So it begs the question what is true Pilates, what are the otherlaties, and how are you going to decide which is best for you? Is one of the forms harder than the other? Is it more beneficial to use the equipment or should you do classic mat classes, or try one of the otherlaties?
It is my humble opinion you should make a decision. If it’s all new to you, then start slow, and pick a level-appropriate mat class. Your best chance of getting the true idea of what Pilates offers is to go to a “Pilates Studio,” not just a place that offers Pilates as a hook. Start out with a classic mat routine that will introduce you to the Pilates lingo, how to use your body during the movement piece of the exercise and proper set up for the movement; for optimal benefit to you.
The best exercise programs get you accustomed to the changes gradually. Remember to be patient with yourself as it can take six to eight weeks before you see physical results. The euphoria from adrenaline will happen sooner though.
Now spice it up if you want your feeling awesome and want more, (your body is responding), you feel stronger and in better control of your movements. Try a reformer, tower, or chair class. These are authentic types of equipment created by Joseph Pilates and have been finely developed over the years for optimal performance and endurance in a class setting. Let us now take a look at some of the otherlaties offerings.
- Barre Sculpt uses a combination of conditioning and stretching exercises and a ballet bar (barre), for stability. Short sets of precise movements at the barre and on the mat will help you in lengthening by perfecting posture and increased stamina is effected by a degree of aerobic work.
- TRX is a suspension training system with straps anchored to a door, a beam, a wall mount, or secure frame. It can be used by incorporating Pilates type moves while standing, laying on a mat, kneeling and using the suspension straps to support you or for resistance. Many of the moves done with the TRX setup will cause your core abdominal muscles to engage automatically! A bonus it’s an innate reminder you need to be focused on how you are stabilizing your body during movement.
- Yogalaties is a reminder to slow down and be mindful of the precision and control required to execute each move with purpose. Taking the time to get to know how your body feels in one position over another and how the smallest of body positioning changes can make huge differences in the body’s response. Since so many people still think Yoga & Pilates are the same thing, it’s good to have them combined to create a naturally soothing body workout.
- Cardiolaties is a faster paced work out to get that much needed aerobic element into the mix for you. A firm knowledge of the Pilates mat work is essential to taking this type of class. Each mat exercise is going to come at you quickly and it’s necessary for your form to be spot on and your ability to engage your core muscles properly is inherent. Then you come to the standing portion which may include any number of aerobic type moves and may include the use of light weights. Often this is set to an upbeat music lineup.
So what does this all mean? People want to enjoy what they are doing for their fitness routine and above all benefit from the hard work they put into it. The variety comes from the need to find the “right fit”. We know we need flexibility, strength, cardio and we want to enjoy the path we take to achieve it. We know that Pilates seems to be the way to go, but then all the choices combined with it. For me, the one thing that is constant throughout all of these is that the core abdominal work taught by Pilates is the pillar behind long-term fitness results.
“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know” Pema Chodron