Developed some time in the early 20th century, Pilates is a fitness program that helps improve one’s muscular strength, flexibility, and endurance through movements that are aided by various types of equipment, such as the MOTR, Reformer, Trapeze Table, and the Chair. The workouts mostly focus on the abdomen, back, hips, and thighs.
A fellow blogger, Geezelle of GeeMiz.com, told me that Dynamik Bodyworks, a new fitness studio in Cebu, was offering a free trial, so I booked a free session with them last year to see if it was going to be something I’d like to have as my workout. I brought a friend with me to try it out as well. Basically, the free trial was like a sneak peek to some of the many different Pilates workouts they offer.
After the free trial, I decided I wanted to learn more about Pilates so I took four more sessions with them.
For my first real session at Dynamik Bodyworks, we focused on MOTR (movement on the roller), which uses a “roller” that you can sit on, kneel on, lay on, or stand on, depending on what body parts you are exercising. Although the roller is actually a portable device, you can already do a full-body workout with it.
In my experience, it wasn’t such a laborious workout (i.e. I did not break a sweat), but I did feel a bit of soreness in my shoulders and thighs the next day. I brought along my fiance and two friends during this session, so it was quite fun despite the struggles. lol!
Pilates promotes strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination – all of which I pretty much lack. During my second session, I learned the ways of the Reformer, which actually helps improve all of the things I previously mentioned. Additionally, the Reformer aids in improving posture and relieving back pain. I think people who spend a lot of hours sitting in the office, including myself, need this kind of exercise. Back pain can be bothersome!
Compared to the first session I had, which was the MOTR, I found this more challenging as it really tested my strength and coordination.
However, the third session had to be the most challenging one for me because of the lack of flexibility in my upper back. Using the Trapeze Table and with the trainer’s help, I was able to exercise several parts of my body, such as my legs, arms, shoulders, and back. There are springs that can be adjusted to different tensions to suit your capability.
Due to not being flexible enough, I could not bend my upper back backwards properly. The good thing about doing this workout was that it was actually the first time I found out that I had this problem. It’s good to be aware of your problem areas, so that you can do something about them before it’s too late!
Interesting fact: Did you know that the trapeze table was originally created to help injured or bedridden patients? It was to help them recover control and strengthen muscles after being hospitalized for long periods of time.
My fourth session was all about getting to know the Pilates Chair and what it could do to help strengthen my core. The Chair has a padded seat, detachable side bars, adjustable split-step pedals, and resistance springs. It is used for strength and balance exercises that mainly focus on the core, and can even aid in relieving the body of muscle aches and rehabilitate injury.
I have never been one who possesses good posture. I slouch ALL THE TIME, and this always results to back pains. I don’t even work out regularly, just when I feel like signing myself up for the gym. Sometimes, I do beginner yoga at home. I freedive, but I don’t get to do it every day either. Most days, I’m as idle as a sloth. So, I was bound to have some problems with my body here and there.
As a freediver, it is also important that I have flexibility in order to polish my techniques. And as I said, flexibility is something that I have always struggled with. I can say that by doing Pilates, I also learned some ways on how to improve my flexibility and be better at my sport. However, I still have a problem with my stiff upper back, so I’ll be working out more to make this area more flexible.
Have you tried Pilates or have been doing it for a long time now? I’d love to hear some tips!
I’d like to thank Ms. Hazel and Sir Michael, the owners of the studio, for being so nice and accommodating. I will surely be back for more! 🙂
Dynamik Bodyworks Pilates & More is located at Avenir Building Unit 11-i, Archbishop Ave., Cebu City (near IT Park). They offer scheduled group classes from Mondays to Saturdays, but you can also sign up for private classes if you want to fit your workout around your schedule. Just drop them a message on Facebook for more information.