Standing Pilates Exercises and Certification

woman doing pilates with trainer

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Marta Hernandez is a teacher trainer for The Method Pilates, the Pilates teacher certification program of the Institute. She is also the founder of The Space Pilates studio in Vancouver, BC. Here, Marta provides an introduction to the basics of standing Pilates.

What Is Standing Pilates?

Standing Pilates adapts many of the classic Pilates mat work exercises to take them into the vertical plane. One of the first things Marta pointed out about standing Pilates is that it provides a link between the Pilates mat work and everyday movement—an enhancement of the Pilates functional fitness approach to exercise.

Benefits of Standing Pilates

Doing Pilates exercises while standing adds the challenge of keeping one's balance as various moves shift weight and body placement over one or both legs. It also teaches the body/mind to re-pattern movement habits toward better alignment and efficiency; this is then reflected in performing daily tasks with greater ease.

Learning to keep a neutral spine while standing, walking, or bending is an example of taking Pilates alignment training into everyday life.

The muscles of the pelvic floor play a key role in maintaining balance, so anyone who needs to strengthen and stabilize that area (basically all of us) will benefit from standing Pilates. Those with pelvic floor integrity issues, such as people experiencing incontinence or postpartum moms, will be especially interested. Marta suggests that other populations for whom standing Pilates is well-suited include those who need to develop their balance or counter the loss of it, such as seniors and people with Parkinson's disease.

An interesting potential benefit of standing Pilates that Marta pointed out is that standing on one leg creates a greater weight-bearing challenge for the hip and leg bones of the standing side of the body, thereby increasing the bone-building potential for those seeking to prevent osteoporosis.

Not only does standing Pilates help people transition off the mat and into daily movement, but it also works the other way around. Marta says that many people who have difficulty with the mat exercises, those who are less flexible or have trouble getting up and down, use standing Pilates as a transition to the mat.

Learn Standing Pilates

Joan Breibart, the founder of the PhysicalMind Institute, developed standing Pilates. It is a standard part of PhysicalMinds' The Method Pilates teacher training, so finding a Pilates instructor certified in The Method is a sure way to get standing Pilates training. Other Pilates instructors may have the standing Pilates training as well, so look around.

In addition, Joan Breibart wrote a book, Standing Pilates: Strengthen and Tone Your Body Wherever You Are, which is widely available. There is also a DVD called Standing Pilates from the PhysicalMind Institute. This DVD is a fairly advanced set of standing Pilates exercises that seem to be directed toward instructors and people who already know Pilates. There is also another standing Pilates DVD, unrelated to PhysicalMind, called The Method - Standing Pilates Blend.

Teach Standing Pilates

As mentioned, standing Pilates training is part of The Method Pilates teacher program through The PhysicalMind Institute. It is also available as an individual module for those who already have at their Pilates mat instructor certification.

By Marguerite Ogle MS, RYT
Marguerite Ogle is a freelance writer and experienced natural wellness and life coach, who has been teaching Pilates for more than 35 years.