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A Skeptic's Guide to Pilates

Think Pilates Isn't for You? Think Again!


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  • 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 :)
    this exercise has been the mainstay of my prevention for fibromyalgia & over worked muscle pain for a while now. Time & patience to get to where it is finally comfortable in the movements is necessary, escpecially for those who are extremely obese or un-used to stretching/exercise. But it is well worth the effort in the end results!
  • I have been taking reformer pilate classes for over a year. The benefits are amazing. When I first started, I had severe back issues. I tried physical therapy, steriod shots, a chiropractor, and nothing worked. I can now touch my nose to my knee with no back pain, and I'm 58 years old. I've lost my midriff, and have extremely firm abs. My results have been so great that my husband has started taking classes with me. I'm hooked on pilates.
  • Is not think this article is also true of yoga? I know skeptics of yoga, but believe what I read here might open their eyes. As was said, they do more extensive exercise (requiring larger ranges of exercise) before being grounded. Perhaps they would be willing to try what is said here.
  • I've been taking a Pilates class twice a week for 6.5 months, and have withessed countless benefits... I am much stronger, more flexible, more relaxed, my posture , which I thought was very good to start with, has vastly improved, and my clothes fit much better. (My double chin is almost gone!) It has shrunk my midriff , hips and tummy, and as a sufferer of Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, I have less "flares", and am less tired. The first time I took the class during a flare, it shortened my painful days by half. It definitely builds muscle. My shoulders and hips, which always felt tight, are loose and relaxed.
    2 1 hr. classes a week, along with 1/2 hour (interval training) on the elliptical machine when I have the time, and I am set. I once took a toning class when my pilates instructor was away, and the instructor told me I must be a long-time regular, as I am fit and strong- that was after 5 measly months. I am hitting 50 soon (mother of 9, and grandmother of another 9)- and am still over 30 lbs overweight, but the compliments on my "weightloss" keep rolling in!
    I see yoga poses are involved. Also at times looks like ballet. It's beautiful and harder than it looks.
  • nice article Nicole -- i'm going to re-visit my pilates DVD and try again! thanks!
    Thank you for explaining breathing, core stability and posture. I can see how this is important here and for the weight lifting and deep water resistance exercises I want to do too!
    Are you doing Pilates on a mat, or using the "Reformer" machine ? I use the "Reformer" and it is very challenging and after 60 minutes, I feel like I ran a marathon.

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