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Fit Tip: Try Pilates at Least Once

While I was doing bicep curls at the gym yesterday, I was reminded of how great Pilates is. Why, you may ask? Because so many Pilates fundamentals extend to other activities, so you can exercise better no matter what you're doing.

If you've never taken a Pilates class, I urge you to try it at least once so that you can apply the lessons to the rest of your fitness routine. For instance, Pilates focuses a great deal on breathing and control, both of which come in handy when strength training. The more you control your movements, the less prone you are to injury.

Even more useful is learning to suck in your abs (engage your deep abs), concentate on your core, and keep your spine neutral. This not only protects your back and improves posture but also helps build your ab muscles. After dabbling in Pilates, you'll learn that sucking in your abs during just about any activity — from weightlifting to canoing — can help you tighten your tummy and protect your back.

So give it a shot and see what you learn. Who knows? You may even find a new workout you love. Are you a Pilates fan? If so, tell me what it's taught you.

Join The Conversation
all4u all4u 9 years
K so the thing with my abs is that I can NOT tone my lower abs....My upper abs will get all toned and perfect but my lower abs will stay the same. Any advice?
redsilkshoes redsilkshoes 9 years
I teach it between 6-9 times a week and my members LOVE what it's done for them. I teach a pilatesworks class that involves using lighter weights and even the men are challenged by what between 2-5 lbs can do for the upper body. I highly recommend everyone try it at least once as well but remember what Joseph Pilates said- 'In ten sessions'you will feel the difference; in 20 you will see the difference; and in 30 you will have a whole new body'. I cannot stress enough what I've seen happen with my members. The transformations are incredible.
Lo-Lo291303 Lo-Lo291303 9 years
I'm obsessed with Pilates. I swear I've grown an inch or two since I started a couple years ago!
brutalcupcake brutalcupcake 9 years
I need to start doing it :P
ally14 ally14 9 years
I love Pilates!!! I do it religously everyday and have turned all my friends into it. I don't find it that difficult but the results are amazing.
bloodredrose bloodredrose 9 years
@colleenb: Ha! Looking at it that way, maybe all my regular Muni riding counts as a sort of daily pilates workout? :)
chicobo chicobo 9 years
I love Pilates! I take a class every Monday and it really kicks off my week. I am sore all day on Tuesday but it's totally worth it. I use the breathing techniques when doing some light weightlifting and it's really helps improve not only the part you're working on but also your abs at the same time.
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
Pilates is aMAzing. It changed my life and got me back into the gym! Honestly, nothing makes you feel stronger and better about yourself as quickly, and it makes you aware of your posture, breathing and muscles (even bones) in every type of movement. I do an hour class a few times a week and WOW it really keep the abs in shape too - like nothing else.
paramita paramita 9 years
I love Pilates! I've been doing it for over a year now and I think it improves my posture a lot. It also make my tummy and butt look absolutely fab. Now I look really good in skinny jeans ;).
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
I've been hooked on Pilates since the first class. I really enjoy feeling stronger and healthier and really appreciate all of the postings Fit does about Pilates.
chocolatine chocolatine 9 years
I absolutely love Pilates, and that's saying a lot since I used to hate exercise. One nitpick to Fit's post though: you don't "suck in" your abs in Pilates, you "engage" them. Sucking in doesn't allow you to breath properly, whereas engaging makes you breathe deeply into your lungs and helps expell all the air on the exhalation. Breathing is an essential aspect of Pilates, so sucking in would be counter-productive.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 9 years
I took a class once a few years ago and had a horrible experience. It was the first day of my period, and I was having horrible cramps. With all of the core/ab work, I got really sick and wound up running to the restroom and tossing my cookies (sorry for all the TMI). I should probably give it another shot though.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
I love pilates! I have only been doing it a short while but have noticed that my posture has gotten better and i definitely have more energy.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 9 years
I love pilates it has change my body completely! Not only I feel better and I'm more conscious but I look better.
colleenb colleenb 9 years
By far the most useful thing Pilates has done for me is help me in difficult public transportation situations. Like when you're standing and don't have anything to grab onto, I just completely focus on my core and am like a pillar. Kind of.
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