When I’m stuck in my run, run, run, swim, swim, swim routine, I often forget about taking some time to fit in something else. I do a bit of additional core work at home after a run, or when I remember, and it really does help, but I find it hard to squeeze yet another discipline into my week. Last week I decided to have a go at Bootcamp Pilates to see if this might be something to balance all the forward motion activities I find myself doing. I have done some pilates before (actually it was a big part of my dance training, and I have always been aware of its benefits), but this has always been mat-based, but this time I found myself climbing onto a machine. At Bootcamp Pilates, they use reformer machines – this is not some new fangled thing, but is based on the original machines used by Joseph Pilates, so has been tried and tested over many years.
As I was new to the class, the teacher spent a bit of time explaining what we would be doing and showing me how to best set up my machine, she also popped over every so often to make sure I wasn’t getting into a pickle. We started with a warm-up, using a ring thing (I don’t know the technical term) and working our abs (I was glad of my regular core work at this point!) and we were soon getting into position on our machines, and using the resistance to work our legs. There I was thinking my legs were good and strong, but I was really feeling the burn as we held the last position…just a little bit longer…and three, two, one….arrrghghg! So, if you pictured pilates being something biddies do, involving lots of lying around and deep breathing, then you’re wrong!
I would definitely say I prefer this class over the mat-based class. I was so busy concentrating on getting my position right (and not falling off the machine and showing myself up) that the hour flew by and, before I knew it, we were warming down and stretching. My teacher was really friendly and made sure I understood everything before letting me throw myself about on moving apparatus, and the studio I visited was really handy for Old Street station (just a few minutes walk). There are other studios in Notting Hill, Fulham and Richmond and, if you’re quick, you can take advantage of the current offer of four classes for £50 (this is just for January, so get a move on!). I found I was aching the next day, especially my thighs and glutes, so I definitely had a good workout 🙂