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Davis Journal

Bringing in the new year with Pilates fitness

Feb 01, 2024 10:30AM ● By Kiana Fonua Williams
 A group of women following instructions in a Pilates gym class in Station Park. Photo by Kiana Fonua Williams

A group of women following instructions in a Pilates gym class in Station Park. Photo by Kiana Fonua Williams

Pilates has become the hottest trending exercise for this new year season. I’m sure you have seen classes or gyms offering this workout, but what exactly is Pilates? Pilates is a form of strength training, that doesn’t quite look like your average strength training exercise. It is typically used with reformer equipment. The reformer was invented by Joseph Pilates. While it can be an intimidating piece of equipment, it is easy to pick up on. The machine is a bed-like frame with a flat surface on it called the carriage. That carriage rolls back and forth on wheels within the frame and attached to one end of the reformer by a set of springs. Each bed is adjustable to be able to set your own strength settings to work out to your own level. Pilates can be done without the reformer machine. All you need is an exercise mat, and an elastic band to complete an easy routine. The baseline intention of Pilates is to teach the art of control – of the mind, body, and muscles. 

There are so many great benefits about this physical activity, and made for all body types and ages, making it the perfect class to attend this year for anyone wanting to better their health. It is a very social exercise because of how most classes are set up and perfect for groups. Many professional athletes have personal instructors on hand to enhance their performance training in private classes and older adults in aiding muscle strengthening and balance. Pilates focuses more on improving muscle tone, rather than building bulky muscles. Although the results can be similar, it provides greater stability and endurance, without the strain of lifting or running. It can improve posture, increase strength, enhance flexibility, improve balance and expand energy. Even though they seem similar, many people confuse Pilates with the comparison to yoga and the two are very different. The main difference between the two; Pilates focuses on muscle toning, body control and core strength. While yoga’s focus more on flexibility and broad muscle groups. 

Pilates is definitely an exercise that is all about the quality of the work out. One hour of doing Pilates the proper way can burn calories throughout the day, hours after your work out. During intense exercises like Pilates, your metabolic rate will increase. When finishing that session your body doesn’t go straight back to a “resting” state immediately after and can stay elevated for a short time after. Because of that, it causes a spike in calories burned hours after post work out. It doesn’t matter how fast you can finish or complete a pose, but how well you do it can assist in the benefits of the exercise. 

You can find classes that are available in Farmington, at Body Bar Pilates, located in Station Park. If you are looking for an activity that will challenge and empower you, they have great classes to help you reach your fitness goals this new year.