Today I took my first-ever Pilates class at the Sports Club LA near my office. I have been recommending Pilates to patients for years because I know that it helps to tone and strengthen the key muscle groups that are vital to our spinal health. I have never had the opportunity to take a class in which I knew the instructor would be able to provide individual attention, and so I had never actually taken a class myself. Individual attention is very important when leaning any new skill, but especially Pilates. This is because you can very easily appear to be doing Pilates exercises correctly, when, in fact, you are not! When any patient is interested in Pilates as a form of core stabilization exercise, I always encourage them, but I recommend they pay for a few one-one-one session prior to joining a class. This way, they can get the most out of the classes and prevent potential injuries from improper exercise.
I must admit that my class today was a mixed experience. On one hand, I really felt the individual muscles being worked and I could feel my core muscles engaging in ways that they are not normally asked to do. On the other, I did not sweat at all and my instructor seemed to be in a bit of a rush with all the exercises. Because I am a beginner, I had to go slower than the rest of the class in terms of repetitions just to make sure I had the proper form. My instructor's speedy changes from one exercise to another were a little frustrating at times.
All in all, I think it was a very valuable experience. However, if I were to incorporate Pilates into my regular exercise routine, I would have to make extra time for "sweaty exercise" so that I could feel my metabolism working.