Pilates: No Pain, No Gain?

The first time I did Pilates I was feeling the “burn” in places I had never felt before! Every single exercise was waking up muscles and challenging my stamina and strength. I thought, no way am I going to be able to move tomorrow! I knew sore muscles were headed my way.

  • Author: Lesley Logan
  • April 19, 2018
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Pilates No Pain No Gain thegem blog - Online Pilates Classes
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Pilates No Pain No Gain thegem blog - Online Pilates Classes

The first time I did Pilates I was feeling the “burn” in places I had never felt before! Every single exercise was waking up muscles and challenging my stamina and strength. I thought, no way am I going to be able to move tomorrow! I knew sore muscles were headed my way.

But, then the next day I got up and felt pretty awesome. A few spots of soreness but nothing like I thought.  I would turn or twist I could feel something new. And, it felt good to move through the soreness. Nothing like after a challenging run or too many lunges and squats at the gym.

I continued to do Pilates four to five days a week and in the last ten plus years while I still experience muscle soreness it’s never a debilitating experience and unlike my HIIT or Cross Fit counterparts, soreness after Pilates is not a badge of workout honor.

There are a lot of myths about muscle soreness. People believe that without muscle soreness they are not working hard enough. And, while you want to be challenging your muscles and soreness is a sign that the muscles are challenged you also should be able to live your life and move!

Joseph Pilates wanted us to leave feeling better than when we walked into the studio. That we should leave feeling invigorated!

In Pilates, I find that in the beginning there may be muscle soreness because it’s a new movement challenge. But, often, my clients feel soreness the more advanced they become in their practice. And, not because the exercises get harder or bigger but because they start to understand that there is a lot of control in the return. For example, when you first start out Footwork on the reformer feels like so much of a leg, quad-based exercise. But, over time, your seat, inner thighs, and abs start to join the party.

Another reason I feel Pilates doesn’t leave you so sore you cannot lower yourself into a chair is because we only do a few reps and then we move on. When I work with my trainer we do three sets of the same exercise, we add more weight as we go along. We stress the muscle’s ability. But, in Pilates, we do 3-5 and sometimes 10 reps of an exercise and we move on. It’s also more body weight resistance training. Pilates will make you as strong as any other workout! You’ll do more exercises in an hour working the whole body instead of parts of the body.

So, if you’re not feeling the soreness after a Pilates exercise it’s not because Pilates isn’t working. The measure of Pilates to me is if it feels easy then you are probably not connecting to your muscles.

At the time of writing this, I am one day post filming a couple of my online mat classes. And, my mat class about exploring the shoulder definitely woke up some of my upper back muscles. I’m enjoying the kind of soreness that shows I challenged my body in a new way. I found a new level of muscular connection.

If you’ve been wondering if Pilates is enough, it is! Are you challenging yourself to approach your practice in a new way? To think about each exercise a little differently? It’s why I love my weekly mat classes online. Each week we practice with a new theme. We come at the exercises with a new approach.

Soreness or no soreness challenging yourself and being consistent is more important signs of good workouts for your body!

Are you ready to be more consistent? To workout and think about it in a new way each time?

Add some Pilates to your life, to your routine and see what happens!

xx~LL

By Lesley Logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

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SUCH A TEASE

ONLINE MAT & REFORMER PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

UP, UP, & AWAY

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

We’ll be focusing on stabilizing our strong cores while staying equally balanced in our arms and legs. We are giving you some amazing building blocks by merging strength and stretch in all directions. You are going to get a little bit of everything that you can use to connect to your Up Stretch (and even your Roll Up and Knee Stretches Off).

Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.

xx-LL

CRAB SPECIAL

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

I've had a lot of questions about the Crab on the Mat and I think there are a lot of fears around it. I believe you can Crab sooner than you think! On the Mat, the focus is about the Crab which comes at the end of the order, so let see how everything we do is to prep for it. On the Reformer, there's so much we can strengthen and practice so that you can do the Crab. Let's make a Crab Special!

Mat - Magic Circle. If you don't have one, you can use a ball or theraband or an old pair of leggings

Reformer - no props needed

See ya in class,

xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle (ball, theraband or old pair of leggings) and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    An OPC favorite theme is back! This week's class is prop free and all about focusing on your breath. Focus on when you're holding your breath so we can explore why. And as best you can inhale and exhale as you move so that the breath can help you rock, roll, reach and stretch!

    Joseph Pilates was BIG ON BREATHING! I won't make you pull out your breathisizer but I do want you to fill those lungs up!

    See ya in class,

    xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    HIPPY KI-YAY, MAT & REFORMER

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    To find the work, we’ll use a hip band and mix some reformer exercises into the mat workout and some mat exercises into the reformer workout. We’ll work on finding connections to our hips while loosening them up and making them stronger.

    Mat Props: hip band, light weights, and something to prop the hips up.
    Reformer Props: hip band and your typical reformer pieces

    See you in class,

    Rachel

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, hip band, light weights and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, hip band and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

      ANCHORS AWEIGH!

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      Anchors Aweigh is often misspelled as Anchors Away! Did you know this? And did you know this - The expression anchors aweigh means all the anchors are clear of the sea bottom, and the ship begins its voyage. So, I actually thought I was being clever when I changed it to Anchors Aweigh because I want to use the 1 lb weights as a prop. Also, I want to use this theme to bring focus and clarity during each exercise about what's not moving vs. what is moving. And really keeping what’s not supposed to move as still and stable as can be. May be harder than you think to do, so let’s have fun with it! Think of it as a game.

      Mat prop: 1 lb weights (water bottles or soup cans as substitutions ) + pole (dowel/broomstick/swiffer as substitutions)
      Reformer prop: 1 lb weights (water bottles or soup cans as substitutions ) + pole (dowel/broomstick/swiffer as substitutions)

      See you in class,

      Christine

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, 1 lb weights, pole and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, 1 lb weights, pole and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

      WINTER WONDERLAND

      Online Mat, Reformer, Cadillac & Wunda Chair Pilates Class Descriptions:

      OPC Teacher Christine loves the snow! Snowy days make her happy. So during the winter season, her Pilates practice is more to support her snowy activities. Skiing, Ice Skating, Snowboarding and more! In class, we’ll work on some breathing, balance, lower body stamina, and upper body strength to carry all that gear!

      Cadillac/Tower = no props needed
      Wunda = no props needed
      Reformer = no props needed
      Mat = no props needed

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

      THE BIG 4-6

      ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

      It's Mindi's BDAY month y'all and she is turning the Big 4 6!!! Oh yeah, which means that we are going to be doing either 4 reps of an exercise or 6!!! Alternating between the two means you get to explore what it feels like to have more reps or less reps to play with an exercise.

      Mat class - have your magic circle ready!

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

      Wish I was a Baller

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      In this class we will use the small ball in a variety of ways to find more connection in each exercise. Finding your upper back, Thass and inner thighs to name a few. We have added a few variations and a little creativity to make this class fun and challenging. Hopefully in the end you will feel like a baller!

      Mindi

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball, sitting box and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.