Pilates has become somewhat of a fitness fad in the last few months, with the workout taking over social media platforms thanks to its magical body-sculpting abilities. Naturally I had to try it out for myself to see if it’s worth the hype, and stopped by the Pilates PT studio in Fulham for a one-on-one session. I am not new to personal training or pilates independently, although this is the first time I had tried the two together.
My trainer asked extensively about my background, establishing my history with exercise, current routine and lifestyle, and any injuries I was struggling with, so that she could tailor our session to exactly what I needed. She very quickly learned that I have the hypermobility of a former ballerina, a love for long distance running and I sit at a desk for most of my day, so when you combine those three things, it’s a recipe for injuries.
We decided that our main goal of the session would be to focus on strengthening my body in a way that would support me when I’m running, and decrease my likelihood of re-injuring myself. She talked me through a series of exercises, involving a combination of reformer and matte pilates, that despite not being particularly fast or strenuous, were shockingly difficult. I used muscles that I haven’t used in years, but didn’t leave the session feeling exhausted or sore, but instead felt elongated, stronger, deeply-stretched and actually more energised than I was when I arrived.
Even more importantly, I noticed a significant decrease in the pain I usually experience in my neck, back and hip in the days afterwards. Overall, what I found was that behind the trend lies something significantly more important; a form of exercise that has the ability to do much more than just change my appearance, it could change the way my body moves and how it feels when it does so.