Pilates got popular a few years ago, but, save for a few die-hard pilates lovers, fitness buffs have since moved on to other trendy classes and gyms have slowly replaced mat classes with newer trends. But according to Cassey Ho, of Blogilates fame, we’re all missing out: The core strength exercises are still hugely beneficial, and she’s living proof:
I started doing Windsor Pilates back when I was 16, just learning from a DVD. I was trying to get in shape for a pageant and at the time Pilates was all the craze! I ended up taking home the crown, but the real win was my new-found love for Pilates and exercise.
Four years later, she applied to be an instructor at a local gym and got certified to teach. Now, she motivates and teaches readers about Pilates through her site–making her the perfect person to bust some myths that some people (ahem…including some of us here at Blisstree) still have about the workouts. Here are some of our top myths, busted by Cassey:
1. It’s not a tough workout.
LIES!!!!! Pilates only looks easy because it is performed with grace and control! It takes a lot of mind-body concentration and incredible abdominal strength to execute some of the movements.
2. It doesn’t involve cardio, so it doesn’t help with weight loss.
Weight loss is a result of lessening calories in (through diet) and increasing calories out (through exercise). Pilates is a form of strength training and can improve muscle tone if practiced at least two to three times a week, an hour each session. Pilates can definitely help one lose weight if you work hard and eat well. Adding cardio will make the whole weight loss journey even faster though!
3. Pilates is only for dancers or yogis.
FALSE!! Anyone can do Pilates! It’s not difficult to get into at all. Anyone can benefit from Pilates–from athletes to injured people looking to recover, it can be as gentle or as intense as you want to make it. Having a strong core is important for protecting your back. I’ve heard about runners who’ve shaved off their times by adding Pilates into their conditioning. It works wonders to have a solid powerhouse.
4. Pilates is only for women.
SUPER FALSE!! Pilates was in fact developed by a man by the name of Joseph Pilates back in the early 1900s. In 2000, the whole Pilates craze starting blowing up and I think it was heavily marketed towards women. But really, Pilates is a challenging exercise that is very beneficial for both genders. Men tend to have a naturally stronger upper body, so they don’t run away from bicep curls in the weight room, but I know they just say “Pilates is for girls” because in actuality, they are scared of REAL AB WORK!
5. Pilates is boring.
Nope. And definitely not my style of Pilates. I teach a format called POP Pilates which incorporates Top 40 hits and moves/breathing that go with the music. How can Pilates be boring when you’ve got your fave singer pushing you along!?
6. Pilates requires special equipment.
Pilates mat work was actually developed before all of the fancy machines were introduced. I personally like mat Pilates best because I can be super creative with my movement. There’s no restriction, and it forces me to really create that intense mind-body connection that is essential for developing perfect form.
Curious yet? If you thought Pilates wasn’t for you, it might be worth giving it another shot!
Photo: flickr user sazztastical