Monday, May 3, 2010

No Shoes Required

I once did Pilates for Wimps or Pilates for Dummies but it felt awkward.

Still, I didn't ignore one of the most recent Discovery Health newsletters that arrived in my inbox, a Pilates 101 article. In addition, Diane over at Diane's Training Journal always has my curiosity piqued when she mentions Pilates. Recently, I took a proper look at 10 Minute Solution: Quick Sculpt Pilates.

I love props and I love a challenge. Guess what? I found both in Quick Sculpt which comes with a cute little pink ball.

I really enjoyed the Strength & Flexibility Pilates segment which concentrates on spinal flexibility. Placing the ball under your lower back supposedly mimics spine corrector apparatus. I don't know anything about the apparatus but my lower back was slightly tweaked and when I finished scissoring, helicoptering and frogging, my back was tweak-free.

The Core Conditioning segment wore me out and I don't ever think that I've had my abs worked over so intensely the way they were worked over in Core Conditioning with the exception of Jackie Warner's Personal Training Circuit (the 40 minute stint).

All of the routines took some getting used to. I had to concentrate on precisely flexing my feet and working with holding the ball between my ankles. Also, the breathing pattern took some getting used to but I also have breathing issues with yoga and, for that matter, with the front crawl.

I don't know the Pilates vocabulary either but I got the gist of what Andrea Leigh Rogers, who is so graceful by the way, was talking about when she kept saying articulate your spine.

While I was laying on my side doing the routine for Buns and Thigh Sculptor, I was thinking, Oh My God, I'm going to have to do this on the other side and it's going to hurt burn just as much. I liked doing the bridge with my feet on the ball but it was definitely an accident waiting to happen challenging to extend the bridge by moving your legs outward with your feet on the ball.

In Standing Pilates Sculpt, Prince's song Baby, I'm A Star kept going through my head because, at one point, you were supposed to have your body positioned in a star-like state.

I was so happy to release my arms at the end of this segment because they were on fire.

Here is me at the end of Core Conditioning. It was a TKO, y'all.

Oh yeah, the one thing that I really liked about Pilates is that shoes are not required. Really, I know it seems trivial but sometimes when I'm in the locker room trying to negotiate the gauntlet, I swear, every little thing that I need to do in order to be workout-ready seems tiresome. After I inserted the DVD, I was getting ready to put on my Nike shoes and, when I realized that I didn't need them, it made me happy.

What's something small that puts a smile on your face -- besides exercise? :)


  1. whew! what a workout! I use to do yoga before my Dr. told me NO...but I would sweat it up big time- it's HARD!

  2. Sounds tough! I haven't done alot of mat Pilates classes but I recognize some of the moves you mentioned. The other day in class we did some moves that I KNOW I couldn't have done, much less attempted, 4 months ago. My core has truly gotten stronger. And it's true, I am a Pilates Junkie. If I miss a few days it feels like my body turns straight back to jello again.

    Will you be extra sore tomorrow do you think? Glad you had fun and I love the pics, although I can't figure out how you take them. You must be a very talented and multitasking kind of girl...

  3. I am laughing so hard right now, because I was thinking the same thing about Yoga tonight - I'm so glad I can go barefoot!! Lol. I totally understand what you mean!!

    I am hoping to start when I get a job - it's the only thing that's extra at hour gym - $400 for 8 weeks.

  4. @TJ,

    I never thought I'd be able to get such a tough workout without shoes. :)


    I can see why you're a Pilates junkie and I definitely plan to do more.

    Isn't it nice to have a strong core?

    To combat soreness, I've been trying to do more stretching and, when I have stretching-resistant soreness, my next move is a warm bath with Epsom Salt which works every time. :)

    Re: the pictures, LOL, when I find a move that moves me or that I can't believe that I attempted, I run for the camera and put it on self-timer. Hee hee, I'm such a cheese ball at times. :)

    @Fattie Fatterton,

    Glad I made you laugh and that you understand where I'm coming from with the barefoot thing. :)

  5. I get to go barefoot the whole time I work :)

    I like core workouts but balls and balance and me do not mix very well.

  6. Barefoot and exercising is the best! Pilaties is a great workout!

  7. Ilove doing Pilates. I'm trying to find Windsor Buns & thighs on dvd. In order to not have to pull out the old dusty hvs player, to get down. Pilates works, I got a nice bootay from doing that tape. I need to get back on it. lol

  8. @midlife_swimmer,

    Okay, you had me chuckling big time. I had forgotten about the barefoot factor with swimming -- probably because I focus so on the front crawl and breathing.

    I went swimming tonight and, now, I'm so relaxed and satisfied. :)

    I know what you mean about balls and balancing since it can be challenging...


    I could completely get used to this being barefoot while exercising thing. I see that I've been missing out by not doing Pilates.


    Thanks for the heads-up about Pilates. I'm definitely going to add it as a workout option.

    Also, thanks for letting me know that there are other perks to Pilates. :)