Ok, so I confess, I worked at a Pilates studio for almost a year and a half teaching TRX class and had NO IDEA what Pilates was. I went out of town to visit my sister in law and she literally drug me to my first Pilates Reformer class. One hour later, I was hooked! I then spent the next year getting my certification in STOTT Pilates which is one type of Pilates and what I personally feel is the most thorough training available.
If you know me, or are getting to know me, or even have no idea about me, I love anything that involves fitness, friends and FUN! I want to have have good time getting in and staying in shape, add a few laughs here and there, and feel like we all accomplish something pretty amazing when we are done working out. I think that cardio is a necessity, strength is an important component in lifelong health, and Pilates is the icing on the cake. The next few blogs I write, I am going to break down a few misconceptions about Pilates and give you some idea what you can expect in the two types of Pilates classes offered at AYB.
So here we go… What IS Pilates?
Pilates was developed by a wise man named Joseph Pilates and it was designed to incorporate five basic principles: breathing, pelvic placement, rib cage placement, scapular movement and stabilization and head and cervical placement. Sounds like a whole lot of mumbo jumbo, but the idea was that if you could incorporate these 5 things into every Pilates workout, then it would be an ideal workout for most, if not all body types, including dancers, pro athletes, everyday people and even clients with major health issues.
Pilates exercises develop a strong core while working to have proper balance of opposing muscles. For example, if you have hip flexors that are shortened and tight, (and you know when you do), your hamstrings are more than likely elongated and strong. Pilates exercises work to get your opposing muscles to balance each other out so that injury doesn’t occur and balance can be restored. The two types of Pilates offered at AYB are Mat Pilates and Reformer Pilates. A little overview of each:
Mat Pilates is done on, you guessed it, a mat with several different “toys” that are used including stability balls, weighted balls, fitness circles, plyo balls, bands, and anything else we can think of to make it a fun and engaging workout. The focus is on your core and it is a non cardio workout, although you will sweat and may feel like you just accomplished something awesome by making it through the class. It isn’t a recovery workout, but it IS a great addition to your weekly workouts that you come to on a regular basis at the gym. It will improve your core stability and make you want to ask if anyone wants to feel your abs after a couple of weeks! It enhances cardio and strength workouts and is offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the gym.
The other type is Reformer Pilates. This type of Pilates involves a carriage, springs, a footbar, and a tower and an amazing amount of fun. I will cover more about this next time, but come into the services side of AYB and take a look at the two reformer machines we have available. I am willing to show you the “ropes” on these and would love to give anyone a trial run that wants to try it for the first time.
Just contact me or Carrie Coleman and we can schedule at time. More about Reformer Pilates in my next blog. Can I just say it’s a whole lot of fun and a privilege to be a part of the growing community of AYB. You all are some exceptional people, athletes and good humans (as Alex would say). Hope to see you in class!