Karin Shetler, a fitness industry professional, has been auditing group fitness classes multiple times a week for nearly a decade. Each week, Karin will spotlight a class, instructor, style or technique for Group Fitness Roundup on NYHRC’s Magazine. In this week’s spotlight: Pilates.
While waiting to take a Pilates Strength class yesterday, I spoke to a member who takes this class on a regular basis. We got to talking about back injuries and the importance of Core training. As it turns out, even though he is quite a bit younger, we hurt our backs in a similar way. Constant heavy lifting and twisting activities in his restaurant caused him to be bedridden for almost a month. Yikes. Four years later he is pain-free, and he attributes this to Pilates Mat and Pilates Strength classes here at NYHRC. Having been a Master Trainer for a Pilates Method, I know all about the importance of proper alignment, core, and pelvic floor strengthening.
I want to clarify that not all Pilates classes are the same. Some classes, called Pilates Mat classes, are taught traditionally, following the original philosophies of Joseph Pilate’s Contrology–where certain exercises must be included in an ordered series. Other classes, such as Pilates Strength or Pilates Turned Inside Out, use the basic core principles but add variations to those traditional movements. Some will use light weights, balls, and blocks as well as the traditional magic circle.
While not all Pilates classes are the same, their intention is: Pilates is designed to address flexibility, alignment, muscle control and endurance with a specific focus on the Core (which are the muscles of the lower back, abdomen, and hips).
I always feel well-stretched, more stable, and better balanced after taking a class.
By Karin Shetler
Be sure to tune in next week for another Group Fitness Roundup, and click here to view last week’s edition!