Pilates isn’t about weight loss. Pilates isn’t about getting a thigh gap. Pilates is a series of body-weight exercises (or using a number of machines, but still no weights) that attempt to fix muscle imbalances, fix posture, and improve balance. It works to decompress the spine, improve flexibility, and increase circulation.
What Cassey Ho teaches is a general fitness class with a few Pilates moves thrown in. Pilates isn’t “do a thousand squats,” it’s “make sure you’re not overusing your quads in this movement.” Pilates, in truthful practice, is an amazing way to learn your body and balance muscles that have been overworked.
I’m glad you’re looking for other options! Here are a couple, but I hope other readers will share their faves as well.
Where do you go for weekly/monthly workouts and videos?
I used to love her. Now, not so much. You can see all of my posts on her here, but I can summarize:
- "thigh gap" workout
- workouts that delude people into thinking they can spot-reduce
- ignoring people with eating disorders
Work on your upper body and core strength while you find a class. Wear something tight that goes past your knees. Stretch and foam roll after class. Make sure you don’t have anything important to do for a day or two after class because you’re gonna hurt.
Ooh, etiquette question! That’s different! There are some basic things to follow to not appear rude in a ballet class:
- show up early to warm up on your own, but do not enter the studio unless instructed to
- do not walk on marley/studio floors with your street shoes on
- if you bring a water bottle, make sure it’s a kind you can’t spill. Stick to pop-open tops rather than twist-off caps.
- be quiet when the instructor is teaching
- clapping at the end of class is customary, but feel free to wait for a cue from others to avoid embarassment
And it is totally normal to be nervous. I’d suggest getting there early and introducing yourself to the instructor before class begins. If they know you’re brand new, they’re likely to give you gentle corrections and not assume you know things, so you’ll feel less pressured. And remember that things are going to feel strange: the muscles used in ballet and the way you’ll be moving are not normal for your day-to-day life, so it’ll be a big change.
Have fun in class!
There are some super intense ab workouts if what you’re doing has become too easy. The simplest way to ramp it up is to add weight: doing sit-ups with a weight held to your chest, doing planks with a weight on your back, etc.
There are also more intense moves that you can add into your workout. BodyBuilding.com is an awesome resource for this. This article has a handful of super-intense ab exercises, including video demonstrations! You should also check out their ab exercise database, which you can further filter down by level, equipment needed, etc. (Plus, the database can be used to find exercises for any muscle group!)
I hope that helps!
That sounds terrifying!
The big thing that jumps to my mind is making sure you’re okay on a day-to-day basis. Are you drinking enough water? (Remember that when you’re active, you need more than the basic recommended amount.) Make sure you have a water bottle with you in class (and refill it before each class). It’s also a good idea to mix up your water with something full of electrolytes, such as coconut water, Pedialyte (which you’ll find in the baby section of a grocery store), or a drink mix.
Also, are you getting enough calories? Really, though, are you? Not what you’ve decided is enough, but how many you actually need? Check out this post (warning for calories and unhealthy eating talk) for help figuring out your daily calorie needs.
If you’re fueling yourself correctly, then we may have a stamina issue. And it can be complicated to figure out what you need since different dance types are different types of cardio when you get right down to it. If you’re doing a style like contemporary, where you tend to be going for a long time without breaks, I’d suggest a half hour (up to an hour) on a rowing machine or elliptical to build long-term endurance. If you’re doing something like ballet, where there are bursts of high-power dancing followed by more gentle dancing or even a complete stop, I’d suggest doing HIIT on a treadmill. HIIT will build your stamina for knock-down, drag-out intense dancing where you have to go from 0 to 60 quickly.
I hope all of this can help you figure stuff out so you never have to feel that way in class again. <3
Edit: people have brought up that this could be an iron deficiency. I have never dealt with an iron deficiency, so it didn’t come to mind. Check with your doctor about possible iron supplements!