Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My first Pilates class!

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to take a one-on-one pilates class at CORE Physical Therapy. I have taken many pilates group classes that are taught on a mat and resemble yoga. This class however- was not that. It was me and Kim- the instructor- and three scary looking machines.

When I arrived at CORE PT I watched Kim finish up with an older lady using the pilates reformer machines. It didn't look so bad. I was confident that if a 75 year old woman could do pilates for an hour then I would have no issues.

Kim started the session by introducing me to the machines and giving me a few easy warm up exercises. She explained the proper spine position called "neutral back" so that I would not hurt my back.

The first machine I worked on is called the reformer. Kim explained that there are over 500 different exercises you can do on the machine- all of them engage your abs. The machine has a sliding "carriage" that is weighted with springs for more resistance if you wanted it. Some of the exercises I did on the reformer machine were leg raises, bridges, planks, and hip dips.

leg raises

bridges (you have to engage your abs by not letting the carriage move backwards!)

again, you are trying to keep the carriage still

you keep your butt still and bring your knees towards your hands
After almost 30 minutes on the reformer my abs were burning. The 75 year old lady make it look so easy! Next up was the pilates "chair". Don't let the fact that it is called a chair fool you- you don't sit on it! The pilates chair is more advanced than the reformer because you have to use alot of body control to do the motions. In the picture below the exercise is to slowly bring your body weight onto your hands and let the weighted bar (seen under my feet) raise your butt into the air. I had Kim help me with the first few to make sure that I wasn't going to go flying into the wall. Again, your abs are engaged the whole time. This was my favorite exercise of the day because it reminded me of my gymnast days!

the "chair"
Lastly, Kim took me over to the pilates table where she showed me a few more ab exercises as well as a plank-pull-up-thingy. She didn't have the 75 year old lady to that ;)

just hangin' out

I could only do a few pull-ups!

more ab work
Kim kept me fully entertained for the full hour and always explained which muscles the exercises were targeting. (She was also kind enough to take pictures!) She corrected my posture so I was getting the most out of my hour workout. I left CORE PT feeling like I had a great workout.

It wasn't until the next morning that I realized just how sore my abs were. It hurt to laugh for days. I can't wait to do it again!

If you have the chance to take a 1 on 1 pilates class using the pilates machines I highly suggest CORE PT- Kim really knows what she is doing! I don't think I have every gotten such a good ab workout.


  1. I love the reformer. It's great for glute/hamstring PT stuff too!

  2. This is the fanciest shmanciest pilates class I have ever seen.

    I can imagine your abs would be super sore! If I did 5 crunches my abs would be sore...I haven't done core work in months!

  3. This looks AWESOME! I def want to check it out! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Whoa! Looks so fun but hard! a great way to mix up the workouts!

  5. Pilates is so cool, but so expensive!! That is one seriously kickass core workout!

  6. nope, still scared of all those machines. but my abs are getting bored with planks.

  7. This looks intense! I would need to do about 6 months of core work before I could attempt that (since I do none now. I know, bad).

  8. That's awesome! I have always wanted to try pilates, and have heard how great it is for runners. Haha...I hate when my abs are so sore it hurts to laugh!:)

  9. This looks so awesome!!! It's always fun to try and do new stuff and these moves look like they really work

  10. love love love pilates! So happy you got a chance to do it!