Pilates Reformer

I work with Lisa Green at the Greystone YMCA each week practicing Pilates. I have been going twice a week for over a year consistently and have been doing Pilates on and off for over 7 years. I always go back. Working on a reformer Machine is different than mat Pilates, but I think you need both. I currently only do the machine. (I don't practice what I preach) Lisa sends an email each week giving us tips and information on how Pilates helps our bodies and how we can work other exercises into our routine. I'm sharing with you this weeks newsletter. 

What Does a Pilates Body Look Like?

There has been a lot of buzz about the Pilates body. What is it?

First, its a terrible misnomer. There is no exercise program that would result in one body type, since everyones body is so different. Take a look at our YMCA Pilates instructors. Were all doing the same basic workouts, yet we look different because of how we build muscle (some people get more cut than others based on diet, genetics, and bone structure, for instance). Plus some of us are short, and some of are really tall.

But, in general, because of how Pilates works, there are some generalizations you can make:

1. Pilates builds strength and tone, without building bulk. Thats why the Pilates body
and dancers body look so similar. However, Pilates doesnt abuse your body the way professional dance does, so although our bodies might look the same, the Pilates body probably feels a lot better.

2. Since we work a lot on the smaller, stabilizing muscles that are often overlooked in traditional workouts, your body shape can begin to change. By focusing on the hip muscles for instance, your glutes can get a rounder, perkier shape (score!).

3. Pilates is a full-body workout, and we dont miss anything. The goal is to develop even musculature. That means were working your arms, legs, abs…, which you might be inclined to skip at the gym because you dont like it(yet).

4. Pilates builds great posture, which makes you look taller. You actually might even become taller, as you strengthen your core musculature and expand the space between your vertebrae or straighten out a crooked spine or uneven pelvis. Plus, the compliments youll get on your muscle tone will help you stand even straighter.

5. Pilates core work focuses on the deepest layer of core musculature, teaching your abs to pull inwards to your spine and stay there. Flat abs, anyone?

6. Pilates builds strength, balance, and flexibility, which helps you move (in every activity) with greater ease. So, you look more graceful (because you actually are).

So, thats the recipe. Apply it to your frame and genetic makeup, do it regularly, eat right, and voila… your very own Pilates body!

If you are interested in trying out Pilates, you can join me at the YMCA Greystone!

Lisa Green
Director of Group Exercise
YMCA Greystone
5414 Hwy 280
Birmingham, Alabama 35242