Frequently Asked Questions

I have always wanted to try Pilates. How can I get started as soon as possible?

Our studio offers by request, private instruction to all levels of practioners. To get the best "first time exposure," We recommend you try one private session with one of our highly trained instructors. You may then decide to continue with the individualized private training or may wish to join one of our "Intro to the Reformer" group classes.

Please contact us to schedule your first session!

Can someone with a bad back or neck do Pilates?

Most often the answer would be YES, depending on the severity and elapsed time since the injury. We will ask for a Dr.'s or PT.'s report on your individual condition. If your situation is in considerable need of caution, we will require you to proceed with private instruction. This ensures we can select exercises appropriate for you and your unique needs. After your strength and stability have improved, you may consider entering a semi-private group environment.

Why is Pilates so popular?

There are many reasons for this... some of the most well known observations are the apparent changes in a student's posture, core strength and muscle tone. Pilates works when it is performed under a highly trained instructor who knows how to precisely cue and correct the student's form and execution of the exercises. The low volume of repetition works because of the intensity, precision and control of each exercise in the program.

What can I expect on my first session at Smart Body Pilates?

After being greeted by one of our instructors, you will be asked to fill out a health-related questionnaire. Your instructor will review and discuss any concerns you may have. It is customary to spend a few minutes learning some Pilates Mat principles that will help you connect to the breathing and postural positions we use in Pilates. Your instructor may choose to spend up to 15 minutes on these principles prior to introducing you to the apparatus. The workout will proceed according to your needs. If you are coming to an Intro level group class, everyone will be starting the workout on the reformer from the onset of class.

*We recommend wearing fitness based clothing. Form fitting attire is preferred over loose, heavy baggy attire. Loose shorts need to have undergarments worn. Long hair needs to be pulled back as it can easily get stuck in the machines.

Shoes are not used in the studio environment.

Will Pilates help in my weight loss efforts?

Pilates is a great form of resistance based exercise. It does not sufficiently elevate the heart rate for a long enough time period to be considered cardiovascular exercise. Many clients do report a slimmer, more toned body and a definite decrease in waist size. When Pilates is combined with a regular cardiovascular routine, controlled eating practices and consistency, weight loss can be very apparent.

I am not very coordinated and am worried I will not be able to correctly do the workout.

We understand every individual comes in with a certain bias toward movement capabilities. It is our goal to make you feel as comfortable as possible with the learning process. Pilates technique, just like learning to play a new sport requires, patience, commitment and an outstanding instructor. We will move as slow or rapidly as needed. However, form sacrificed for mindless, fast paced repetitions should never be the intent of good Pilates work.


I can take Pilates classes for no additional charge at my gym. What is the difference?

The classes in reference are Mat based Pilates classes. There is no apparatus used. Mat classes are a fabulous workout with the main focus on the core. The downside of a "gym based" class is the level of instruction you will receive and the level of the class intensity. A large class is not conducive to learning a very form specific program. This type of class work will not be customized to an individual's needs. The level of instructor expertise in a gym is typically not as high as it is in a Pilates studio setting.

Does Smart Body offer on line registration as I see some other studio do?

We currently offer some of our specialty classes for online registration. Assuring the class you sign up for is appropriate for you is paramount to us. Your experience would not be optimal should you show up to an intermediate class and two brand new to Pilates students also decided to sign up for that same class.

We wish to have a personal contact via e-mail or phone conversation to give you personalized information and answer any questions you may have.

The exceptions you will see to online registration are for our "Intro to the Reformer Classes," our advanced level only Exo Chair workouts and TRX/Orbiting Classes. These classes run in set 6 or 8 weeks sessions.

You may register online and have the option to pay via Visa, MasterCard or may drop by your payment to the studio.

*All classes require a three person minimum. Any pre-payment of classes that do not meet the registrant minimum will be promptly refunded or can be transferred to another service option.
We will notify you within two days of session start date.

How many times per week should I do Pilates?

If you plan on Pilates being your main form of exercise we recommend 2-3x per week to see optimum results. Regular and frequent practice will yield faster results and the learning curve speeds up!
We have many students who consider Pilates a supplemental form of exercise to their current regimen and therefore come on average 1-2x per week.
If you come only once per week and you do not participate in any other form of regular exercise your changes will be very moderate. That being said, you will find your Pilates workout beneficial in relieving stress, and making your body and mind uplifted! Even minimal exposure weekly will allow you to gain this benefit!

Are private lessons important?

Privates are always the best case scenario as you will learn the fastest and get the most customized program possible. It is an investment in you!

You have the opportunity to ask more questions and gain more individual knowledge about your body's postural habits and areas in need of improvement.

I want to maximize my results. Do I need to do 2-3 private sessions a week?

We suggest you do a mixture of class types, private, semi and/or group classes. The energy and feel of each session size differs yet they all bring the fabulous workout Pilates is famous for.

What can Pilates do for a fit or athletic person?

Pilates has such a large repertoire of exercises and levels that any sport enthusiast or high leveled fitness individual can be challenged. The fundamentals of Pilates are taught initially as well sports specific exercise. Intensity is easy to vary in Pilates. The control, focus and range of motion you will be realizing is outstanding!

Can someone with a total knee of total hip replacement do Pilates?

In most cases the answer is YES! Many Physical therapists and Orthopedic Surgeons believe Pilates is one of the best ways to regain strength after having this type of surgery. Read Aimee's account of her own Hip resurfacing surgery.

Ok, can you give me a few sport-specific examples?

Runners: Typically, runners have tight leg muscles and are looking to improve their time and smoothness of stride. Pilates work addresses both of these issues by offering controlled range of motion movements that help improve flexibility over time. The cross training benefit is very beneficial as running is a very repetitive movement on the body. Pilates is non-impact.

Golfers: Need a high degree of trunk rotation combined with core strength to yield a powerful drive. Efficient trunk rotation and back strength are two of Pilates finest contributions. A typical workout for a golfer will include a higher selection of these types of exercise.

Dancers: Improving a dancer's strength around their joints is a great approach in Pilates work. Many dancers are hyper flexible but may not have the joint and muscle integrity to support the extreme demands in position placed on the body.

Cyclists: The forward flexed body position of cyclist puts a significant demand on the muscles of the low back. The shoulders are stretched forward and the hip abductors are chronically tight from the long time spent in the saddle. Pilates work should feature exercises that help to extend the cyclists back, open the shoulder girdle and stretch the hip muscles. This won't at all alter the ability of the cyclist to "assume" their well practiced riding position, but it will help alleviate chronic muscle pain and tension.

Tennis Players: Power in the stroke is king! A ground stroke that rips through the air should be driven by a strong core. With Pilates work need we say more?

Swimmers: Shoulder issues often arise in the competitive swimmer. This is based on the hyper mobility of the shoulder girdle in the typical swimmer. Certain Pilates exercises can be incorporated to strengthen and correct faulty shoulder mechanics.
10 Reasons to Do Pilates
“Get to Know Joe”
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Pilates has made all the difference in the world in helping me be a successful masters athlete in softball and racquetball at the national level. I'm a 63 year old woman and has successfully recovered from a hip resurface one year ago! I have worked with Aimee Levesque over seven years and extensively during the recovery phase of my hip.  Pilates means core strength and endurance which translates into torque, power, and flexibility in sports. Smart Body Pilates Studio is state of the art and Aimee is a superb instructor and trainer. I look forward to continuing Pilates with Aimee for many sports years to come!

Dee, 63 years old

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