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A Skeptic's Guide to Pilates

Think Pilates Isn't for You? Think Again!

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  • KATHIE_B
    I've taken a weekly Pilates class for nine years now. I remember in the beginning I thought "She wants me to do WHAT?" But I got stronger and I can do the moves. My core is so much stronger now. I rarely have any back pain even after yard work. And OMG what it did for my waistline is amazing. Its just one piece of my fitness repertoire that also includes yoga, Zumba, Nia, step aerobics, free weights and, of course, walking. Mixing it up keeps it from getting boring. I really recommend at least beginning with a class rather than a video. Only an instructor can tell if you have the right form. But once you learn, you can feel it and can work on your own if you don't want to continue with the instructor.
  • Janslimtrim:
    You might try looking for a class on stottpilates.com (I too am a big fan of Stott Pilates.) On their website, they list certified instructors. You may find one near you at a more reasonable price. I pay $195 for a 6 session semi private class. My teacher (who is also my belly dance teacher) is Stott certified.
    There is a saying about pilates reformer: You'll notice a difference in 3 sessions. Others will notice a difference in 10 sessions. It has been very helpful in rehab of my knee; it has done more than 6 months of physical thereapy sessions. I'm a believer.
  • I tried a Pilates class for the first time last week...I found the class to be very challenging but the ladies in the class were very encouraging an supportive. I actually liked learning the moves and enjoyed the stability ball exercises(they took me back to my childhood days). I'm looking forward to this weeks class.
  • MRS_4EVER_AFTER
    Taking a Reformer Class will change the coach's mind. That is the hardest form of strength that I have done as it takes total body control and fluid movement. It's far different that anything out there. I think the coach tried to help, but really, it's obvious she is not a Pilates Regular nor has she worked with a good instructor. A good instructor will have you walking away with every muscle in your body sore and your body drenched in sweat.

    I don't care what she says, I've been a body builder before and Pilates does things for me that weights never did. Looking forward to my pilates class next week! I'll be sure to let my personal trainer/instructor know that pilates isn't considered "strength" and see what he thinks. Considering he looks like a God thanks to Pilates, I'm sure he'll disagree too!
  • I take a private pilates class that uses the reformer at Studio Z Pilates in Fresno. I am very overweight and using the reformer is great because I do not have to lay on the floor. I highly recommend Pilates to anyone. I have seen great improvements in my flexibility and strength. I have done all types of exercise and find Pilates to be the most effective and fun workouts I have ever done. If you have bad knees or due to your weight have trouble getting up and down off the floor find a Pilates studio near you. It is not an inexpensive class but it is well worth it when you see the difference it makes in your mind and body.
  • PS - Several of the comments below refer to different methods. I'm a big fan of Stott Pilates. Modern physiology with a focus on the proper spinal alignment that keeps us functionality fit for all other things in life. :)
  • After tearing an SI tendon, I turned to Pilates to help prevent re-injury. It's been amazing! And I grew an inch taller due to the spinal flexibility and posture benefits! Never giving it up.
  • RAMARQUARDT13
    Afer reading this article I am going to dust off my Pilates DVDs!
  • JANSLIMTRIM
    I have pilates DVDs, but always wanted to take a class. I've had difficulty finding a pilates class. Well, I discovered there was a pilates studio down the road from me. I was estatic. I checked it out and found that it's a pilates studio with the actual machines used in pilates. Unfortunately, it's almost $100 a session. So, I'm stuck with the DVDs. I can't imagine them staying in business for that price and with the way the economy is.
  • DETERMINDCHICKY
    I have alot of lower back pain. I am going to give pilates a try and see if that helps. I never would have considered had I not read this article.
  • RE2BAH
    I took a pilates course for four years before the instructor moved. I was trying to gain flexibility, and I did that, but also developed muscles. As someone who had not thought of rolling over or doing shoulder stands, etc. for about 40 years, I definitely became stronger, posture improved and I felt able to do anything. I had just found another instructor before we move. Have kept it up with dvds, but would like to find another class!
  • I will need to give Pilates another try; thanks for the encouragement!
  • GEMINI22GIRL
    "Starting as a skeptic, I became a believer, practitioner and instructor in a matter of months." Thanks "Coach" Nicole for demeaning what it means to be a true Pilates instructor. Unfortunately, in today's fitness industry, anyone can purchase a title and have very little training to back it up. By the way, Pilates was originally and still is a fantastic whole-body strengthening program and incorporates strength training in the form of body-weight exercises like push-ups, and resistance training using lighter weights, bands, and reformers. Rock on, though - do what you like and like what you do, but don't call yourself an expert when you're not.
  • I am so grateful for this article - I truly love Pilates and found that it did me so much good - particularly of course my core muscles. Like too much else I just let it go and the benefits with it. Coincidentally I heard yesterday that my lovely Pilates instructor is back in the area and combined with this great article I have the motivation to get back on track with one of the few exercise systems that I actually enjoy. Once again I have SparkPeople to thank for encouraging me back onto the strait and narrow.
  • I've never tried a Pilates class..or a video course because I'm always afraid I'll do the moves wrong & get no benefit or even WORSE hurt myself. However, after reading this article & watching the 12 minute SP video I realize that my "gentle core" instructor is utilizing Pilates-based moves. I can tell you that those deep abdominals DEFINITELY get a workout!

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