Did you know Equinox offers Pilates training one-on-one? I had the opportunity to try a session with Jeremy Blaine, Equinox Lincoln Park Pilates Coordinator, who is also a diver. I have taken many Pilates mat classes but had only a few sessions using spring-loaded equipment. I told him I was also familiar with Pilates from dance as some of my previous instructors used the exercises in class. Jeremy explained many people associate Pilates with dance, but actually Joseph Pilates (the inventor of Pilates) was not a dancer. He was a gymnast, a body builder, a martial artist, a boxer and some say he was in the circus. He developed the exercises and equipment to improve strength and posture for his own use. When he moved to New York in the 30s he introduced his methods to dancers and they became fans of his training methods.
Pilates might be the perfect fitness option for you if you are somewhat intimidated by weight rooms, machines or group classes. To start my session, Jeremy asked me about my own exercise routines and if I had any injuries. I told him I practice teakwando two times times a week, and try to get one or two other types of fitness classes (kickboxing, circuit classes, weight training and dance classes) in per week. My injuries include carpel tunnel flare ups and recently my lower back has been bothering me.
With that information we went to work! He instructed me through a series of stretching and strengthening exercises using the spring board equipment, mostly on the bench-like transformer and a few on the trapeze. He pinpointed my special needs and suddenly I realized he had me doing something to help my lower back. Later he added a movement for my shoulders to help me with my posture, which in turn could be the cause of my carpal tunnel (from being hunched over a computer)! Everything was coming together to help all the areas I needed to strengthen.
Then he had me work my feet on this simple contraption to aid with balance which will help me improve my kicks and minimize back strain in taekwando. Pilates can allow you to strengthen and straighten your body to avoid injuries, but you need someone like Jeremy to walk you through it! The foot board felt like a mini-massage, too. “This is perfect for our fashionable readers who wear heels!” I exclaimed.
The Pilates moves did not seem difficult as I was doing them, but I actually worked up quite a sweat. As I progress Jeremy said he will add more and more challenges. I told him women think of Pilates as a great workout for toning. “It is,” he said “But you can’t walk out of here and eat a box of Oreos!”
Jeremy made my session fun, I learned quite a bit, and the best thing was he focused on my personal fitness needs, designed specifically for me (me, me)!
Find out if Pilates is for you! Watch this video of Jeremy:
Try a Pilates session with Jeremy or any of the qualified trainers at Equinox.
– Carol Calacci
Photos & Video: Second City Style
Tags: Carol Calacci, dancers, Equinox, Equinox Lincoln Park, fitness, Injury, Jeremy Blaine, Joseph Pilates, mat classes, Pilates, Pilates Coordinator, Pilates Machines, therapy, training, Transformer