I was lucky to have my first experience with Pilates as a college undergrad. I fell hard and fast, taking classes weekly at the “Spo-co,” the Sports Complex at Stonehill College. After graduation I was fortunate to join a gym that happened to offer Pilates mat classes (for free — which seems crazy today) with an incredible Stott-trained instructor named Lisa whom I adored. Largely because she incorporated a Pilates accessory called a “magic circle” into our routines to target thighs and abs, but more honestly, because she told me I should consider teaching.
What an ego-boost, right? It’s what gets me through barre class at Boston Body Pilates (love) when my knees are shaking and I think I’m going to die. I’ve had it on my to-do list to get certified to teach for the last 7 years now, but it’s so expensive and so time-intensive, I haven’t prioritized it. So instead, I’ll try to convince YOU that you should try it, whether it’s a DVD, a matt class, a private session at a studio, or you just try a few moves on your own at home. Here are my 4 reasons why you should try Pilates:
1. Develop often neglected muscle groups.
Some of your muscles, like those that dominate your daily movements, are stronger than others, and a big part of Pilates is focusing on those muscles that don’t typically get a lot of attention.
In general, the more muscle mass you have, the less flexible you are. But Pilates’ focus on stretching helps prevent injuries and muscle strains, and increases range of motion.
3. Build Core Strength
Every Pilates exercise focuses on using your core to power movement in your limbs. Pilates also hits your transverse abdominals, the base ab muscle under your six-pack.
4. Live more consciously
Pilates forces you to pay attention-you’ve got to focus on your breath while working through each movement and concentrating on proper form. This is one similarity with yoga that tends to confuse a lot of people. After a Pilates session, you’ll feel refreshed and relaxed, which can even carry over into the next day.
Although I love, yoga, Zumba, and spinning, I think Pilates is my favorite workout because of it’s combined elements of strength and flexibility. Many of my favorite moves require intense concentration, breath control, and balance which makes for an incredibly stimulating workout that feels much more zen than say, doing some burprees or intervals on a treadmill. So I hope you’ll consider giving it a try!
What is your favorite workout? Why do you love it? Have you tried anything new lately and loved it?
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