Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Tough Pilates session

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Tough session today. It’s very hard for me to be body-conscious—knowing which muscles are working and which are slack, and how to activate a muscle. Obviously, I know the overt ones: working my bicep with a curl and the link. But when you start talking about muscles in and around my chest and abdomen, I’m not so connected with those. And in particular when you talk about effort along myofascial meridians—an effort that starts in the foot and exerts tension along a myfascial linkage up into the middle of your back: that I don’t feel so well.

I asked my instructor today, who was laboring mightily to get my form correct, whether it was the case that athletically oriented people grasp the Pilates moves more quickly. I learned (a) not necessarily: she was quite athletic when she started Pilates—skiing, bicycling, swimming, and the like—and it was incredibly difficult for her and for a long time she knew she was the worst student in a group, though after a year she had begun to learn good form and finally another student joined who was even worse than she; she also found it was necessary to acknowledge that she had a lot to learn, which for a successful competitive athlete is not so easy an admission; and (b) quite a few athletes simply never consider Pilates. She said she can watch tennis matches and tell which players have done Pilates and which have not, and the same for dancers. Those who have not are not so effective in their movements and lack a core of stability.

I am doing exercises now on my own, but I think I’ll be continuing with the formal coaching sessions for a long time—otherwise I’m quite sure I’d be doing the exercises ineffectively, with bad form.

If you are interested in doing Pilates, see if you can find a good instructor and get some professional coaching along the way. At least for me, correct form has been quite elusive, though more and more frequently I am able to do it for a repetition or even two in succession.

As I learned with Spanish and with learning the practical lessons of weight control: slow and steady wins the race and persistence pays off. Impatience is the enemy of success, especially since it seems frequently to lead to quitting (because the rate of improvement is not so fast as we want it to be).

Written by LeisureGuy

22 June 2011 at 4:26 pm

Posted in Daily life, Fitness, Pilates

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