Sometimes I feel like I live under a rock

…because I JUST started attending pilates now. If you have never attended or are looking for the complimentary benefits, then read on.

I’ve met my match. Right after my CIM relay, I was speaking to a friend who works at a pilates studio and she suggested that I start attending.

I’ve always WANTED to go to pilates. But hear me out as I describe general studios in the Bay Area.

  • Rare early classes.
  • Steep prices.
  • Packed classes.
  • Elitist following.

Is that anywhere else besides the Bay?

All I want is a small, instructional facility with hours I can attend. Oh. Wait. That’s called “Personal Training” and costs twice as much. Crap.

I had about given up hope and settled for the eh, packed classes at my local gym. So when my friend suggested, I asked “So where do you suggest I check out?” She rattled off a couple locations and I began looking them up.

I went to my first pilates class during a week when I had rolled my ankle and took off from running. My first class was a donations based class where you pay what you feel. It was a Friday evening and it was me, the lead instructor, and owner. Three in the class. At first it felt odd, but then I realized it was double the personal training 🙂

Let me tell you more:

  • Sliding scale ($10-18) for a mat class
  • Varying times, locations, and availability
  • Small classes
  • Donation based classes
  • Knowledgeable teachers

Since my first time there two months ago, I’ve averaged 3x a week trying out different instructors and have been so pleased with the instruction I’ve received along with the knowledge I have gained in just having the opportunity to ask questions during a class.

I feel pretty special! Most of the instructors have seen me a few times so they know two things about me: I’m a runner and I know my anatomy and physiology 🙂 A few instructors start off the class with foam rolling and do not kick me out if I want to stay an extra 5 minutes and continue to roll or use their tennis balls to continue stretching.

In addition to the IT band, they taught me about the muscle attached to the IT band – tensor fasciae latae which is the one when tightened can cause pain. They said that because of its location it is very difficult to stretch, so the best bet would be a foam roller. In order to access this muscle in an additional way besides the routine IT band roll, sit on top of it like you would to roll your bum. Then turn to your right (or left) as if you were about to start rolling the IT. Pass the position for the IT roll and stop when your torso is starting to turn as if you were going to get on your stomach. Rolling out this muscle in this way will also hit the hip flexor muscles. It is a very small movement between the hip bone and head of your leg. If you want to take it up a notch, grab a ball and use that to wiggle around on at that point.

For an injury proned runner, I enjoy Pilates for the prevention aspects. I cannot stress how often I use my experiences with injury to instruct about the importance of core strengthening when speaking with athletes, especially runners who say they are starting to feel pains. If you have trouble with your hips and glutes, this is where it is add when balancing the running.

Some other moves:

Clam – Great for gluteus medius (upper outer bum)

Kick Series – A good combination of leg series

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4 Responses to Sometimes I feel like I live under a rock

  1. Naomi says:

    i LOVE pilates! at a previous job, we used to have an instructor come in twice a week to teach lunch time classes. during that time i was in the best shape of my life. but since then, i haven’t practiced it for the reasons you listed. but its GREAT for building the core! glad you love it!

  2. Interesting! I’ve never been a HUGE pilates fan and have always preferred yoga over pilates actually. I used to run with a pilates instructor, though and she was always bugging me to give it a try. Maybe I should!

  3. Cat says:

    What is the name of the Pilates studio that you’ve been going to?

  4. Pingback: Back to school « Running on Faith

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