Pilates vs Dynamic reformer classes

reformer pilates classes

Pilates vs Dynamic reformer classes

Traditional Pilates vs dynamic, boot camp type reformer classes

Pilates vs boot camp type reformer classes. Which is better?
It all depends on what you’re trying to achieve. You could ask yourself: weight lifting vs. ballet? The comparison is on different sets of exercise types with two completely different approaches.

Dynamic, ‘boot camp’ style class on the reformer are not traditional Pilates exercises.

Dynamic, boot camp-style classes use the reformer to teach circuit-type conditioning exercises. Traditional Pilates reformer is based on a set of mind-body principles pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates.
The Pilates method follows a comprehensive systematic order of exercises.

The traditional pure classical Pilates method preserves the teachings of Mr Pilates pretty much the way he created them up until the day he passed.
Newer approaches, such as STOTT PILATES®, taught at Core Kensington, preserves the original Pilates exercises, but incorporates modern exercise principles.
Such method applies proven and accepted practices in biomechanics, rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement.

What’s the difference between dynamic reformer classes traditional Pilates reformer classes

The traditional Pilates repertoire is complex, choreographed and follows a methodology. It was created for athletes, dancers and gymnasts. The advanced work is the pinnacle of extreme control.

Dynamic Pilates is inspired on the traditional Pilates exercises but it’s none of the above.
Its aim is rather to give the participant a hard workout paying no attention to the  technique progression, precision, or the aspiration to master the advanced repertoire.

What to go for?

If you are looking for a technique based discipline where your goal is to progress (e.g. martial arts), a mind-body form of exercise then a classic Pilates class might be your thing.
Traditional Pilates emphasises spinal and joint mobility. Working on your deeper spinal and peripheral joint stabilisers.
It requires great body awareness, coordination, precision, grace, fluidity, concentration, control.
If you are looking for just a conditioning Pilates class that will make you sweat, working globally on superficial muscles, then you should probably try a boot camp-style dynamic class.
A dynamic class will challenge your endurance without having to think too much or learn a technique. You will love it!

How are the discrepancies possible?
Anyone can use the Pilates reformer as a piece of equipment whether they are a certified Pilates instructor or not. Anyone can put together gym circuit style exercises on the machine and create a workout.
This often occurs in studios where conditioning gym trainers are taught a set of conditioning exercises to put together a class.
Hence, this does not mean that in a boot camp style Pilates class your instructor will be a Pilates certified instructor, and therefore, attendees should not expect a traditional Pilates class.

Misconceptions busted

Often class participants claim to be ‘advanced’ in Pilates as they have been attending dynamic reformer classes extensively,  yet they are not able to recognise any traditional Pilates exercises.

Clients who not familiar with the traditional Pilates principals and who have been attending dynamic classes often lack core stability and body awareness when put in a Pilates intermediate group class.
One can only attribute this lack of technique

In recent years a significant number of these trendy so-called “ dynamic Pilates” studios have been ubiquitously emerging claiming to offer Pilates classes.
This creates a misconception among participants who believe they are learning the traditional Pilates repertoire.

What’s wrong with calling it Pilates?

Absolutely nothing. However, dubbing dynamic reformer classes “Pilates” can be misleading to the general population who may be unaware of the difference between the two.
The word Pilates is commonly associated with the original exercises and methodology pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates.
Mr Pilates created a system of exercise designed on athletes, dancers and gymnasts, and its complex exercise requires concentration, control, strength, flexibility and coordination.

Traditional Pilates exercise is widely known benefits, such as helping low back pain sufferers, being a mindful form of exercise that focuses on building a strong deep abdominal muscles.
Pilates requires great body awareness and coordination, focusing on restoring the spinal curvatures and increasing joint mobility.
Pilates is widely prescribed  for rehabilitation.
These are some of the reasons why Pilates is widely advocated by health practitioners including doctors, osteopaths, physiotherapists and fitness professionals among others.

In contrast, boot camp style Pilates reformer classes on the reformer that focus on the burn, sweat, hard-core repetitive exercises on the reformer.
Its exercises are not designed to promote the aforementioned benefits of the original Pilates method. These exercises tend to recruit larger, more superficial, global muscles, use weights, and if not careful, may cause further damage to those participants with injuries.
However, they boast to provide the participant with a boot camp, circuit-style training workout that will be endurance challenging.
The challenge being on repetitions, increase in loads in mono-planar movements.
Both disciplines have their space and are unique.

Can the name be changed?
The word Pilates is not a protected name, so anyone can use the name Pilates and claim to teach it. Some see this as devaluating for the Pilates discipline.
It can take years of training to complete the examination, certification and gain full qualification as a Pilates instructor in all the levels and in all pieces of equipment.
However, it only takes a few days to learn a few circuit conditioning exercises on the reformer.

How can I tell the difference?

If you are looking for Pilates classes and wish to find out, look up any of the Pilates exercises; ask your instructor if they have heard of it or if they will be teaching it in class.
E.g. short spine, stomach massage or the teaser).
This might give you an indication of what to expect when you book your next Pilates class.

By all means, try both styles, and make your own opinion on Pilates vs. bootcamp type reformer classes and which one suits and benefits you best. You can then make a trully informed choice.

We are located inside the Bootcamp building, sharing their premises. try both our classes and enjoy the completely different approaches to Pilates training!

Blog written by Carlo Yanez for Core Kensington LTD.

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