I’ve had the opportunity over the Thanksgiving break to take a couple Pilates classes at two different studios in Cincinnati. I love to try new studios and new instructors! Both classes were fun, energetic, challenging, and a good workout. Even though these two studios are quite different and I suspect attract a different clientele … they shared at least one thing in common. Both studios and both instructors paid attention to the details. That is key for me – because Pilates is about the details!
There are plenty of workouts you can try where the details don’t matter. In running, spinning, often times in even in strength training classes, the goals are less about the details and more about accomplishing a distance, a pace, or a number of repetitions. In Pilates, I’d much rather see you perform three really good movements and know the what, why, and how of the movement than 10, 15 or three sets of bigger less specific movements. Both classes I took this weekend, the instructors cued the details. Both classes, the instructor offered modifications and helped students find the correct form for the movements. As is often the case in Pilates, a small change or detail can make a big difference in muscles recruited!
In Pilates, so much of the work is about finding and recruiting our supporting muscles or stabilizing muscles. Yes we need our big global muscles, too, but these can work so much better with a support team! In order to learn a proper movement pattern, we need to look at the details. We need to maybe get a bit uncomfortable and relearn how to move efficiently. A great Pilates class teaches the details and how to move properly and efficiently.
One of the benefits to taking a Pilates class with a ‘live’ instructor versus following along to a video or working out by yourself is the extra set of eyes from a professional who can help you with the details. While videos are great and a perfect supplement for when you can’t make it to the studio … nothing replaces the watchful eyes and helpful hands of a professional Pilates instructor. To find the details and better understand the work – find a great instructor! That’s the difference between an ok class and a wonderful one 🙂