If you have yet to try the exercise regime that lets you to do your leg work while lying down, then what are you doing?
I am a mere two years into my relationship with pilates but despite most people regarding this as still ‘the honeymoon phase’, I already know I want to put a ring on this sucker.
My affair to remember began the first day I set foot in a reformer class and noticed the physique of my ‘ex-contortionist’ instructor. For years I had stood, weights in hand, looking up at female trainers who were clearly in exceptional shape but were often towing a pretty fine line between being ‘built’ and being ‘Bruce’. And as a woman who was born with her father’s physique and a voice not too far off Carlotta’s, I needed absolutely no help in the ‘Is she a man?’ department.
After forking out $70/hour to countless personal trainers in pursuit of a lithe dancer’s figure, I finally realised that my idea of ‘lean’ was totally different to that of most trainers in a conventional gym.
Two minutes into watching a Lululemon-encased woman achieve near impossible feats of strength and flexibility on a reformer, however, I was ready to drink all the Joseph Pilates Kool-Aid I could get my hands on. Two years later, I’m still drinking that sh*t by the Warragamba Dam-full.
Want more? Try: 5 simple yoga moves that’ll help your bad back (and your heart).
So if you’re thinking about trying pilates, what do you need to know?
Should I do mat or reformer pilates?
Ten years ago I did an eight week course in mat pilates, and by week two I was thinking, ‘I look forward to seeing the results of this in a decade'. I’m sure there are people who swear that lifting your leg thirty times while on all fours actually does something but if I’m going to do resistance training then I need some actual ‘resistance’. If you’re a regular exerciser and are pretty fit, I reckon you’ll be asleep in 5 minutes in a mat pilates class. Reformer all the way!
How will pilates affect my body?
A phrase often said by our instructor is ‘find the shake and quiver in your muscles’, and let me tell you this is not a search to rival the Holy Grail. In fact, two minutes into my first class I was beginning to wonder whether I had early onset Parkinson’s. If you’re doing the exercises right, you’ll be shaking like a leaf… which, I’ve learnt, is a good thing