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Classical vs Contemporary Pilates – What are the key Differences?

Classical Pilates and contemporary Pilates are two different approaches to the same exercise system created by Joseph Pilates. Here are some of the key differences between the two:

  1. History: Classical Pilates adheres strictly to the original exercises and principles created by Joseph Pilates, while contemporary Pilates has evolved over time to incorporate new research and knowledge about the body.

  2. Focus: Classical Pilates focuses on the whole body, including the mind-body connection, while contemporary Pilates places more emphasis on specific muscle groups and their function.

  3. Equipment: Classical Pilates utilizes the traditional equipment designed by Joseph Pilates, such as the Reformer, Cadillac, and Wunda Chair, while contemporary Pilates may use variations of the original equipment or other equipment altogether, such as the Stability Ball, TRX, or Pilates Ring.

  4. Repetitions: Classical Pilates typically involves a higher number of repetitions, with a focus on precision and control, while contemporary Pilates may involve fewer repetitions and more variation in movement.

  5. Breath: Classical Pilates emphasizes the importance of breath, with specific instructions for inhaling and exhaling during each exercise, while contemporary Pilates may place less emphasis on breath or offer variations in breathing techniques.

  6. Modifications: Contemporary Pilates often offers modifications or variations to exercises to accommodate different bodies, injuries, or fitness levels, while classical Pilates typically adheres strictly to the original exercises without modification.

Both classical and contemporary Pilates have benefits and can be effective forms of exercise. The choice between the two depends on personal preference, fitness goals, and individual needs.