If there is one great workout fit for anybody age 18 to 80, it must be Pilates! No matter what your fit goals are, whether it’s exercising for the sake of staying fit and flexible or to strengthen and sculpt your body, Pilates promises to get you there.
I tried a class of Pilates while studying abroad ages ago, just when it was getting more attention again and I thought it was just soooo boring. All we did were these slow stretches which didn’t make me feel I was working out and I got way more satisfaction out of yoga. Little did I know that there was a whole lot more to Pilates than that class and it all depends on the type of Pilates you prefer and it definitely depends on how well your instructor is trained.
A while ago I was suffering from a minor knee injury and decided to follow Pilates classes at the gym instead of doing my normal runs, and wow did that change my view of Pilates! There are a multitude of exercises for every muscle group and we were targeting muscles I had never felt before. My class focuses on mat work, with the addition of dumbbells, a stability ball and Dyna band. If you are into strength training, but not into pushing/pulling/lifting weights, Pilates might be a good option for you. Since the method focuses on core stability aka the “Powerhouse”, it can help you if you are among the many that suffer from (lower) back pain.
It’s not hard to believe why so many celebs and professional dancers add this to their workout regime. Joseph Pilates, the founder, developed the Pilates method especially for dancers, focusing on lengthening and strengthening the body, giving dancers a lean, but athletic physique. I’m telling you, I always feel the workout a day after, with slightly sore muscles, but in a way that your body tells you, you actually made an effort. In my opinion, it’s a great addition to my combination of cardio and strength. And if you look at a dancer’s body, isn’t that how we all want to look like? Lean and strong!