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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Workout Wednesday: Pilates


This week we had a go at Pilates, this is the fifth class we've tried and if you want to find out more about this little mini-series you can check out the introductory post here. So far we have also given Yoga, Boxercise, Zumba and Spinning a go. Read on to find out more about Pilates...

Description:

Pilates classes involve a range of exercises that help to improve posture, strength and flexibility. The classes can be calming, with a focus on breathing and controlled movement and are generally available at different levels as you upon what you learn.


Becca's Experience:

Pilates is like Yoga's twin sister, from the outside they look the same but get to know them and they're actually pretty different. Before attending this class, my knowledge of Pilates was from blogilates  which I LOVE, so if you are looking to try this at home head on over there for a great workout. However, the class I went to was actually pretty different to this and far more relaxed.

While it was similar to the Yoga class I had attended in the sense that it was very calm and the idea was that you did everything at your own pace, I found a big difference was that while in Yoga we had focused on holding poses the Pilates class involved more repeated movements to build strength and toning.

We went through a range of sitting and standing exercises where the focus was on body positioning and alignment as well as involving slow, repeated movements to get your muscles working. I really enjoyed the class and while it wasn't the most energetic I definitely came away feeling that I had given my muscles a good workout!


Meli's Experience:

I had very high expectations of Pilates because I read about it all the time on the internet or on celebrity recommendations and all my friends who have tried it rave about it. It seemed like the go-to class that isn't just a new craze but one that has stuck around for years so I finally tried it out.

The class I went to really emphasised the importance of making your positions and poses acurate and getting the technique right so that you could strengthen your body. This involved lots of exercises on the mat, such as leg lifts/raises and LOTS of movements with your body supported on your hands like the picture above. I found the class I attended really difficult, mainly because my arm strength isn't so good so holding my body weight and these positions whilst doing repetitive movements, was straining if you didn't already have the strength.

Although my class wasn't what I expected, and definitely more challenging in terms or positions I have never put my body in, I can see the benefits of doing this class regularly. My class didn't specify a difficulty but after talking to friends who take this class elsewhere, I am sure it was a more intermediate level and not beginner. At least I'll tell myself that whilst I'm wondering why I found this harder on my body than more invigorating classes such as bodypump/spinning.

Rating:

DIFFICULTY: ★★★

ENERGY LEVEL: ★

FUN: ★★

Recommended for: STRENGTH, POSTURE, FLEXIBILITY and TONING

Have you been to a pilates class? Let us know what you thought in the comments! 





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