…and, what even is, Pilates…?
There are a number of reasons why now, is a great time to do Pilates.
For many of us, we are sat at home wondering how on earth we are going to continue with our exercise regime when our favourite studio is closed. For many ,the times when we exercise are very much ingrained in our lifestyle. So, like robots, we head to the gym or the studio and do the same classes/gym routine week in, week out. On the flip side, there are many people out there who don’t really have exercise on their radar and their daily grind is taken up by long working hours, only to be completely exhausted to exercise around this. However, regardless of where you stand in these scenarios if we take a step back, we might actually realise that now is the perfect time to consider a new type of workout. Maybe, even one you were always too intimidated to try. After all, no one (except the teacher who is actively watching the screen) can really see you anyway.
Since starting my online classes, I have noticed an increase in engagement surrounding Pilates. “What is Pilates?”, “I’m a beginner, can I join in your classes.”, “I have no core strength.”, “what’s the difference between your classical and contemporary classes.” – some of many messages I receive online.
This post is to tell you that yes, absolutely come and try my classes and how now is the perfect time to start (or continue) as the case may be.
For many I feel like Pilates is that workout that’s misunderstood. I’ve had people tell me in the past they’ve tried Pilates and found it boring or they don’t get the point of it. But maybe, you just haven’t found the right teacher for you yet. So right now, you have access to literally thousands of teachers (actually probably millions!) all offering classes online… you have access to this from your front room. Get out there and just try loads of different teachers until you find one you love. Once the Pilates penny drops, I promise you, Pilates will transform your body and your current training and you will wish you added Pilates to your routine sooner.
Wherever you consider yourself on the fitness spectrum from coach potato to olympic athlete, Pilates will slot into you feeling like your goals are actually achievable.
Ok, sounds great… but what is Pilates?
In the real world (out of isolation!) there are different options to chose from: mat based Pilates and equipment based Pilates. Often people say that the equipment/apparatus (the most popular and well known being ‘The Reformer’) look like medieval torture devices. However, Pilates can be done on a mat with no equipment too, perfect for online workouts. Pilates is around 100 years old, founded by Joseph Pilates. Pilates, originally named Contrology, to capture the method’s goal of doing controlled well performed movements to increase stamina, strength, flexibility, balance and focus. There are 6 key principles in Pilates:
- Centering (engaging the core)
There are two methodologies…Contemporary Pilates and Classical Pilates.
Classical Pilates preserves the original method invented by Joseph Pilates. The traditional exercise sequence is maintained and honoured including set transitions between exercises. Progression is found by adding exercises, introducing equipment, changing breath sequences and increasing the flow/tempo. For the purists out there, this is THE way that Pilates was meant to be taught.
Contemporary Pilates is much more commonly taught these days and, in my opinion (perhaps not a popular one) it has muddied the water slightly… saying that, this was the first way I trained and I still use it today and I see clients gain great benefit from taking contemporary classes. However, here is the key… make sure your teacher at least knows about the classical work. Because again, (my opinion) but, contemporary Pilates is only Pilates if it is taught with a traditional understanding. The modern uplift is fine, but the key principles must still remain in order to be considered Pilates! So what is, Contemporary Pilates? It blends the classical repertoire of Pilates with other disciplines such as Yoga. It also uses modern fitness equipment such as: foam rollers, bands, balls, blocks and head cushions. So Contemporary Pilates is basically the taught from a very good understanding of the Classical work, but with more of a creative license to mix up the exercises and add little flows here and there…
Which style you choose is up to you, I have both on my timetable, (click here). The overall goal is the same for both: core strength, spinal flexibility and lengthening, balance, and generally improved health and wellbeing.
Sounds great! But, Can I practice Pilates at Home?
Yes, because not all Pilates involves the apparatus (reformer, wunda chair, barrels etc). A lot of Pilates benefits can be gained from doing the mat work. Again, in my opinion the mat work is actually harder (more on that on another blog post) but home Pilates is definitely achievable for everybody. However, there is a key point. If you are new to Pilates some expert instruction will be very beneficial. Of course you can follow a class on channels such as You Tube but to really get the benefit I would strongly recommend seeing a teacher (even if that is online). This can ensure you are doing it correctly, you can ask as many questions as you like and could prevent injury.
To practice at home it is advisable you have a mat as a minimum. In my home workouts I often get people using cans as small arm weights. If you get into Pilates it is also beneficial to buy a stretchy band and the magic circles are incredible pieces of kit and worth investing in.
So yes, Pilates absolutely can be practiced at home and actually for some this is the ideal scenario. It helps to build confidence and gives you a chance to trial it before showing up in person. As not everyone has the confidence to walk into a class as a complete beginner. The other benefit being, you can literally jump on the mat, do you workout and then get straight on with your day from the comfort of your home.
For my ONLINE CLASS TIMETABLE click here.
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