I'm getting bored of my present exercise routine and was intrigued by what I've been seeing around about
Pilates. But it all seems out of reach since it appears that you must have a personal trainer, which is extremely cost prohibitive to me. I read about celebrities that do Pilates but wonder if the discipline is really just geared for those who are more affluent.
- Exercising My Options (Jersey City, NJ)
Dear Exercising: There's no doubt that Pilates (pronounced puh-LAH-teez), has been manifested into the Louis Vuitton of
| Let's face it, Pilates is
Perhaps, it's the movie star
appreciation-- and the press hype that follows-- or original devotees like legendary dancers Martha Graham and George Balanchine.
Joseph H. Pilates developed The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning over ninety years ago as a series of controlled movements that lengthen muscles without building bulk.
These unique exercises are performed on a special
apparatus, or as mat
work, emphasizing the mid-section powerhouse (and, you thought powerhouse referred to a public utility), proper breathing, strength, flexibility, and appropriate body alignment.
But, you are right. Pilates can be super-expensive.
In NYC, a certified personal trainer can cost roughly $50 to $100 per session. Then, there are mat classes. And, of course, you need to live in city where Pilates is even available.
Famous Followers of Pilates:
San Francisco 49ers
But that was then and this is now!
||There is an arsenal of at-home alternatives
to utilize the mind-body method of conditioning
without breaking the
Plus, you can reap the expertise
of some of the best in the business Pilates gurus right in your own home… can anything be more fab?
Like any form of exercise, you should consult your physician before undertaking this regime and, of course, some personal training tune-ups will add oomph and greater understanding.
You may want a book as a handy reference
for movements. Here are some recommendations:
Idiot's Guide to the Pilates Method (Alpha Books) by Karon Karter is a great overall
review of mat work and machines
for first time Pilates exercisers without being overly intimidating and walks you through some specialized workouts, like "The Anticellulite Solution".
The Pilates Body machine-free guide to mat work and a wonderful reference for absolute beginners to a pro who just wants a quick refresher.
Pilates Powerhouse (Perseus Books) by Mari Winsor is billed as "no equipment necessary" and offers
simple directions to basic mat work.
From large to small, there are a variety of apparatus's to heighten the Pilates
experience. The professional Reformer is a sliding-carriage, bed-like machine with springs that slide within the carriage so you can perform a system of 32 exercises. Most go for way upwards of $2,000 and can take up far too much space for average home use.
That's where Stamina Products comes in: Collaborating with the Pilates Studio ®, they have developed a fully integrated, cost-effective
Pilates Home System. The Pilates Premier Performer is a compact-size version of a Reformer that's small enough to tuck away when not in use and way cheaper. A Box and Pole
or Stand can be added.
The Pilates Home Studio set is an excellent value
as it comes with a Small Barrel for stretching, strengthening & realigning the spine, Magic Circle (think of it as a toning, mini hoola hoop), instructional video, lead by Joseph Pilates protégé, Romana Kryzanowska, and cushy mat.
Can't say enough good things about the
Stott Pilates™ home video series. Developed by master instructor Moira Stott-Merrithew, the
cueing and direction
are flawless- then again, the Stott studio equipment is pretty amazing too.
Favorite Stott Pilates videos include: The Flex-Band
Workout mimics the resistance-training of a Reformer machine (great for taking on the road),
Power Fitness Circle (their name for a Magic Circle), and the
Power Mat Workout. Be sure to
keep to your fitness level
when choosing videos.
I wouldn't exactly say it was rough road testing a cornucopia of Pilates fitness products, but in my opinion, these, without question, offer
the best at-home
exercising, and are far better than going to a studio and paying for so-so instructor. Now, get to it!
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