I swallowed an honesty pill today and can’t help but share my true feelings about Pilates.
Is it really worth your time and money?
In the past years, Yoga has become a synonym for Mind/Body fitness, Barre classes have become the gold ticket among millennials looking for a ballerina body, Crossfit has created a die-hard community like no other and HIIT has been getting all the praise from researchers and doctors.
But where does Pilates fit on this list?
Is it just an over-priced and over-the-hill fitness fad of the past?
After being a passionate Pilates advocate for many years I came to the point of rudeness and love. I am honestly so tired of telling clients it is not like yoga, the Classical vs Contemporary rivalry for Pilates teachers and the fear in the fitness industry there are not enough clients for everyone.
My love affair with Pilates started before I even knew what Pilates was. Back when I was living in Pittsburgh I took a really bad class from a dreadful teacher. Honestly, there were very few similarities between classical Pilates mat work and what we were doing in class. But it was fun, it was different and definitely effective. I started researching every morsel of information that I could find online about Pilates.
Fast forward several years, I just gave birth to my first daughter and was facing a huge issue get back to my “pilates” body. After being a fitness junkie for over 10 years I could not get my body to the circus tricks I demand of it! I discovered that my precious girl stretched my linea alba so much that I had DRA (Diastasis Recti Abdominis) a small separation. That’s when my Pilates love really kicked in. I knew that if there had been one workout that could help me regain core strength, Pilates would have been it.
Fast forward a couple more years, and there I was in the hospital with a rare neurological condition called Guillain Barre and I was equipped to fight for it with the help of Pilates. I was unable to walk for 3 days without major assistance.
When people ask me “What is Pilates?” my answer is “Pilates is all about building a strong core.” Yes, Pilates is a whole body workout but to me it all starts from the core. I know that some teachers don’t like to use the term “core”, others stick to the “powerhouse” and yet others simply use anatomical names for the muscles worked. “Core” is the term that has the most power for me because it means more than just major muscles that stabilize and control the pressure inside the trunk (Medical dictionary definition ) Working on the core also means working on your inner self by developing determination and commitment to your practice and your goals. You are working on your core from the core.
Should I do Pilates, really?
The answer is in the core. If you want to build a strong foundation and develop good movement practices then Pilates should be the cornerstone of your workouts.
Yes, you will get more flexible if you are doing Yoga, but Pilates will give you confidence in every move on the mat.
Yes, you will build more muscle during weight training or Crossfit, but Pilates will protect your lower back and prevent herniated discs.
Yes, you will get more calorie-burning cardio from a run but Pilates will ensure good posture and alignment during your next 5k.
Yes, you will get more muscle definition after HIIT workouts but Pilates will guarantee the proper form during each move so that you can stay injury-free during explosive intervals.
In my opinion, nothing can compare to Pilates in its ability to build core strength and improve alignment in the body. Maybe Pilates will not have exclusive rights to your workout schedule but it definitely should have a spot among all the other fun things that you enjoy doing.
Pilates – power to the core!