Pilates an effective, cheap way to get in shape

The rigorous techniques of this popular exercise method strengthen the body’s core and mental health.

Working out has the potential to become tedious and boring when the same routine is repeated again and again. But, the IBC Student Recreation Center offers group sessions that allow members of all ages to change up their routines and make working out more fun.

Many students attend the Saturday afternoon Pilates class offered at the IBC hoping to build strength and muscle tone by doing a variety of exercises (Ashley Myers/TTN).

The IBC offers a wide range of sessions that anyone may take, but Pilates seems to be one of the most popular. It’s offered at least once every day at varying times, making it easy to fit into students’ busy schedules.

The sessions, which last an hour, go through an array of moves, including the traditional “hundred” and “the plank.” All the exercise movements in Pilates focus on the “core” of the body and are controlled by certain breathing techniques that are supposed to improve not only physical health but mental health as well.

Movements in Pilates sessions are slowly executed but can be highly effective. Because Pilates tones and strengthens muscles without building bulk, it holds a reputation for giving its participants perfect “beach bodies,” and many celebrities practice the exercise regularly. Pilates can also improve flexibility and balance with stretching and certain poses.

Pilates sessions take place on the second floor of the IBC in group Rm. 2, which holds 30 people. Sessions that take place earlier in the day (like the noon to 1 p.m. session or those that take place in the wee hours of the morning) don’t fill up as quickly as others, so there’s no need to arrive too early.

Evening sessions fill up quickly, so a ticket system is used. Participants attending early evening sessions should arrive 20 minutes sooner than the scheduled time to ensure they receive a ticket for admittance.
Two types of mats are provided to any participants who wish to use them, but people may bring their own mats if they choose to do so.

“I just loved Pilates so much that I was recommended to teach it,” said Marie Pierre, a leader of the noon to 1 p.m. Pilates session on Mondays.

She is a Temple graduate who initially began in Yoga but transitioned into Pilates years ago.

Pierre can easily suggest modifications for those who have difficulty with certain moves.

Sarah Hughes, a sophomore psychology major, found the Pilates session to be relaxing yet challenging at the same time.

“For some of the moves, I don’t feel like I’m exercising,” she said, “but then, I’m sore the next day.”
The hour-long session is filled with leg and arm work.

Session participants include a mixture of people who vary by shape, size and age. Pilates sessions not only make it fun to work out, but participants may end up toning muscles they never even knew they had.

Stephanie Mullen can be reached at stephanie.mullen@temple.edu.


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