6 Reasons I Favor Pilates Over Every Other Form of Exercise
I've never been a big fan of working out, but I still do it. Why? Well because I want cut abs and toned arms.
The one I've learned to love the most? None other than Pilates—a form of exercise done on a machine called a reformer that improves your strength, flexibility and posture.
Below are a few reasons why I favor it over other forms of exercise:
Not Everyone Is Outstanding at Every Aspect of Pilates
In every group fitness class, there's always that one person who is clearly a standout. They know all the moves and do them flawlessly. Don't get me wrong, there are those types of workout warriors in Pilates, but there's always at least one aspect of the workout that they're not good at. It's refreshing to see that everyone struggles when it comes to either toning your arms, legs or core. But it's even better seeing that they accept their struggle and use it to force them to do better next time. I've always felt bad about how bad I was when it came to yoga, crossfit or kickboxing. But I've yet to feel bad about my performance during a Pilates class.
I Always Get a Good Workout
Just like everyone else, I experience days when I really, really don't want to workout. This causes me to take it easier during my fitness class. When I do this in kickboxing or with any other sort of cardio, I don't feel like I'm getting a workout. But when I do this during Pilates, I can still enjoy the benefits of the workout, because my body is still working hard to stay centered on the reformer.
Pilates Classes Can Be Taken in a Variety of Ways
Pilates is typically done on a reformer, but I've done a TRX style of the workout (a form of strength training done with equipment created by a former Navy SEAL). Let me tell you something, that was hard. If you ever end up taking TRX training, know your instructor will not mess around. I've even done Pilates workouts at home without any sort of machine. So if the thought of working out on a reformer terrifies you, I highly recommend watching YouTube videos of how you can experience a Pilates class in the comfort of your own home.
No Two Classes Are Ever the Same
I've taken classes at a ton of different Pilates studios, but I've also taken the same classes at one studio more than once. Not a single one of them has ever been exactly identical. Sure, there are similar exercises each one does, but they've all been done in a different order or in a slightly different way. I don't know about you, but I love coming to a class where I have no idea what I'm going to expect. It forces me to focus on the task at hand, rather than thinking about what I'm going to be doing next.
It's Improved My Posture
One of the benefits of attending Pilates classes on the regular is improved posture. I can safely say mine has gotten so much better since taking classes at least once a week. I'm at a computer all day, so I tend to hunch over and tense up my shoulders. Since taking Pilates, I've been able to catch myself whenever my posture starts to slip, making sure my shoulders are peeled away from my ears.
I've Become More Confident in My Body
I've never ever worn yoga pants until I started taking Pilates. Yep, even when I went to yoga, I wore athletic shorts. I just never felt comfortable putting myself in yoga pants. But taking Pilates has changed that. Every time I slip them on, I automatically feel so much better about my body. And after a workout, I feel even more confident. I feel long and lean. I imagine it's what Victoria's Secrets models feel like all the time.
(Photo courtesy of RUMI X)
If you want to give Pilates a try, HERE's how to prepare for your first class.