This morning I subbed for a mat pilates class at LA Fitness and I rediscovered how much I absolutely LOVE pilates. The main focus on Pilates is on the CORE (front, back and sides), but it will also really work the upper body and legs, all while giving you a GREAT stretch!
I admit, Pilates is hard at first. A lot of people have trouble straightening their legs due to tight hamstrings, and many of us also suffer from weak hip flexors because we sit allll day at our jobs. However, Pilates will serve you well because it will really work your weaknesses and help you become stronger and more flexible.
I was a train wreck the first time I ever did Pilates but, with the help of a great instructor (thanks, Jane), I was able to build up my strength and flexibility and eventually be able to rock moves that I totally failed at in the beginning. If you take a class and there is something you simply don't get, ask your instructor for help after class. I bet they'll be happy to assist you and help you improve!
I took Pilates for a few months before certifying in PiYo, and I ended up passing that certification with a GOLD level ranking (the highest you can get at training). So, it just goes to show that train wrecks can eventually work up to amazing form on these moves. Don't give up!
Want to study Pilates at home?
Want pilates DVDs? Check out videos at Stott Pilates. You can search videos by level, which is definitely great. That will give you a chance to start at the beginning and then advance!
What about a book? I am the biggest fan of The Pilates Body by Brooke Siler. The book is genius with it's execution descriptions and comparisons. It will help you perfect each move properly, and it also
includes sequences to build you own workouts. I use this book for reference all the time! It's the best. She also has an advanced level book once you've mastered this one.
There are many more videos and books out there for Pilates, but those are my favorites, so hopefully they'll be great starting grounds for you to give pilates a try :-)
Tags: abs, brooke siler, chalene johnson, core, core exercises, exercise, fitness, flexibility, increase flexibility, pilates, pilates books, pilates class, pilates DVDs, PiYo, stott pilates, strength, strength gain, stretch, stretching, the pilates body, weight loss, working out, workouts