I have been training for 20 years, but no other mode of training has made as big a difference to my fitness as Pilates. It has become a huge part of my training regime and has uplevelled every aspect of my fitness.
By now you should know that I’m passionate about changing that tired perspective that Pilates is just for the ladies. Yes, Pilates is extremely beneficial for women whose cores and pelvic floors have been weakened from carrying and delivering children.
My male clients have been gaining huge benefits from their Pilates sessions, worthwhile gains that are relevant for all of us.
Pilates teaches us:
- how to find muscles, isolate them and activate them
- adjust your breathing technique
- increase flexibility using advanced stretching exercises
- get the best core workout and noticeable results.
What Pilates has done for me
I have seen a huge increase in my flexibility. Having more mobility and a greater range of movement has allowed me to load up my body for longer during my resistance sessions, and I’ve become stronger.
My back pain has disappeared. I used to get a fair bit of lower back pain, including a particularly debilitating week-long bout of back spasm last year. I can now get into positions and maintain positions that would have caused me pain in the past, particularly when stress and fatigue were thrown in the mix. Through Pilates, I have strengthened the entire core area by switching on those deep, stabilising core muscles. It is such a relief to be free of those familiar twinges (if you’ve ever had a muscle spasm in your lower back, you’ll know what I’m talking about!)
I’ve improved my posture. Coming from a football background and doing lots of weights throughout my life, I’ve always had a tendency to roll my shoulders forward and have tight pecs. Stretching and strengthening muscles that were previously not getting enough love has helped me stand straighter, and hopefully taller! We all know what a confidence booster strong, straight posture is, and it’s also key to remaining injury free.
I’ve improved my breathing technique and enhanced my ability to maintain breathing rhythm under fatigue, deliver oxygen to the muscles and release toxins. This has allowed me to really ramp up the intensity during cardio and interval training.
When I first started doing Pilates I found the breathing techniques quite awkward and I really had to concentrate. Some people get turned off Pilates in the early stages because of the concentration factor. My experience is that it’s so worth pushing through this. Working on my breathing has made a huge difference to my training, and the techniques are also coming far more naturally now as I understand them better.
I am learning how to be more mindful and in the moment. Pilates forces you to be present like no other form of training I’ve tried. You have no choice but to to really think about whether you’re working the correct muscles and focus on engaging them. It’s a great way to escape other stressful thoughts and I find it quite meditative. This ability to be truly present is powerful and is something I’m working on in my life. I find pushing my boundaries in the gym to be a real training ground for a lot of life skills, and this is one way that I’m really improving.
Are you interested in trying Pilates?
Our small group Pilates sessions are a great place to start. Check out our timetable here. You will notice particularly accelerated gains in 1-on1 or double sessions. Give me a buzz on 8883-4031 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to chat about how Pilates can help you.