I used to go to the gym ALOT. I did a lot of weights, as well as lugging around one REALLY heavy baby and a 2-year-old. For me, I love having that tiny bit of time to myself as well as the stress-busting endorphin hit and looking and feeling energised, toned and strong.
Then one day something crept up on me, very quickly after I woke one morning. A very intense PAIN. I thought I had dislocated my shoulder. I couldn’t drive to get any help and even considered calling 999..but I knew I wasn’t dying. It was more painful than childbirth. That, for me, was like an intense, surreal, cosmic experience, but this was just AGONY!
I managed to walk down to a Mctimony chiropractor in town and she did a few things that seemed to slightly subside the pain until the next day when I went to the docs who diagnosed Tendonitis/Bursitis. I had some really strong painkillers for a few weeks and then a steroid injection that seemed to do the job pain wise. In hindsight, I could have perhaps been overdoing it. A compulsion, I have never been able to quite.. reign in… completely.
But any strength and mobility I had gained was now lost. I left the gym alone for a while and started a bit of running with the dogs while my shoulder recovered as I was too paranoid that anything strenuous could do it again.
I really missed my yoga and pilates and now I am back on form I have realised that maybe my body doesn’t need to be put under such intense pressure and I want to get key areas toned and strengthened but not stressed out and bulked up so I am going to stick to one session of light weights/HIT a week and Pilates.
If you haven’t done pilates before I urge you to try as it’s good for soo many things!
It’s good for your back and posture.
Pilates has a lot of focus around strengthening core and back muscles. There is a lot of work around alignment of the spine and stretches, both are great for your back and your posture. Your back is what holds you up all day so it needs to be strong. If you are a mum carrying around toddlers and babies or bent over breastfeeding you need to keep your back strong and healthy. Equally if you are hunched over a computer all day or anything that might compromise your back or body.
It’s good for your core
Your core is the internal stomach muscles that basically ‘hold you up’ connecting the top of you to the bottom, so if they are strong then, in turn you and your back is supported. Which is good for your back and also your keeps your tummy looking flat and toned!
The movements are slow and controlled
Because the movements are slow and precise you can really listen to the instructions and get the most from the exercises. Ideal if you find choreographed routines to David Guetta a bit much of a morning (or actually anytime). I personally always find myself flapping the wrong way and confusing everyone. Exertion can also sometimes compromise good technique which in turn can lead to not as good results and injuries.
It’s good for your pelvic floor
Your pelvic floor muscles are located just below the base of your spine. We all know why these are really important to keep in check. Pilates works hard to engage these small but very important muscles and keep the Tena Lady at bay.
It great for toning small isolated muscles
I am on a quest to get a more toned booty, but I find that the usual squats etc seem to use my leg or knees more than my bum. But Pilates hits me where it hurts! The small movements isolate the hard to tone muscles. It’s a ballet dancer favourite exercise. Building strength, without compromising flexibility and without gaining bulky muscles.
It’s for everyone
Each position has different levels so you can be in most classes and find a variation of the exercise that suits you best. As well as having more or less intense classes, pre and post-natal and rehabilitation classes.