I didn't know what to expect from Pilates, I had to google what it was before the first session! Joseph Pilates invented this system of exercise that works to strengthen your core muscles and improve balance. He called it Contrology but now it's known by his surname.
We went along on a Wednesday night to a local school hall and took our place on mats with about 10 other people. It was easy to arrange as you just turn up and pay on the door. £7 a class run by Heaven & Hell Fitness.
The instructor, Claire, led us through a full body workout with stretches, squats, push ups, planks and much more. Some of the positioning was hard to get and it was tricky trying to follow Claire at the front of the class while on your back with your legs in the air.
After the first session I was pleased I'd been able to do most of the stretches. Claire asked how we'd got on and told us Pilates only has 36 movements so the next time we'd know what to expect more.
|Squats while circling arms.|
A lot of the movements felt similar to Yoga but were a bit more fast paced. Instead of holding a position, Pilates has you repeating the stretch about 10 times until you can feel the burn in your muscles.
The next week felt a bit easier as we knew what moves were coming up. Also we did some leg stretching using straps to help which felt great for my knees.
We did 4 weeks in total and I could feel some stretches getting easier the more we did them. After a long day at work I was often reluctant to go but after the class my legs always felt better, less tired and well stretched.
JD's favourite stretch was the Child's Pose.
It's a great way to tone muscles, you don't really get sweaty doing it but it's very effective. We could feel a difference after just a few weeks. Our class had men and women of all ages which was nice to see.
I enjoyed the classes, they were led well and adaptations were given for people at different levels. Claire was very welcoming and friendly. Overall though I felt Pilates wasn't for me, but it's a great exercise and it was lovely to see lots of people enjoying it.
If you want to give it a try visit the Heaven & Hell Fitness website
Previously on Emma's Exercise Experiments: