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What's the difference between Classical and Contemporary Pilates?

For some people, especially ballet dancers this makes the method feel natural since the posture they typically develop over years of practicing fits well with the exercise routine taught in Classical Pilates classes.

Strictly taught Classical Pilates classes follow a set routine that is intended to be followed perfectly by students and this routine does not change over time since no new routines were left by Pilates during his lifetime.


Modern or Contemporary Pilates is used to describe any Pilates method that does not strictly follow the original teachings of Joseph Pilates as taught to ballet dancers.

Methods such as Pilates Academy International use modifications and changes to the original exercises to allow a gradual progression of exercises according to a client's ability. This makes the class more beneficial to clients who want to build up their ability over time and also allows Pilates to be used by clients with conditions such as back pain or scoliosis. Modified Pilates is especially good for pregnant women who need special consideration because of the physiological changes during pregnancy.

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