Fit Tuesday: Pilates

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Did that last picture surprise you? ;)

Today I experienced my first mat pilates class offered at my gym I attend. I opted to try the intermediate level class because I felt that my dance history would help me with catching on to the exercises more quickly and easily, and because the class was at the time I wanted to work out :). For those unfamiliar with the Pilates method, here is a brief summary from Wikipedia:

Pilates is a body conditioning routine that may help build flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance in the legs, abdominals, arms, hips, and back. It puts emphasis on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing, and developing a strong core or center, and improving coordination and balance. Pilates' system allows for different exercises to be modified in range of difficulty from beginning to advanced. Intensity can be increased over time as the body conditions and adapts to the exercises.

Despite of my dance background, I was most definitely a "n00b" when it came to the class. First, I brought my own yoga mat only to find that pilates mats and yoga mats are different...and that the class provided us with mats to use. We were advised to do some stretches and warm-ups before the class began to be ready to go. I immediately began doing stretches like touch your toes, stretch the quads and calves, typical runner stretches. When I looked around after a few minutes of stretching, literally everyone was lying longways on their rollers on their backs just breathing. I had never even seen foam rollers be used that way before! Once the class started up however, it became clear to me why this stretch would be beneficial. Pilates is all about developing control of your movements with your core being the foundation. With every exercise we did, engaging your core with a supportive back was key to getting the technique just right. Many of the movements were quite small, but I was trembling! I think with practice it would become easier and more natural, after getting the breathing technique and pattern down pat, which I had some trouble focusing on while also focusing on the movements.

Initially after the class I kind of thought to myself, "That was it?" I didn't really even break a sweat!" However, when I made it home I noticed my abs and my back feeling fatigued and sore as I moved about and did my thing. I'm just so used to the idea that in order for something to be a "good workout" I have to end being drenched in sweat and in need of a shovel to peel me off the floor. This is just what I need right now though since my knee/leg is injured and can't take a beating. Plus, the more I sit here typing I feel my abs becoming more sore and tired, the more I'm buying into Pilates. I'll definitely be trying this class out again!

1 comment:

  1. I did pilates for the first time yesterday! Pretty fabulous!!!

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