The fitness realm is known to be an avenue bested for body transformation—where keywords like ‘weight loss’, ‘slimming’, ‘calorie burn’ often top the list. All of which, are completely warranted and inspiring to witness, as countless individuals reform their lifestyles to make a concerted change to their bodies, mental health and personal fitness goals. However this isn’t representative of the entire community; after all, everyone is on their own fitness journey.
Of course, in a place where fitness options are aplenty, not every activity or practice would fit into the same mould. Pilates, for instance, isn’t about the aforementioned results, but rather grounds itself on a different calling. Low-impact movements where one can reap the rewards in the long run—rather than a heart-raising 30 minute burn to obliterate yesterday’s sinful meal. The objective is to get stronger, narrow in on alignment, while toning and building definition in your muscles. It’s also the reason why fans of the practice delve into it for different goals while people who have yet to try it are still confused and sceptical of the workout’s end goals.
To shed more light into pilates, Eugena Bey, owner of BE. Studios, enlightens us with her expertise, while also addressing the elephant in the room: reformer machines. While some people might claim that a reformer pilates class promises a harder and more productive workout, Bey begs to differ. “The reformer, and other equipment, are great for progression and often times, regression for our rehab clients. But if you’ve ever given mat pilates a shot, you’d realised that it’s often harder as you’re working with your own body weight and sometimes props—you can’t just change a spring when it gets too tough. But please remember that in a pilates class, there are always modifications available to you to get the most effective workout! Pain does not equate to a good workout.”
“There’s a reason why there’s more than one equipment for pilates as the exercises are catered to different people, needs and goals. It’s not a case where one size fits all.” Below, Bey takes us through the benefits while touching on the things you might not have known about pilates.
It promotes body longevity
“The most common knowledge that people have about pilates is that it strengthens your core. It does, however, it is way more than that. Pilates is a low-impact workout that works the whole body and is highly focuses on alignment—it is not a system of exercise to be entirely “muscled through”. Pilates emphasises on good alignment and proper technique (both in the exercise and breathing), to finding balance between stability and mobility, and the understanding of that will ultimately help you produce more effective results while aiding with injury prevention and rehabilitation.”
It encourages you to be patient with your body
In pilates, we aim to strengthen the deeper, often smaller muscles of the abdomen and lower back, muscles which, at first may be difficult for a client to access or even “feel”. Every individual is different, and sometimes, results don’t show till a much later time. It’s truly a lifelong journey with pilates—so be kind and patient with yourself and your body, because with consistent practice and discipline, you will definitely see change happen.”
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Lean and tone muscles
“Given that we are working into the deeper and smaller (and longer) muscles of the body with resistance (either from the reformer, cadillac, chair or even your own bodyweight on the mat) through slow, and controlled movements, we prevent overworking certain muscle groups that “bulks”. And in terms of weight loss, pilates doesn’t help you lose weight directly. What it does, is tone you up and build definition. My tip is to find something to complement pilates, for instance, running and having a well-rounded diet.”
Anyone can do it
“Regardless of gender or age, anyone can do pilates. The pilates practice specifically targeted exercises to build up core strength, mobility and improve overall postural alignment. In a private session, your class can be tailored to your unique goals.”