PILATES – is that the workout with the ball?

Posted in Fitness

Let’s start with the basics. I found that Pilates is “exercise that strengthens the core abdominal and dorsal muscles. The training aims to stabilize and improve posture and strengthen muscles.” It is a good idea to check first what Pilates is about, i.e. to get mentally and physically ready for the class (not to mention choosing the right outfit). In addition, every other person I asked, said: “Oh, that’s the workout with the ball.”

They were talking about the workout ball/ Swiss Balls, one of those huge colorful balls you see on the shelf above the mirrors in the gym. My spine had previously enjoyed this ball once before during yoga. In fact, the Pilates room has a similar relaxed atmosphere as a yoga class with mats on the ground and people stretching. Just wait for the instructor to show up and say: “Grab the balls!”

But that never happened. I don’t doubt the balls may come into play in some Pilates classes but the only one the girls used (that’s right, girls only – where are the men?), was of the imaginary kind we squeezed between our legs to maintain proper posture during exercise. We also had to imagine wide straps on our hips, wooden blocks behind our backs, and other non-existent equipment that was actually more effective than any aides in keeping us from putting too much weight on our knees, elbows or feet. It forced us to work out those “core abdominal and dorsal muscles” that we usually forget about, but which are responsible for keeping our backs straight and our feet being planted firmly on the ground.

If someone had looked in our workout room during the Pilates class, they might have thought it was a class for retirees. That’s because of the spare, slow movements without any extreme stretching or sudden motions; a bunch of people just lying there, lifting their legs a few inches above the ground. Nothing too impressive at first glance; even those beautiful balls lay unused above the mirrors…. However, if you look real close, you could see the tension on our faces, delicate muscle twitches and droplets of sweat on the forehead.

First impressions can be wrong. Maybe I haven’t gone to many Pilates classes, but now I know that it’s not so much about a “workout” but the most important thing in Pilates is a methodical and careful training to strengthen the abs and back that assure a stable posture- long after the class is over.

Pilates is for city slickers that spend all day hunched behind a desk and lug heavy bags on the bus, who don’t like to sweat at the gym.

In other words, it’s for me. Share your Pilates experiences in the comments field below – was it easy when you took part in it?

Check our current schedule of this class and create your own experience.

Holmes Place Club Member
June 2013

Posted in Fitness