Pilates: Battle of the Fitness Classes
It’s week two in our Battle of the Fitness Class series and our writer Holly is still going strong in her quest to find her perfect exercise class. Having already tried out Spinning, she thought she would take it down a notch with Fitness Pilates at her local gym.
Now this is a very different workout to Spinning, which I tried first in my Battle of the Fitness Classes.
Pilates is all about strengthening your core and toning your muscles, as opposed to burning calories and sweating. I was welcomed into a large gym hall with 25 mats laid out and everyone looking very serene. I remember thinking “I can work with this”, as I clutched my litre bottle of water closer.
Hip circles and striking cobras
We started with a warm-up – a lovely concoction of hip circles, roll downs, stretches up and crouches. And then came the catch: straight into a 90-second plank. I managed 65 seconds and fell to my knees. There were some, shall I say older ladies there, who didn’t even flinch as the time ticked past. This clearly showed that even once a week will make a difference to your strength over time. We cracked on with some leg raises on all fours, some “striking cobras” (focusing on upper arm and shoulder strength) and then some very slow and controlled sit ups (FYI: abs ached for 3 days).
Stretch, breathe, recover
After every batch of exercises, you are given the chance to stretch, breath and recover. Imagine a faster paced yoga with more emphasis on working through the stretch. Don’t be fooled into thinking you don’t do a lot though – you do. I ached more after Pilates than I did after Spinning.
The instructor was great, knowing it was my first time and answering my questions. I learnt quickly that if you aren’t doing the correct technique, you aren’t making the most of the exercise. You won’t burn tonnes of calories like Spinning, but you will get a lot stronger relatively quickly.
Finally, there is a 10-minute relaxation/meditation session at the end which makes all the stresses from the day disappear. Pliates is be great if you’re looking for a great mood boosting workout without the sweat. The entire session is 50 minutes end to end.
Would I do it again?
Absolutely – I have been once a week since. I love it. I arrive stressed and tense and leave relaxed and very happy. I’m not kidding when I say that I have never felt as calm as I do in the hour after my class. And FYI, 4 weeks in and I’m smashing a 100 second plank. 😉
What else has Holly tried in her Battle of the Fitness Classes? Read her Spinning review to find out!
Are you loving Pilates? Let us know – @tweetjanes.