April Exercise of the Month: Pilates

Friday, April 11, 2014

This might seem like a bit out of order to go from yoga to barre to pilates- but I rather like the order of this so far. I feel that trying barre first has given me a bit of appreciation for how hard pilates can actually be. That and the fact that the first exercise thoroughly whipped my butt. Like last month- I am going to share my thoughts for each week and then at the end give me overall take of this kind of exercise. Without further ado- here are my thoughts.

Week1 Thoughts

I am taking a bit of a different approach to pilates than I did with Barre. I feel that part of the success with yoga was making it a daily part of my life for the better part of a month- so I have decided that Pilates will be daily and that I will do it as my morning workout. I am realistic that if I do not do these workouts in the morning, that I am not likely to get around to them. Partially this is because of my schedule and partially this is because I feel that I get the most out of these workouts when I do them first thing in the morning.

As for how I feel about the workouts so far- it depends on the workout. Some of the beginner workouts have been really informative and have helped me get a good base. Others workouts have left me wondering if I should have even tried them in the first place. This is also one of the first types of workouts that I have run across where I have seen videos with a good amount of equipment. I wanted to attempt one workout earlier this week, but was unable to because I do not have the equipment needed. I may buy the equipment in the future, but unless I see it as more of a permanent investment, I do not see that happening.

Week1 Workouts

POP Pilates for Beginners- Total Body Workout by blogilates- Do not let the title fool you, this may be a beginner workout, but the muscle strength needed is intense. I did like starting with this workout as I feel that it gave me a good base on what to expect from pilates.

POP Pilates: Muffin Top Meltdown by blogilates- Fairly certain this exercise would not have been as bad if I had not done the beginner workout the day before. I felt the burn! I also felt some pain on the sides of my hips from having to lay on my side for most of the exercises. I tried to add extra cushioning (in the form of some folded clothes)- but that did not really help. It might just be me- but if you have hip sensitivity when you lay on it for a long time, this may not be for you.

Total Body Toning for Beginners- Pilates Bootcamp with Cassey Ho by LivestrongWoman- If you have taken a look at any of the POP Pilates workouts- you will recognize the instructor Cassey Ho. Besides her own blogilates channel- she also has workouts on LivestrongWoman and BeFit. Again this is another great beginner workout that I found from her. I feel that it is a bit less intense than the other beginners workout, but I also feel that I am going to be sore from this one as opposed to the other. I would classify this workout as a true beginner and really enjoyed it for that aspect.

Bikini Body Pilates- 27 Minutes Abs, Butt and Thighs Pilates Workouts by FitnessBlender- This is the first workout I tried that was not instructed by Cassey Ho (AKA blogilates) and I enjoyed it as well. It was definitely different from the way that Cassey does pilates, but I enjoyed a different perspective on how pilates should be done. I definitely felt the focus on each area of my body and I liked that I was reminded to continually pull in my abs and keep my back flat (I need those reminders). Overall- I’d say this is a good beginner workout, with the option to make it more difficult for the more advanced students.

Pilates Essential, FULL 30 Minutes exercise video by eFit30- This is the first workout that I ended going ‘hmmmm’. Not sure if it was the constant flip flopping and moving around that made me feel that way or the overall workout. I felt that I got a good bit of work in, but I also did not feel the isolated intensity in each muscle group that I felt in the other workouts. Again, it may be personal preference, but this has not been my favorite so far.

BeFit Bikini Body Pilates: Lean Legs Workout- Cassey Ho by BeFit- Owwww!!! It is definitely a good kind of hurt, but this is definitely killer for the legs. Not going to say I loved it (because I’m still hurting), but I will say that the video definitely focuses on the areas that it claims and you will feel it.

Week 2 Thoughts

I don’t know if it is just the fact that it is week two- but some of the workouts are getting easier. Then every once in awhile- one come out of left field and leaves me wondering why in the world I’d do this to myself. One thing that I have noticed about most pilates workouts is that they focus on one area of the body and do not actually do whole body workouts. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it something worth noticing. If you are looking for whole body workouts, it might be a little more difficult to find, but I have seen a few out there.

As for results- well, I am certainly feeling it during the workouts, but so far I have not had a next day regret for most of the workouts. To some- that may sound like no work is being done, to me- it feels like work is being done, but it is also getting worked out throughout the day and I do not wind up feeling like I need days off to recover.

Week 2 Workouts

Thigh Slimming, Inner Thigh, Pilates: Full Length Leg Slimming Routine No Squats or Lunges by jessicasmithtv- for as long as the title of that workout video is- it is actually quite simple. I felt it, but I was still able to walk, which is definitely something I want when it comes to these types of workouts. No walking afterwards = no bueno and little motivation for me to continue.

Denise Austin: Power Pilates Workout by BeFit- Comparatively speaking, Cassey Ho is so much less annoying than Denise Austin. If you love her, that’s fine- but the kind of encouragement I got from this video just made me want to finish faster and make snarky comments at the television. She did not really do a good job of adding in modifications and that is something that I feel like should be offered for each of the exercises. Really was not a huge fan of this particular workout.

POP Pilates: Butt Blaster (25 Minutes) by blogilates- Owwww! It’s another one that has left me with a tinge of soreness at the end of the workout. Results to come tomorrow if the promised ‘not being able to sit down’ actually happens or not (really- I’m hoping that I’ll be fine)- however, I can believe that it would be uncomfortable for a day or two after this workout. I did like this workout, so I do plan to go back to it. Update: you’ll definitely be sore the next day, but it is worth it.

Bikini Body Pilates: Lean Arms Workout- Cassey Ho by BeFit- Short twelve minute workout, but it really does focus on your arms. Doing this workout the day after the killer butt workout was probably not advised, but I still got a good bit out of it. It all depends on your fitness level, but many of these workouts will go as far as you are willing to push yourself (like just about anything when it comes to working out). So I may have traded buns of steel for toned arms this week, but that can be taken care of next week.

Pilates Abs and Obliques- 26 Minutes Fitness Blender Online Pilates Class by FitnessBlender- Another awesome FitnessBlender workout. I really enjoy their approach to workouts and the way that they format them. I also like the fact that I am almost certainly going to feel my abs in the morning- you know, the good kind of sore. Again, they are one of my favorite workout sites that I have found and I have really enjoyed them.

Overall Thoughts

For anyone who might be flipping out- yes, I only did two weeks of pilates, but I have my reasons. I plan on starting a T25 challenge tomorrow (Saturday) and felt that it was better to give this feedback than to give no feedback on what I did for the first two weeks. I have a few challenges lined up and will be doing those over the next few months.

As for pilates- I have thoroughly enjoyed it and I feel like there are results to be taken from this kind of workout, far more than barre. I think, more importantly, that these workouts fit into my lifestyle better than barre- which does need an increased amount of time for results and I just do not have a ton of free time lying around waiting to be used. The longest pilates workout I did was 30 minutes, but it was worth every minute. If I learned anything here, it is that finding something that fits into my time frame makes it exponentially more likely that I will come back to it day after day. So- for the half month of pilates, those are my thoughts. Don’t be surprised if I come back to it again after my challenge series to finish up with two more weeks (or maybe a full month) of pilates workouts.

As I’ve alluded to- I’ll be doing something different for the Exercise of the Month series over the next few months, but that is no reason to not give your feedback about what you think I should do after the challenges are over. If you’ve got a suggestion- feel free to post below. Until next month- have a good one!

For the full hyperlinked version- take a look at my blog here: healingsoulwritingcafe.w
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