Here’s a question that sooner or later comes up…
But this “Pilates”, in the end, what does it do? What is so different from another course of fitness? (Gag, body pump, gag & tone, bench-fit, gymnastics, etc.).
It is actually a legitimate question, if you watch a lessson as a viewer … the exercises, the dynamic it’s different, but actually in almost all the courses you eventually workout legs, abdominals, buttocks, back, arms … the whole body. And then? It is fashionable to do Pilates, and everyone wants to do it although, in fact, is equal to any fitness program?
The answer is no, the difference lies in the awareness of the movements and their execution: if in any other course is not important to understand exactly how and why we raises a leg, or we do “abs”, in pilates the awareness is key and it becomes a necessity / plus.
The teacher usually leads a lesson almost exclusively talking and verbally explaining the exercises and the peculiarities of the movements, and this for two main reasons:
- we are lying down, if the student has to spend almost all the time looking at what the teacher does, first of all he is uncomfortable, always moving his head, and, not least, the general alignment is almost always compromised;
- the teacher must have the opportunity to correct any errors, and lying, doing the exercises, the visibility is poor, which is why, usually, he moves around the room.
And I’d also add another reason: the copy -“aping” the teacher does not guarantee a proper execution and the student consciousness, indeed, more often, the student thinks he is right, but he’s misaligned or he performs movements unsuitable to his anatomy, only because he sees the teacher make the move in a certain way.
Bottom line: in pilates is the student who has to figure out what to do and what to feel and where he should feel ( the movement, from where it starts, where it ends, which muscles are involved, what is the correct dynamic, how to adapt it to his anatomy , what is it for). In a generic fitness course instead, the student has mainly to copy at the best the teacher.
I want not to discredit the fitness classes, far from doing so, they are still valid and the teachers, more or less, correct and explain the exercises. It ‘a different approach. Usually a fitness course is more dynamic, even more “funny” (you do not pass the lesson mute as fishes, and if you have a friend next to you, you can also chatter a little), I often hear students telling me they prefer fitness classes to pilates because after a day of work they have no desire to be serious, but only to move and realease the day. Pilates is “serious”, even when you workout a buttock, the rest of the body must be under control and constantly monitored … time to talk? …but when? the teacher doesn’t shut up a second … 🙂
So what to choose? whatever you want !!!! The choice is yours, now you have all the infos, therefore, I can only give you my own suggestions:
- challenge yourself and experience: different courses, different teachers and different approaches and above all find the solution that will incentive you to continue;
- ask yourself what do you want to achieve and how;
- ask yourself how much is the awareness of your body and how much you want to improve it;
- start from your anatomy: if you have specific needs or issues, which might influence the choice of an activity rather than another.
With pilates you become aware of your body and how to move it, once you reach this goal, change or integrate other activities is fine: you will be aware and critical of yourself, and of correct movements.
On the other way around, it’s all right as well: after years of fitness you might wonder why every now and then you feel something different in the same exercises or what among all the alignment differences and rotations which one is connected to a specific result or what’s the difference in between… and here is that the pilates can illuminate you on these aspects.
Everything is alright! enjoy and respect your body and its needs!
We have a body and we have to take care of it and treat it in the best … Well-Being!