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Frequently Asked Questions


Developed by former professional dancer Moira Merrithew, with input from sports medicine professionals, STOTT PILATES® is a contemporary, anatomically-based approach to Joseph Pilates' original exercise method. Its exercises safely deliver optimal strength, flexibility and endurance, without adding bulk. This stress-relieving method can be performed on a mat or using dedicated STOTT PILATES® equipment.

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

Unlike the original series of exercises, STOTT PILATES® incorporates modern exercise principles, including contemporary thinking about spinal rehabilitation and performance enhancement. For example, unlike the original approach, which promotes a flat back, STOTT PILATES® exercises are designed to restore the natural curves of the spine and rebalance the muscles around the joints. They also place more emphasis on scapular stabilization. As well, there are more preparatory exercises and modifications to make the method safer and more effective.

What are the benefits of STOTT PILATES®?

The benefits of STOTT PILATES® are:
  1. longer, leaner muscles (less bulk, more freedom of movement)
  2. improves postural problems
  3. increases core stability/strength and peripheral mobility
  4. helps prevent injury
  5. enhances functional fitness, ease of movement
  6. balances strength and flexibility
  7. heightens body awareness
  8. no-impact - easy on the joints
  9. can be customized to suit everyone from rehab patients to athletes
  10. compliments other methods of exercise
  11. can improve performance in sports
  12. improves balance, coordination and circulation

What are the principles behind STOTT PILATES®?

STOTT PILATES® improves core strength and balances the muscles around the joints, improving the way your body functions, looks and feels. It focuses specifically on:
  • Breathing
  • Pelvic Placement
  • Ribcage Placement
  • Scapular Movement
  • Head and Cervical Spine Placement

STOTT PILATES® like yoga?

In some respects pilates conditioning is like yoga. Both are considered mind-body type methods of movement; both emphasize deep breathing and smooth, long movements that encourage your muscles to relax and lengthen. The difference is that while yoga requires moving from one static posture to the next without repetitions, pilates flows through a series of movements that are more dynamic, systematic and anatomically based. The goal with STOTT PILATES® exercises is to achieve optimal functional fitness.

What kind of results can I expect?

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

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

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 things 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.

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

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.

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

Mat-based workouts are very convenient and they can be done anywhere. However, a mat workout will provide no added resistance. A Reformer workout will add resistance to your routine and can correct muscular imbalances better than a mat routine would.

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

STOTT PILATES is a musculo-skeletal conditioning program. In combination with some kind of cardiovascular exercise (walking, running, aerobics, aqua fitness, etc.), it's all you need. For people who reach advanced levels, they can actually elevate their heart rate with STOTT PILATES Power workouts.

How is STOTT PILATES different or better than weight training or other resistance exercise?

Main differences are:
  • 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 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 leads to an improvement in posture and body awareness

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