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A Skeptic's Guide to Pilates

Think Pilates Isn't for You? Think Again!


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  • 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.
    Afer reading this article I am going to dust off my Pilates DVDs!
    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.
    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!
    "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!
  • Pilates is rather deceptive. It looks so much easier than it is. If you do it right, you will feel it.
  • I'm interested in Pilates; I can see how it would be great for core strength and flexibility. But I can't do the exercises. Many of them involve using parts of my body that have been injured to the point where any pressure is painful. I'm hoping that as I lose weight and become more fit, my pain will decrease and I'll be able to try them.

    I was surprised to see people say that Pilates helped their Fibromyalgia. I do a stretching regimen that can help but thought the Pilates would be too strenuous and cause more problems that it helped.
  • When I started pilates, I could barely walk. I was introduced to this method by my physical therapist. It has become a way of life for me. According to my instructor, while traditional pilates does not offer aerobic or weight training benefits, there are modifications that do.
  • I actually think if you choose the right pilates method, it can be harder than regular strength training. I was a skeptic too. I have three pilates dvds, one is traditional pilates, it didn't do much but the other two are definitely great substitutes for strength training exercises (they are a bit modified version of pilates, they require light handweights). I lost a lot of inches in a month, I see a lot of definition, especially in my abs, so I don't think I will be going back to the crunches anytime soon :)

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