My interest in Pilates initially stemmed from my IT Band injury last fall. My physical therapist had recommended I try Pilates to gain strength, since muscle imbalances and weaknesses were the root of my injury. I had also read a lot about the benefits of gaining strength – particularly core strength – for runners and triathletes.
I went to the Athlete Studio grand opening event in April. The studio is located in Dupont Circle, which is easily accessible via public transit from my office. The studio has a great aesthetic (exposed brick, hardwood floors). There are four Pilates machines on one wall facing a wall of mirrors. At the grand opening, I was in work clothes, but I watched some other people giving the machines a try and it looked like a lot of fun! I knew I had to sign up for a class.
Now, those of you who know me know that I am not a natural talent when it comes to sports (understatement of the century) and I was somewhat hesitant about getting my butt kicked in a Pilates class taught by an Ironman. But, during my very first class, I quickly discovered that the atmosphere at these classes is totally relaxed – everyone does their personal best. And Michele tailors the instruction accordingly.
The classes are small – no more than four people. That allows for a lot of personal attention, which I really like. No two classes are ever the same. Every time, you do a different combination of skills and I always learn at least a few totally new skills during each class. Most (if not all) of the exercises engage your core, and then there is usually some arm work or leg work going on too. There is also a good deal of stretching. A lot is happening to your body!
That is me in the green top working on the Cardio Tramp. It’s like jumping on a trampoline, which is totally fun, but totally a killer workout at the same time! You really feel your abs and legs working during this exercise. It’s a tough one!
The day after my first class, I was definitely sore – laughing made my abs hurt! But I was sore in a good way.
Since I started, I have noticed a difference in my body, even though I only go to class one day a week. I definitely feel stronger. I also think I have better body awareness (e.g., better posture when at work and when working out).
Now that I have been doing this for a couple of months, I am definitely a believer. And, better still, I am really enjoying each class! If you are looking for something new and fun to change up your fitness routine, you should definitely give it a try!