4 Reasons to Try Pilates

4 reasons to try pilates || cohesivefitness.comIn todays world, we are plagued with overuse injuries caused a lot of times from being glued to a desk eight or more hours a day. Have you noticed your posture suffering? Shoulder and neck pain? Tight hips or sciatic pain {pain or numbness beginning in the glutes reaching down to the toes}? If you have never tried Pilates before, I want to share with you four reasons you should check out a class today, and some tips to find an instructor you LOVE!

4 Reasons to Try Pilates

// Pilates reduces your risk of injury

If you love lifting weights or training for specific sports like running, chances are your body has muscular imbalances from training in the same way over and over. We know now that cross training has several benefits in increasing your ability to function at a higher level in all areas. Here is a great article on the benefits of Pilates for runners, to give you some examples.

Pilates will allow you to not only rehab certain injuries you have, but it also prevent future ones by building strength through your entire core, providing stability and strength in your day to day life.

//Your core will be a rock

Did you know that performing a set of standard crunches only works one abdominal group called the rectus abdominis. This set of muscles are known as the “six pack” muscles. If you want to increase your core stabilization and tighten your waist line, what you should be training are your transverse abdominis {TA}. In most people, the TA is very weak and often neglected in your typical exercise regime. Pilates concentrates a lot on the TA {and other abdominal groups} to help prevent low back pain and increase your functionality in all other exercise modalities.

I have a client I am currently working with who wants to increase her core strength. We are progressively working through this, and she has noticed such benefits as properly engaging her core when she is weight training as well as doing everyday activities like bringing in the groceries.

//It’s not only for “old” people…athletes do it too

I am not sure where this sort of stereotype has come from, but I hear it a lot. Many people think Pilates is just “that stretchy thing” where they will just be laying and breathing for an hour. Breath is very important in Pilates because it helps you actively engage your transverse abdominis, but it’s not the only part of it. If you are curious to see what athletic training looks like when it comes to Pilates, check out this videoΒ featuring NFL Wide Receiver Antonio Brown.

Take a look at my testimonials page where you will find dance instructors and even athletic trainers that LOVE Pilates!

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//You will feel refreshed and energized after

Pilates moves your body in a way that is low impact but challenging depending on your fitness level. Once a class is finished you may be sweaty, or you may even just feel great for the rest of your day. When I am working with clients, I try to customize to their needs whenever possible, so someone with a lot of injuries will have a different experience than someone in good health who is strong. Pilates is a foundation that can be built onto to become more therapeutic or more functional. One thing I know for sure is the best feeling is right after I leave a class. I am a little sore but invigorated and wide awake.

//Bonus: How to find a Pilates instructor you love

These tips are really universal whether you are looking for a Pilates instructor or a personal trainer, so I hope that no matter what they help you find the perfect trainer for you!

When you are starting a workout program, especially something that is new to you, it’s important to find a trainer that you can really connect with. Here are a few things to consider when you are sizing up your potential Pilates instructor:

  • Where is their certification through?
  • What is their back story? How did they get into teaching?
  • Are they personable?
  • Do they greet you and give you praise and/or corrections during class?
  • Do they ask how they could make class better for you after?
  • Did you enjoy their energy level and teaching style?

The last one is important for me. I have been to so many Pilates classes and in some I really didn’t gel well with the instructor. That is okay, because an instructor unfortunately can’t please everyone especially in a larger group setting. When I am teaching my regular clients, the tone is very conversational and relaxed. When I have new clients I am more focused on their positioning and making sure they understand the principles.

Each one of us is unique so what works for one person may not work for someone else. If you live in or around the San Diego area, check out my class rates for private and group Pilates classes. Spoiler alert: I am working on offering online private and small group mat classes. Contact me to let you know if you would be interested! πŸ™‚

Remember, if you are injured, you shouldn’t be in a group class. It’s too difficult for one instructor to watch you and make sure you aren’t furthering your injuries. This is a common mistake I see in my group classes. Keep yourself safe by taking privates to help you work through those injuries.

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About Stephanie

Stephanie Benton is a STOTT PILATES Certified instructor and recently became a mom! She holds a BA in Dance from California State University Long Beach, and has a passion for helping new moms reconnect with their physical and emotional selves after starting a family. Cohesive Fitness is a place to learn to simplify your life, health and family priorities.
  • ok i’m not going to lie – i tried pilates once a few years ago and hated it… however, i’m definitely willing to give it another try! i hated yoga at one point, too, but now love it!

  • Liz

    I took Pilates as an elective in college and LOVED it! However.. I haven’t been able to find an instructor or class that I liked as much as that… I’m still on the hunt πŸ™‚

  • πŸ™‚ It is definitely different, and there are instructors who are very serious about Pilates, teach it very slowly, and use it more in a rehabilitation aspect. When I have clients who are otherwise healthy, it can get really challenging mentally and physically. πŸ™‚

  • You will find that instructor eventually! πŸ™‚

  • fitlivingblog

    I LOVE pilates and used to take classes regularly. I need to look into taking them again because I answered yes to almost all of your questions at the beginning of the post! If only you lived in Orlando, I would have the best instructor around πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the post and I’ll be sharing it on my social channels!

  • Carly,

    Thanks so much love! I am thinking about creating virtual pilates training for clients all over the world! Is that something that would be of interest? Thanks for the share, you are wonderful!


  • fitlivingblog

    That is such a great idea! I would be the first to sign up. You should do it!!

  • jillconyers

    I used to do pilates several times a week and loved it. I don’t even know why I stopped. Now it’s yoga as often as I can.

    It was so so wonderful to meet you at blogfest!

  • Jen Rawson @ Pretty Little Gru

    I’ve never tried pilates. I’m guessing if I ever do it, I would love it. I tend to say I’ll try something for a long time and don’t get around to it. Then when I finally do I’m like, man I was missing out on this for so long!

  • πŸ™‚ Thanks girl!

  • So wonderful meeting you too Jill! You are a very kind soul! I go through phases myself with my workouts, but Pilates is always a mainstay for me. πŸ™‚

  • Jen,

    Ha! I totally understand that! <3