Pilates, it always struck me as the exercise of the affluent, Betty Homemaker type. Alexxis deadlifts with weights, she doesn’t do baby low-impact movements.
HA, puny small mind!!
About 100 years ago, Joe Pilates developed an exercise program, and the necessary equipment, focusing on breathing, strengthening core muscles, and aligning the spine. Today most studios offer either Mat or Reformer Pilates classes utilizing a cushioned floor mat and/or a spring and pulley tower system. It sounds foreign and looks foreign, but it’s a simple push-pull-gravity workout.
It’s science, baby!!
When I got back from disability, the first place I looked up was Power Pilates in New York. I had gone before, and the coaches made me feel like a pro, so of course, I had to go back. I finally mustered up the courage and scheduled a beginners mat class. The next morning, Meaghan walked us through exercises that audibly seem typical of any core workout. However, upon execution, I realized I was in for a ride!
The class consists of simple active exercises like the hundred or the teaser that target your lower abs, hips, inner thigh, and back, almost non-stop for 45 minutes. The exercise sequence builds core strength and spinal flexibility while enhancing posture and body alignment. Of course, you have the constant engagement of the abdominal muscles and the focused intention of connecting your breath with your movements, but there is a small often overlooked benefit:
When I say, muscles I didn’t know I had…..
I left the loft studio with sweat dripping like I had run a 5K. I can honestly say I underestimated the power of pilates…hahaha pun. I did enjoy the class so much that I purchased a pilates bar and circle to practice with at home. I am not giving up on the gym yet, but adding a few pilates classes a month will make it exciting. Who knows, maybe I’ll try a tower class by the end of January!!