Pilates showed me my strength by working with my weakness.

There are many thoughts good and bad on whether Pilates works:

  • It’s too easy

  • Too hard

  • Best thing ever

  • Fixed my back

  • Hurt my back

  • Too boring

  • Too much work

  • Great for strength training

  • Horrible for strength training

But really… aren’t these the excuses we give to ALL exercise? No matter what the type?

Ultimately, it’s all in the eye of the beholder.  If you think Pilates won’t help you and you are unwilling to do the work correctly… Congrats! You’re correct!

It won’t.

If you believe it can make you feel better and you put the work in, then it WILL help you.

I was introduced to Pilates not knowing too much about it, except for trying videos that I thought were way too easy… because, it turns out, I was doing them wrong!

 I walked in feeling good about myself; I worked outside and got lots of exercise and have always prided myself on being a strong individual. I went to a beautiful studio in my new home town, and I was excited and ready to prove my core strength!

Everything goes great at first. Eventually, we get to an exercise called a roll-up…no problem! I rolled up and rolled back down did it a bunch of times because you do everything as fast as you can right?

Noooope!

The instructor looked at me, and she didn’t even start with how quickly I was trying to do the exercise (that conversation came later). Instead, she asked if I noticed that I rolled up towards my left side before reaching for my toes. I didn’t know what she was talking about, so she showed me.

And it was true! I leaned my whooooooole upper body to my left side to start the roll up and evened out once I was almost up. Turns out, due to my mild scoliosis my body wanted to lean to the left and let that side of my body do all the work.

We ended up spending a bunch of time correcting my left side leaning and slowing this lady down to do the exercises right!

Doing this made the exercise so much harder to do… and I LOVED it.

I could feel my abs actually working very hard to get me from the ground to a seated position without any back pain or weird curves!

Pilates has given me a gift. It has taught me to move my body in a safe way allowing me to build the muscle I need to strengthen my body. I no longer have low back pain flare-ups that had been ongoing since I was a teenager.

It’s that I now know how STRONG it is possible for me to be! When we are moving with concentration, focus and purpose, we can ignite muscles in the way they were MEANT to be used.

And that, my friends, creates a stronger, healthier, HAPPIER body.

-Nadine

Source: http://www.doverpilates.com/blog/2019/5/28...

Why every runner should be doing Pilates

We all know that Pilates strengthens your core, but did you know that its other benefits could improve your run? Pilates offers more than meets the eye, from better posture to more supple muscles, it is a full body conditioning system.

 Posture is crucial for runners, good posture can lead you to increase your distance as well as alleviate back pain post running. One of our favorite posture series is rowing; each exercise builds on the other to provide strength in our postural muscles. In turn, this makes good posture effortless, even when performing exercises that require maximum effort.

 Stamina, if you’ve got it running feels like a breeze, if you don’t it can be hard to keep up. Stamina is one of the three components that are incorporated with every Pilates movement along with strength and stretch. Throughout a Pilates program you will be challenged to flow from one exercise to the other with less and less rest time. This in turns builds up our stamina, which is one of the most important factors for an endurance runner. Without stamina, and or pacing, you’ll find yourself getting easily winded. To combat this, a regular Pilates practice will promote a steady stride, deeper breathing and uniformed muscle use.

 Let’s talk about core strength, it’s what Pilates is known for, but why is it so important for runners? Having a strong core means stability, which leads to increased body awareness and improved running efficiency.  Stability is crucial for runners when in compromising terrain such as up hill, down hill or trail running. Having a stable center means you’re able to move better, keeping an even stride and working with correct foot placement. You hold your posture with ease, a strong center helps work together with our postural muscles to maintain our posture in compromising activities. Lastly, stable cores help increase your efficiency by allowing for diaphragm expansion and deepening your breath to power up your movements.

 If you are someone who would love to shave off some time, add a few more miles, or even just feel better after your run… head to your nearest Pilates studio to receive expert instruction on your new best strength conditioning exercise. 

- Jennifer