Taken a little while to get back into the gym? We’re talking you through our favourite forms of fitness, starting with Pilates – with a little help from Pilates & Co. studio manager Belinda Survilla.
If you haven’t tried Pilates – or you haven’t done it in a while – it’s important to know that Pilates is a great complementary workout for your other favourite forms of fitness, be it HIIT, running, cycling, swimming… you name it!
“Pilates complements any other sport or recreation to a tee,” says Belinda. “We’ve had feedback from our clients who are athletes saying they have noticed a big difference in flexibility, speed and endurance since starting Pilates.”
Using either bodyweight or apparatuses like balls, bands, light weights and, for reformer Pilates, a specialised machine, Pilates targets all muscle groups to strengthen, lengthen and tone.
Pilates & Co. in particular utilises different spring-loaded apparatuses – including special Pilates reformers, cadillacs, chairs and barrels – to target and recruit smaller muscle groups, challenge balance and stretch and work out your larger muscle groups, too.
“Anyone who has tried a session using Pilates apparatus notices the difference immediately – there’s no zoning out, the challenge is real,” says Belinda.
Keen to throw yourself into a fitness regime? Pilates could be your best option – it’s low intensity, meaning recovery is much easier and rest days aren’t essential.
Studies show that beginners show the best improvement if they do three sessions per week, so while it takes some time to get used to the equipment and the style of movement, after a few months you’ll be surprised by the changes in the way you move and feel.
““Pilates can be catered to literally everyone – no matter your fitness levels, past experience we can give you a great workout with our beginner, intermediate and reformer HIIT sessions,” says Belinda. “We have lots of members who come every day because they just love how they feel after a class: stronger, recharged and relaxed.”
And while Pilates is a favourite for people easing their way back into regular gym visits, it is important that you take some time to build back up to your previous strength levels. This approach – called ‘graded exposure’ – will give you the best long-term results.
“You may experience DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) for one or two days after, but know this is completely normal and means that you just got stronger,” says Belinda. “It’s a good idea to keep moving when experiencing DOMS, either with another light workout, some stretches or rolling out on a foam roller or massage ball.”