I hope this isn't too simple a question, but what is Pilates and what does it involve? I've heard conflicting information in regards to it including such things as it can be dangerous and it is similar to yoga.
I've also read that not all instructors that offer it are properly trained to do so. It was a new fad exercise taken up by a lot of celebrities... I really don't know much more about it, and was wondering if it is worth pursuing. Thanks.


So, if Pilates only works on

So, if Pilates only works on one area of the body, does that mean that it should be practiced along with other types of exercises as well and not exclusively, such as combined with weight training, circuit training, etc.?

Sorry, I've not explained

Sorry, I've not explained myself clearly enough. It does work all parts of the body, but does so by building a strong core and working from there.

As for combining it with other exercises, that all depends on what your goals are. For general well being and maintenace, pilates is a very good choice. To reduce body fat levels there are more effective ways of doing so. For most people, exercise should incorporate at least 3 bouts of moderate to intense exercise and 2 light ones per week. This could be:
Monday - Pilates (moderate)
Tuesday - 45 minute walk (light)
Wedensday - Rest
Thursday - Circuits (intense)
Friday - 45 minute walk (light)
Saturday - Game of football (intense)
Sunday - rest

Pilates is based on building

Pilates is based on building core(midsection) strength through controlled movements that focus the mind on the muscle . It uses various pieces of kit to do this, some more complex than others.

As for whether or not it is a worthwhile pursuit, that all depends on your personal goals. If it is simply weight loss you're after, I'd say there are more effective ways of doing this, circuits, boxercise etc. If you are looking to develop your overall core strength for long term benefits then it is definitely worth a try.

You are always entitled to ask an instuctor what their qualifications are, how long they've been practicing and anything else you want to know. As with anything in life, such as weight training, if it's not done properly there could be risks so do seek a good instructor.