Why You — Yes, You — and Everyone Else Need to Be Doing Pilates

balance, massage, fitness, hillsboro

Article by Dominique Astorino | Found on Popsugar.com

There are so many workouts we love, but one in particular offers a bevy of benefits that are absolutely invaluable: Pilates. Honestly, everyone can benefit from doing it, and we’re not exaggerating. Addicted to group fitness? This needs to be part of your routine. Never had a personal training session? Get to a Pilates studio. Injury? Jump on that reformer.

While group fitness is awesome (it’s encouraging, welcoming, inspiring, and seriously fun!), more often than not, a group fitness class doesn’t take the time to teach you proper form and functional movement in necessary depth, leaving you potentially injury-prone. A Pilates class is the exception to that rule, rendering it the necessary addition to your weekly routine.

Let’s take a look at what makes this workout so special.

It’s an All-in-One Package

In Pilates, what you’re paying for is far more than just a great workout for 40 to 60 minutes; you’re getting a bit of physical therapy and a whole lot of education on how to properly move your body well beyond the carriage, chair, and box.

While I still love my group fitness classes, more than ever I’ve come to recognize the importance of supplementing my boot-camp-and-cycling routine with reformer Pilates — the ultimate hybrid of low-impact exercise, strength training, physical therapy, and physical education.

And you’re still getting a kickass workout! “Some folks think that Pilates is an ‘easy’ workout because it can be easy on your joints,” said Cricket Wardein, founder of Mighty Pilates. But it’s far from the case. “[These classes are] intense and focus on building long, lean muscles and a strong core.”

You Get More Specialized Attention Than You Would in Most Other Group Fitness Classes

Pilates is still a group fitness class, but you actually get specialized attention in Pilates that you don’t normally see in other sessions.

Similar to personal training, if you have an instructor who knows their stuff, you’re not only getting an excellent strength-training session, but you’ll be learning a better mind-body connection that you can take with you into other workouts. “Pilates is about gaining an awareness of your alignment while creating a balanced muscular structure,” said Rachel Reis, a Balanced Body Pilates trainer at EHS Pilates in San Francisco. “It is also about connecting your breath to movement and activating your core, which can translate to any sport or movement-based practice.”

“You’ll not only be getting an excellent strength-training session, but you’ll be learning a better mind-body connection that you can take with you into other workouts.” 

Diana Guerci, Pilates instructor at Mighty Pilates, agreed but noted it’s not just limited to workouts and sports. “The cues that your teacher is giving you during a Pilates exercise are also cues that you should bring with you in your day-to-day life — from driving to washing the dishes to walking to holding your kid, etc.”

You’ll Learn a Lot About Your Body

That breath-to-movement idea is just one part of the body awareness you’ll gain in Pilates classes. You’ll also probably pick up a few anatomy terms that’ll help you better understand how your body moves and functions (“cervical spine” and “transverse abdominis” are sure to impress at parties).

The body awareness you gain from a class like this is “the key” to staying safe in all other workouts, according to injury prevention expert and personal trainer Liz Letchford, MS, ATC. In her one-on-one sessions, Liz says, “The first thing I teach my clients is postural awareness.” A Pilates session creates space for the instructor to teach “proper body position while guiding you on what sensations you should be feeling in each exercise and position,” which can bridge the gap between group fitness and personal training. Liz also noted she is “a huge fan of Pilates’s emphasis on core stability and control,” which impacts all other areas of functional movement.

During a recent reformer class I took with Diana, I immediately noticed her knowledge of the human body; instead of calling out generic cues like “Keep going!” or “Go faster!”, Diana coached with an educational style. “Articulate your thoracic and lumbar spine” and “You should feel this in your postural muscles” were a few standouts from class — not to mention how she quickly picked up on my naturally hyperextended knees and gave personalized tips and adjustments on how to protect my vulnerable, injury-prone joints. In my experience, this doesn’t happen in your average group fitness class.

Pilates (Typically) Offers All-Star Trainers

Finding an excellent coach can be tough; while every studio is different, for the most part, Pilates instructors are able to provide expert-level advice because of their serious education — one that doesn’t just end once a certificate is issued. “We offer ongoing training for our instructors,” said Cricket, who referenced Mighty Pilates’s advanced Pilates training with expert Courtney Miller. Diana described her own training program experience, which required almost one thousand hours of education. Needless to say, she knows her stuff — and chances are, your local instructor does as well.


If you’re looking for pilates in Hillsboro, Oregon, look no further than Balance Massage + Core Fitness Studio. We are a fully equipped massage and fitness practice located in downtown Hillsboro. Our core fitness studio features STOTT Pilates®, the gold standard in Pilates training, using specialized equipment. We offer 20 group fitness classes per week, including Zumba, Zenga, and Total Barre, as well as private instruction from our highly qualified team. Much of our massage practice is focused on injury recovery, relief from pain, and car accident and workers compensation rehabilitation. We also provide a variety of massage treatments purely for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Whether you enjoy the attention of one-on-one private training, or the excitement of a group fitness class, Balance Massage & Core Fitness Studio has the right training options to help you meet your fitness, physical therapy, and relaxation goals.

Balance Massage and Core Fitness Studio

Address
233 SE Washington Street, Suite 103
Hillsboro, Oregon 97123

Phone: 503.352.9685
Email: info@balance-mf.com