In true Pilates style my classes and private sessions are very focused on form and alignment, so that we not only workout efficiently, but safely. Any new exercise routine, whether it be Pilates, yoga, or circuit training in the gym, can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to get yourself in over your head. For years I would go to the gym for 2, sometimes 3 hours a day, and waste time lifting weights improperly, running on the treadmill forever, and going through the motions on machines I had no idea how to use. I was afraid to ask for help for fear of looking stupid in front of the gym buffs, when really I must have looked ridiculous lobbing the weights around like I did. Of course along the way I got some pointers, made friends with a few trainers, took classes, and learned. I was lucky that I never injured myself seriously along the way, but in my job I see lots of issues come about from performing exercises improperly.
Here are the facts, when your body is in optimal alignment your muscles will just work! So when your trainer or instructor tells you to line your ankles up under your knees, or to pull your rib cage back in line with your hips, or draw your shoulder blades down your back, their talking about aligning your bones. Our bones are like the foundation of a house, if our foundation is not aligned structurally we will not be strong to begin with. Once we pull ourselves into alignment the muscles will follow suit and support the structure, picture slabbing dry wall on that house. When the muscles can work the way they’re supposed to they become stronger, and more toned. Are we getting the picture?
So whether your goal of working out is tone up and trim down, or to improve your posture, form should really be at the top of your priority list. It takes patience, and dedication, but fine tuning your workouts pays off! Think about an athlete, they don’t just throw themselves into an event, expect to succeed, and be as fit as others who have trained for years. Athletes meticulously practice each move, and pay attention to detail to achieve their goals. Even though we all don’t aspire to be professional athletes the same applies to even the most basic fitness goals.
A while back I filmed a bunch of videos on how to do basic exercises properly. Check them out, practice them in the comfort of your own home, and then look and feel like a pro the next time you workout!