Physical trainer Joseph Pilates originally developed his exercise system in the 1920s as rehabilitation therapy, but it quickly became popular among dancers, athletes and, eventually, the general public. His series of controlled movements focused on stabilizing the core, or powerhouse, to build strength without bulk, improve flexibility and prevent injury.
Today, you can find all sorts of Pilates programs that include everything from balls to specially designed apparatus complete with springs and straps.
For our Pilates group classes, the only thing you’ll need is a mat and perhaps a towel to soak up the sweat!
The workout will be rooted in classic Pilates floor exercises with sculpting and a dash of cardio thrown in. You’ll resist gravity and your own body weight to push your muscles to the max.
We’ll break down each exercise at first to give you a chance to think about technique and form (something we don’t do in Zumba®!); then pump up the heart rate with several repetitions. Beginners can stick to the basic moves while instructors demonstrate variations to keep more practiced students on their toes. Modifications may also be provided for those with injuries or muscle tightness – just check in with the instructor before class.
Aside from feeling sore (in a good way!) the next day, we think you’ll find that Pilates helps you become more aware of your body, particularly your spine – which leads to improved posture, balance and back strength.
See for yourself how this total body workout can develop more than just a “powerhouse” core!
Still not sure exactly what Pilates entails? This clip includes several of the classic exercises you might perform in class: