Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Finding Fitness - Pilates

So, yeah, if Rossi can use Pilates for rehab, I should probably give it a try in my finding fitness series. 

My local Pilates spot is Eagle Rock Pilates, although when I look up the site, they apparently call their place Pilates Eagle Rock.   This gives me the same vague embarrassment/stubborness I sometimes get whenever I pronounce a player's name wrong in an interview, but still prefer my version. (Yeah, it's your name, but have you thought about changing?)

I once took a Pilates class at my local gym and thought that was pretty cake, but it turns out, that was at best what is known as a 'mat Pilates' session. The more intense versions follow closely the teachings of Joseph Pilates and make use of specific Pilates equipment like the Reformer. (Cue my reflex reaction to get Snow's Informer ditty stuck in my head for the rest of the day.)
Me on Reformer - As if!

Pilates focuses a lot on slow controlled movements that seem simple at first, but really give muscles a workout. I'm trembling by the time I have to repeat most any movement. The core muscles especially get exhausted. Just try Rossi's sideplank circle walk - it's not easy.

Fitness: 8/10 It's an amazing way to strengthen muscles and build body control, but I felt it was missing a cardio element. 

Fun: 6/10 Pilates is cool way of getting in touch with what one's body is capable of and the exercises are almost like a body experiment - this looks easy, but damn, it's not! - and a good instructor really makes each session an educational experience. Lose-yourself-in-the-moment fun, though? Not so much. 

Sociability: 4/10 For private sessions, the only socialization is with the Pilates trainer. Group sessions are still quite small, and everyone seems serious about the exercises, so there's not much interaction or conversation.

Convenience: 7/10 Pilates is very popular in California, and there are studios all over the South Bay for retiring and rehabbing soccer players. 

Cost: 3/10 Private sessions are more expensive, of course, but even group sessions are pretty pricey. 

Pilates is an excellent workout, especially ideal for athletes who need precise body control, like dancers and soccer players, but it's not a terribly entertaining exercise. I'll probably do it some, like I try to eat some vegetables because I know they're good for me and I should, but not because I wouldn't rather have something else. 

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