I’d say I am still relatively new to the wonderful burn of Pilates.
I properly opened my eyes to the Pilates world during my second pregnancy. I need a low impact exercise option and after doing a short course in mat base Pilates and feeling how hard some of the basics could be I decided to give it a go. I did a free week trial via an online platform and tested out a few of the different class options.
I was frustrated. How could some of the simplest body weighted movements be so unbelievably challenging?? My fitness background was mainly lifting weights. I’m strong & I craved that deep sweaty feeling of a fast-paced circuit session but suddenly I was lying on my side doing leg lifts and the burn in my glutes was from another world.
I was hooked.
I’ve now been doing Pilates several times a week for the better part of a year. It got me through the back end of my second pregnancy and here I am 7 months post-partum and still going strong.
Why do I see so much value in Pilates??
Firstly, it’s LOW IMPACT which makes it a great choice of exercise for many clients that we see come into our physio clinic. These people have come to us usually with an injury of some kind and often modifications need to be made to their usual training regime. Pilates is generally a really great training tool that allows us to target certain weaker muscles that may be contributing to the underlying cause of ones injury without further aggravating the problem. Many, like me, are very surprised at how challenging some of the exercises can be.
Pilates gets down deep to the core (literally). Yep, that's right Pilates in all of its forms (and when done correctly) can awaken these very important muscles that can often be a little on the lazy side. These muscle in the back, abdomen and pelvic floor are our deepest support layer and when they work well, they create a strong foundation for the rest of the body to move efficiently.
If you are unable to tap into this support system the larger muscles kick in to work double time. This can lead to inefficient dysfunctional movement patterns and ultimately a higher risk of injury.
This is one thing I absolutely love about Pilates is that it builds us from the inside out. Each series of exercises focuses on small repetitious movements that requires all the little muscles to get working. The burn (especially in the booty) is like no other.
Pilates can help your posture. Lots of people want to know the secret to better posture. Posture is a behavioural habit and unfortunately there isn’t a quick fix. It requires a behavioural shift. I think Pilates can help this process thanks to a heap of great exercises that encourage drawing the shoulders back and down as well as activation of the core (remember that deep support system) which together can contribute to improved postural alignment.
There are so many forms of Pilates and different equipment that can be added into each class. Whether its reformer or mat based; using ankle weights, the magic circle, resistance bands or equipment free there is an option for every one of every skill level.
Get ready to feel the Pilates burn!