

Will I grow by doing STOTT PILATES?

A.

Much of Pilates exercise requires you to look within, focus on your breathing, and feel the subtle differences within your body. Many people come to a very meditative state while doing Pilates, and therefore will grow mentally and spiritually over time through this type of exercise. By strengthening the postural muscles people have learned to maintain good posture thereby appearing taller.


Q.

What kind of results can I expect from doing STOTT PILATES?

A.

You can expect an increase in strength, flexibility, mobility, balance, and body awareness, as well as a decrease in back pain or other general pains.


Q.

How long will I have to do the workout before I see results?

A.

The average active person doing 2-3 classes per week should see some results within 10-12 classes. This will vary depending on each individual and other factors such as the number of classes a person takes each week, whether they are private or group classes, whether they participate in other physical activities, and whether they have any existing injuries. It is also important to work with a well trained Certified Instructor.


Q.

I have a bad back. Will I be able to do Pilates?

A.

Although you should always consult your physician before starting any fitness routine, a Pilates workout is gentle and controlled with no sudden jarring actions. It is therefore more important that you work with a qualified instructor to ensure that you are doing the movements correctly. An experienced instructor will be able to modify the exercises to accommodate your limitations, continually challenge you within your range and monitor your improvements. If you commit yourself to a consistent workout schedule you will certainly feel results.


Q.

Will I get the same results with a mat workout
as with a Reformer or equipment workout?

A.

Mat-based workouts are very convenient and can be done anywhere.  Adding light equipment and the larger resistance equipment will place more emphasis on your outer limbs and add variety and intensity to your program.


Q.

If I'm doing Pilates, should I still do my regular workout?

A.

STOTT PILATES exercise is a musculo-skeletal conditioning program. It’s ideal in combination with some kind of cardiovascular exercise (walking, running, aerobics, aqua fitness etc.), and a great complement to your weight training program.


Q.

How can STOTT PILATES be different than
weight training or other resistance exercise?

A.

Pilates is three-dimensional
(i.e. exercises can be performed using all movement planes)
spring resistance more closely resembles muscular contraction
emphasis on concentric/eccentric contraction for injury prevention
STOTT PILATES exercise is customizable for special needs
in Pilates exercise, emphasis is placed on rebalancing muscles around the joints
Pilates corrects over-training and muscle imbalance that leads to injury
Pilates emphasizes balancing strength with flexibility
(for injury prevention and more efficient movement)
STOTT PILATES exercise leads to an improvement in posture and body awareness
Weight training and STOTT PILATES can be combined in your fitness program and are a great compliment to each other.


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About Pilates & Pregnancy

Q.

Is it safe to do Pilates during pregnancy?

A.

Note: The following information should NOT be substituted for medical advice from your doctor. Please consult your physician for information on what will be appropriate for you during your pregnancy.

The available information on pregnancy and exercise can be very confusing – even conflicting. STOTT PILATES follows the current standards practiced in the fitness industry regarding safety during pregnancy and the guidelines set out by professional organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada. We cover this topic in depth in our Injuries & Special Populations course as well as workshops. What follows is some general information that should not be substituted for the advice of a physician and the guidance of a qualified fitness professional.

No two women's bodies are the same, and this is especially true during pregnancy. There are workouts that are quite appropriate for some people during pregnancy and not for others. During a normal, healthy pregnancy, moderate exercise is safe for the fetus. Exercise is also said to prevent varicose veins, hemorrhoids and low back pain and helps to boost self esteem, maintain fitness levels and prepare the body for the physical demands of motherhood.

A woman's body goes through many changes during pregnancy and exercise must be adapted and modified as the pregnancy progresses. The beauty of Pilates is that it can be individualized for anyone's ability. Workouts and schedules during the first trimester may have to be adjusted around fatigue levels. Over the course of the pregnancy the demand on the abdominal muscles should be decreased. During the second trimester, these muscles become stretched out, and some women experience diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles). With reduced abdominal support, there is a greater risk of injuring the lower back. Further, due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, the ligaments surrounding the joints become lax, leaving them loose and vulnerable. For this reason, you should be careful not to overstretch. It is important to continue strengthening and rebalancing the muscles around the joints – supporting the body as it goes through postural changes related to pregnancy.

Today many guidelines for pregnancy indicate that after approximately the 16th week of gestation, the supine position (lying on your back) should be avoided as the maternal blood supply and subsequently the fetal blood supply may be affected. In the second trimester, positioning must be adjusted and light equipment (particularly the Spine Supporter) combined with the Matwork exercises becomes very useful. As well, the possibilities offered by the Reformer, Cadillac and Stability Chair are helpful. Of course, drinking lots of water, avoiding overexertion and overheating are always important.


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About Pilates Classes & Finding Instructors

Q.

How can I find a Pilates studio in my area?

A.

Click here for a list of STOTT PILATES Licensed Training Centers located throughout North America, and internationally. Or use our Instructor Finder to locate STOTT PILATES Certified Instructors around the world.


Q.

If I cannot afford or find a Pilates instructor in my area,
is there another alternative?

A.

You can try our line of STOTT PILATES DVDs. Many titles in the STOTT PILATES At Home collection cover every "Pilates-based" exercise. They will allow you to exercise in the comfort of your own home, or while on the road. (Accessories like the Fitness Circle® resistance ring, Toning Balls or Flex-Band® exerciser allow you to add resistance to your workout and packs easily in a suitcase.) You can also encourage your current club to start offering Pilates classes.


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About STOTT PILATES Media

Q.

What are Region Codes?

A.

Each country has its own DVD region code. Region 0 discs will play anywhere in the world. All STOTT PILATES DVDs are NTSC Region code 0.


Q.

How many DVDs are there?

A.

The STOTT PILATES acclaimed series of videos is the most comprehensive video library of its kind. Currently there are over 120 titles available.


Q.

Is equipment required in any of the DVDs?

A.

For some titles, yes. Please see our DVD pages for details.


Q.

What type of return policy do you offer on DVDs?

A.

All Fitness Circle® resistance rings, Flex-Band® exercisers, manuals, and clothing are subject to a 30-day return policy, exclusive of shipping charges. Videos may be returned for a full refund, exclusive of shipping charges, provided they are returned in their original, unopened condition. Defective products will be replaced with the same item. All returns must include an RA (Return Authorization) number.


Q.

How long will I have to do one workout DVD before I
can move to the next level of difficulty?

A.

This depends on several subjective factors: your own level of fitness, how quickly you grasp the concepts, how often you do the workout routine, and even how committed you are to continuing. As a general rule, when you can successfully complete the exercises at one level and feel that you are no longer being challenged, you are ready to move to the next level.


Q.

If I am in good physical condition, can I start with the
Intermediate or Advanced levels?

A.

If you are new to this particular kind of exercise or to exercise in general, we recommend that you start with the STOTT PILATES Basic Pilates, 2nd Ed. DVD and work your way up. This title offers important information about the technique as well as modifications that will allow you to customize your workout to suit your needs.


Q.

How often should I do the DVD?

A.

Ideally, you should practice Pilates at least 2 to 3 times per week, and up to 6 times a week. You should combine this exercise routine with a cardiovascular form of exercise done at least 3 times per week.


Q.

Will I get the same results from doing the workout with a video
as I would from going to an Instructor or Studio?

A.

STOTT PILATES workout videos are a great way to complement your gym workouts, and/or a great alternative if you can't get to a gym. Receiving one-on-one personal instruction is always the best if the instructor is well trained.


Q.

What is the difference between the Professional Matwork series
and the
At Home Matwork series?

A.

The Professional Matwork series is designed to accompany our certification courses. All of the exercises at the three different levels (Essential, Intermediate, Advanced) are contained in these videos. These videos feature Moira Merrithew and other Master Instructor Trainers talking someone through the exercises. Therefore, they provide more "information" about the exercises rather than being cued through the exercises. They can be done as workouts, however they take quite a long time.

The At Home Matwork series is specifically targeted for those who would like to do a STOTT PILATES® Matwork routine at home along with a DVD. They do not contain all the exercises in each level. However, they provide a well-balanced workout that is faster-paced than the professional series. Because the titles feature Moira Merrithew and other Master Instructor Trainers teaching a couple of students, you can follow along exactly as if you were being cued by an instructor.


Q.

What is the correct way to inflate my Stability Ball?

A.

1. Before inflating the Stability Ball, allow it to reach room temperature.
2. Determine the Stability Ball's maximum height (noted on the Stability Ball) and mark this height in pencil, or with a piece of tape, on the side of a door or wall. Use that mark as a reference to measure the ball during inflation.
3. Never inflate a Stability Ball to its maximum on the first attempt. Inflate the Ball about 80% and let the Stability Ball adjust to this size by waiting at least one hour before continuing to inflate the ball to its final size.
4. Attach inflator tip onto tip of pump. Insert the end of the inflator into the Stability Ball. DO NOT exceed maximum diameter while inflating ball. Inflate by SIZE, not pressure.
5. Immediately after removing the inflator tip, insert plug into the hole, so that the head is flush with the surface.
6. The Stability Ball may stretch with use and can be further inflated. However, never inflate the Stability Ball larger than the diameter size indicated on the ball.


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About STOTT PILATES & Weight Loss

Q.

Can I lose weight just doing Pilates? If so, how much weight can I lose?

A.

Pilates can be a positive addition to your overall weight loss program. Weight loss occurs when the number of calories consumed is less than the number of calories expended. The most successful and healthy way to achieve weight loss is an exercise plan that includes an aerobic component coupled with a strength training component, such as STOTT PILATES exercise, and following a balanced diet. Combining Pilates with aerobic exercise also offers additional benefits: greater mind-body connection, improved posture, flexibility and functionality.


Q.

Which STOTT PILATES videos can help me lose weight?

A.

The Secret to Weight Loss Vol. 1&2 combine a cardio segment and a STOTT PILATES segment. The Pilates component involves strength training. If you are a beginner, start out slowly and monitor your heart rate and perceived rate of exertion. You should work at 40-50% of your maximum heart rate to begin. You can progress to our Walk On series, which offers a cardio workout that you can complement with one of our resistance equipment DVDs (i.e., Flex-Band*, Fitness Circle* or Toning Ball) or another strength training program. Please note: When doing the cardiovascular component, employ the Talk Test Method to ensure you're not working above your fitness capacity. This means that you should be able to talk during your workout without a great deal of strain. Breathe comfortably and rhythmically throughout your workout to ensure you're working at a safe and comfortable level.

Sustained weight loss is best achieved by combining proper nutrition with regular exercise – and the best way to keep your body moving is to find an activity that's effective, motivating and fun. And that's what these workouts are all about.


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About STOTT PILATES Equipment

Q.

What is a Reformer?

A.

The Reformer is the main piece of equipment used in Pilates exercise. The Reformer glides forward & backward on rollers and uses springs for resistance, along with other attachments, for a wide variety of exercises and positions (i.e. lying down, seated and standing.)


Q.

Is STOTT PILATES equipment like the equipment I've seen for sale on TV?

A.

STOTT PILATES equipment is far more versatile and durable than that sold on TV. STOTT PILATES designs and produces top-of-the-line equipment primarily used in clubs, personal training and rehab facilities. The STOTT PILATES At Home and SPX™ Reformers are designed for people who want quality equipment for home use or for use in clubs or personal training facilities, respectively.


Q.

What are the benefits of this type of exercise equipment?

A.

STOTT PILATES exercise equipment is highly versatile. It facilitates hundreds of exercise variations, is no-impact (and therefore easy on the joints), allows for modifications for those with injuries or conditions, allows for three-dimensional movement and conditioning, and is suitable for a wide variety of clients (from rehab to pro athlete). It also facilitates balanced strength and flexibility, provides eccentric and concentric muscle contraction (resistance on the in and out moves), total musculo-skeletal conditioning (muscles and postural alignment), and facilitates core conditioning and peripheral mobility.


Q.

Why are springs used for resistance instead of weights?

A.

By using springs for resistance, STOTT PILATES equipment provides gradual resistance as your muscles contract, which ensures the muscles are being worked properly. There is greater resistance at the muscle's strongest point of contraction and less resistance on the initiation and completion of the contraction so there is less stress on tendons and ligaments.


Q.

How much resistance (in weight) do the springs supply?

A.

Initial tension is 5 lbs for the first inch of tension (for full strength springs), and then increases by approximately 1 lb per inch. Multiply the number of springs and distance traveled to get approximate tension in pounds. On a STOTT PILATES Reformer, four springs are full tension & one is half. (Most people will simply note the number of springs used per exercise).


Q.

Is this equipment good for flexibility?

A.

Yes, STOTT PILATES equipment is excellent for improving flexibility. Flexibility is a key component of total fitness that has been largely ignored by other conditioning methods.


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About Shipping & Freight

Q.

How is my order shipped within Canada and the US?

A.

Small and Midsize Items: Videos, manuals and Flex-Band® exercisers and apparel are shipped in envelopes, are sent via express post, USPS or Canada Post and should arrive in approximately two weeks. Light equipment such as the Fitness Circle* resistance ring and Arc Barrels are shipped via UPS standard service and should arrive in approximately five to ten days within North America (including continental United States).

Large Items: In North America, equipment is shipped via common courier partially assembled and securely packed. Delivered by truck to your curb, you are responsible for uncrating your equipment, bringing it inside and setting it up using our easy-to-follow assembly instructions.


Q.

How is my order shipped outside Canada and the US?

A.

Small and Midsize Items: Videos, manuals and light equipment such as the Fitness Circle* resistance ring, are shipped via UPS express service and should arrive within 8 business days.

Large Items: Our standard shipping methods are air or ocean to the nearest port unless other arrangements are made. As delivery times vary, please inquire when placing your order.


Q.

How do you calculate shipping rates?

A.

The Retail Department can help determine your total shipping charges. Please contact them directly, toll-free at 1-800-910-0001 or 416-482-4050, extension 250. You can also send an email to shippingrates@stottpilates.com.


Q.

How can I confirm shipping rates?

A.

The Retail Department can help determine your total shipping charges. Please contact them directly, toll-free at 1-800-910-0001 or 416-482-4050, extension 250. You can also send an email to shippingrates@stottpilates.com.


Q.

Will I be charged for local customs and duties?

A.

Outside of North America, and contiguous USA (Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico) you may be subject to import duties and taxes levied when a shipment reaches your country. Additional charges for customs clearance are your responsibility; STOTT PILATES has no control over these charges and cannot predict what they might be. Customs policies vary widely from country to country; we recommend you contact your local customs office for further information. Additionally, when ordering from stottpilates.com, you are considered the importer, and must comply with all laws and regulations of the country in which you are receiving the goods. Generally, customs forms for international packages will list the value of your order's contents by product type.


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About STOTT PILATES Education & Certification

Q.

How do I become a STOTT PILATES Certified Instructor?

A.

You can attend a Comprehensive or Intensive Certification course at the STOTT PILATES International Certification Center or at a Licensed Training Center. Another option is to have your club/rehab facility host on-site STOTT PILATES Training. STOTT PILATES specializes in providing quality training, not crash courses; however, training is broken down into modules to make it more practical for people and organizations. This way, students are able to begin incorporating their knowledge of STOTT PILATES exercises into their classes and practice right away.


Q.

What is the fastest way for me to become a Certified Instructor?

A.

If you have the necessary prerequisites (knowledge of functional anatomy, familiarity with the works of J.H Pilates & three years teaching experience) you may qualify for STOTT PILATES' Intensive Level 1 programs: Matwork (40hrs), Reformer (50 hrs) and Cadillac (25 hrs), Chair (15 hrs) & Barrels (10 hrs). These courses are offered at the STOTT PILATES International Certification Center or on-site at your facility, and can be scheduled to suit the needs of any organization. If you do not meet the above mentioned prerequisites, you should enroll in the comprehensive program at the STOTT PILATES International Certification Center or selected Licensed Training Centers.



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About Third Party Accreditation & the PMA exam

Q.

What is third party accreditation and how does that impact my certification?

A.

Please click here for information and answers on this topic


Download our Printable FAQs


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