I hear lots of excuses and untruths about Pilates from folks who have never tried it and aren’t quite sure what Pilates is. And truth be told, it can be hard to put into words all the magic that Pilates is! So today, I thought I’d take a moment to clear up some of the myths and untruths stopping YOU from trying Pilates!
Myth #1 – I’m not flexible enough to do Pilates
Wrong- you do not need to be flexible to try Pilates. In fact, Pilates will help you improve your flexibility. In Pilates – work is performed within your range of motion and in some cases that may be a small range if you have tight hamstrings, a tight back, or other issues. I used to struggle with tight hamstrings but regular Pilates helps me tremendously in this area.
Myth #2 – Pilates is for ballerina’s and former dancers only
True many dancers do use Pilates to stay in shape. But guess what… so do Olympics Athletes and Professional Athletes including NBA, MLB, NFL, Swimmers, Golfers, Cyclists, Triathletes, Martial Arts, Runners and more. Pilates has something to offer everyone from dancers to professional athletes to the average Joe or Jane. Don’t let yourself be intimidated by someone else’s ability, instead pat yourself on the back for working out like a pro!
Myth #3 – Pilates is Ok for girls but no self-respecting guy is going to do Pilates
Think again – NBA All-Star guard Jason Kidd, World Series Champion Curt Schilling, NBA All- Star Kobe Bryant, professional golfer Tiger Woods and even Sting, lead singer of the Police, practice pilates. Manly enough for you? And if you are after the elusive 6 pack abs – Pilates can do that for you!
Myth #4 – I have a bad back therefore I should avoid Pilates
Not necessarily. Did you know 80% of back pain can be alleviated with proper muscular balance and strength? Unless your Doctor has told you to avoid Pilates – it may be just what your back needs. All exercises taught by a qualified instructor utilize a safe, neutral spine alignment. A PMA certified instructor will be able to modify the exercise to work around issues you may have. Steer clear of instructors without proper certification if you have issues. Always share with your instructor any issues you may have before class and he/she can determine which exercises will be beneficial and safe for you. Many have avoided surgery and relieved their back pain by practicing Pilates. Isn’t it worth a shot!!
Myth #5 – I need a challenging workout- Pilates won’t be enough for me
To this one I say- come try a class – and see for yourself! I’ll admit I kind of enjoy proving folks wrong on this myth! Besides, if professional athletes and olympians are choosing Pilates… there must be a reason. Pilates exercises performed properly can be very challenging and taxing on your muscles… if it’s easy… focus a little more on your form and breathing and that will take up the challenge level. A qualified instructor will tell you how you should feel the work- if you aren’t ‘feeling it’ – speak up! She can guide you on how to modify to get the most out of a movement. My students leave class with happily, fatigued muscles – trust me on this one!
Hopefully, I have cleared up some of the confusion surrounding Pilates, and just maybe encouraged you to give it a try! If you have additional questions, leave me a comment and I’ll happily answer them. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!