What's the difference between Pilates and yoga?
This is a question I get asked all the time. There is a huge yoga scene in Asheville, and a growing Pilates scene. Personally, I think it's important to do both. Yes they have some similarities. But mostly, they compliment each other. One of the the differences I have found in the yoga classes I have taken is that Pilates focuses much more on your CORE. Yes, you get a core workout in a yoga class. Often there are lots of planks in yoga, which is a great way to strengthen your abs. But I have not found another workout that has more specific ab strengthening exercises, dispersed consistently throughout the entire workout, and gets your core stronger, than Pilates. My friends who do Cross-Fit even tell me that there are no targeted core exercises in Cross-Fit. Really?! How do you expect to lift all of that heavy stuff SAFELY, without injuring yourself, if you're not strengthening your core too? Cross-training with an Asheville Pilates workout is the way to go.
How can a regular Asheville Pilates workout strengthen your core?
Pilates is a form of exercise that targets very specific muscles, using a mat and the weight of your own body, or equipment with spring resistance and small isolating movements to access those deep core muscles. The Pilates ab series, done on the mat, are safer, more effective, and harder than modern day “crunches”. Very few reps of each produce amazing results. When you first do the Pilates ab series with me, you'll feel the burn. You'll probably even have to rest a couple of times. After you've been doing Pilates for a couple of months, you'll notice you're resting less, you're able to do a longer version of the series, and you're STILL feeling the burn. Specific exercises on the Pilates mat and Pilates Reformer, Wunda Chair, and more, are not possible without accessing those deep abdominal muscles.
For most people, the first time they try to do a roll-up, teaser, or pull the pedal up on the Wunda Chair, they are struck by their inability to do it because they're not targeting the right muscles, or their core is too weak. After spending some time strengthening the core in other exercises, and returning to these, it is immediately rewarding to see and feel the progress.
What does it mean to have a strengthened core, and what are the benefits?
Having a strengthened core means doing regular, targeted ab workouts. It means committing yourself to this practice. It means feeling good in your body, including feeling stronger and more fit. Many people talk about the benefits of having a stronger core for low back problems. This is true as long as you are doing the core strengthening exercises correctly and also incorporating stretching.
Every client I teach has to be taught proper form and alignment for ab work. Most people tuck their pelvis so much that they crunch their low back into the floor, targeting their hip flexors instead of their core. This can be detrimental to your low back. Many people also lower their legs more than their abs can handle, and cause injury to their low back as well. A trained, Certified Pilates instructor at a private studio is necessary for proper guidance in your Asheville Pilates workout.
Having a stronger core can help with many other things as well, including better posture and alignment, more toning and definition of your core, and it compliments all of your physical and daily activities.
Can I do a core workout at home?
Yes! I have designed a 5 minute Asheville Pilates workout specifically for everyone's busy lives. It's called the 40 Day Ab Challenge, and you do it every day for 40 Days, or for as many days as you want. On my website, you'll find free videos here.
On my Facebook page, you can find the 40 Day Ab Challenge event, where you can post questions and comments, get tips on form and different variations, and join over 100 other people around the world doing the challenge at the same time!
Like I said before, the best Asheville Pilates workout you can get is with a Certified Instructor at a private studio. It is best to start with private lessons before joining group classes. Your instructor can talk to you about all of your options. Visit www.ciscopilates.com, and call or text us at 828-407-0133 to sign up for your first workout, and get ready for that strong core you've always wanted.