‘Correct postural alignment of the skeletal structure is crucial to the practice of Pilates, not only to get the best out of the exercise, but also to prevent injury.’ Joseph Pilates
I began this challenge a few weeks out from running the Amsterdam Marathon, so for myself the dynamic reformer Pilates was not only about toning and sleekifying, though that is a nice little bonus! More importantly at that stage it was about improving my core muscle strength and stamina and helping to prevent injury, especially when I was on my long training runs.
I had begun to taper my long running sessions (a 4 hour run anyone?!) so I was able to concentrate a bit more on the Bootcamp Pilates classes. This was a perfect complement to my marathon programme and a welcome change as you can imagine – I got to spend a fair amount of time on my back with bondage-style straps attached to my ankles and wrists instead of staring at the foliage and telling myself I can run just a little bit further.
So did it help? Yes. My core felt stronger, and even within a few sessions I noticed my stamina to hold certain positions had improved – double entendre intended. I also noticed my core got less tired on my runs. Your core is so important in running, and I used to find that my posture deteriorated on my longer runs, looking more and more like a hunchback the longer I was out there. Both improved dramatically with just a few sessions. And an added benefit of the stronger core is that I don’t get lower back pain when I am standing on my feet for long periods of time at a concert or clubbing.
I was able to attend classes at the Fulham studio, my closest one (they also have studios in Richmond, Nottinghill, and the City) and had sessions with Harry, Pawel, Vicky and Luke. All of the instructors I’ve had have been highly skilled and each has their own unique style/emphasis in the classes (and playlist!), so it keeps things fresh.
You can find out more info at www.bootcamppilates.com. Especially if you’re intrigued by the bondage-style straps… 😉