I was recently offered an opportunity to review a local pilates studio in Manly called DYNAMIC PILATES. Of course I jumped at the chance. Especially as it fits in perfectly with the new fitness regime I am trying to pull off.
I’ve never done any kind of pilates before and I naively thought it would be a bit like yoga, where I would get a chance to just relax my mind and body (and maybe even have a nap). Boy was I wrong!! My first class was so challenging on my muscles (most that I didn’t even know existed) that I could barely walk the next day. It didn’t put me off though, in fact it made me realise just how weak my core was. I was even more determined to stick it out for the duration.
I also went home and googled ‘pilates’ to find out a bit more about what I was letting myself in for. This is what I discovered……
- Pilates lengthens, stretches and strengthens the major muscle groups in your body.
- It provides balance and stability to the muscles on both sides of your body.
- It increases the strength of your core muscles (legs, bums and tums).
- It stabilises your spine and improves your posture.
- It increases your body awareness.
- It increases your lung capacity through breathing.
- It provides a safe rehabilitation of spinal and muscular injuries and well as prevents further injury.
- It improves stress management.
Understanding what pilates was all about made it much easier to monitor any improvements that I personally gained from these classes, and I was quite frankly amazed at the results. Most of them I couldn’t notice by physically looking at myself, but I could sure anything feel the difference.
The classes at Manly were very small and personalised and were done on these funny looking machine things called ‘boats’. In the beginning I found it nearly impossible to find locate some of muscles, never mind work them. As for the breathing, well, I don’t think I did. I must have looked like the most uncoordinated person, with a brightest red face in the room. I was so busy trying to ‘hold’ my muscles in a certain position that half the time I totally forgot to breathe. I was too busy concentrating to even laugh at myself.
Each class definitely got easier and easier and I really started to notice the results. Since having kids I have suffered from a very unstable pelvis and lower back pain. I’ve always just put it down to a ‘side effect’ of three pregnancies and carrying babies on my hips. I can honestly say, hand on heart, that since doing these pilates classes I have notice a massive improvement. I now understand what is meant by ‘balancing muscles strength’. After a few classes I was able to identify my weak side and start to build it up, and my pelvis is so much more stable now (and not longer costing me a fortune in chiropractor bills). My core muscles have also improved so much and jumping on the trampoline with the kids is no longer as much of an issue as it was before.
Pilates is not just for mums either. I was surprised by how many surfers (male ones) there were in the classes that I went to. Dynamic pilates is in Manly after all, so it’s not that surprising to find surfers there, but I had always stereotyped pilates as something that women did. After chatting to some of the surfers, they told me that the reason they did these pilates classes was prevent back injuries and they swore by it. I think I need to convince Mr D to come and join in too.
I wasn’t paid to write this review although I was gifted the opportunity to take these classes, which have been fabulous. I am a total convert now. All options are entirely my own and if you live in the Manly area, you should totally pop in and try out a class.
Are you a pilates convert?
How has it helped you?