The Pilates Pod
Have you tried Pilates? If you have, then you will know that Pilates is not easy! It may look easy, but it’s not. It is a whole body workout, designed to strengthen your body from the core. Throw in some bad boy apparatus, and you’re in for one heck of a workout. You have been warned!
I was invited to try a taster class at The Pilates Pod in Hitchin. The Pilates Pod has just relaunched with brand new equipment and is now recognised as a full Classical Pilates Apparatus studio. I’d had a sneaky peak at their new equipment on Instagram and I felt a little apprehensive to say the least – there are some definite torture/S&M vibes going on! But it’s good to try new things, right?! So off I went.
The Pilates Pod is on Bancroft in Hitchin town centre. It’s super small with no frontage, so look for the sign and head up the stairs. There’s a small reception and waiting area, with the studio to the left.
Classes are kept small so that you get the individual guidance that you need to get the most from your session.
Trying out the brand new apparatus
The last time I did Pilates was years ago, so I knew this class would probably be quite tough. It was a taster session on the new apparatus, so we started with a little mat-work to warm up and then got stuck in on the Tower (sounds scary doesn’t it?).
Instructor Stacey was lovely and clearly very passionate about Pilates, how it can help people, and the classical teachings of founder Joseph Pilates, who was a gymnast and a boxer. Diagrams of all the Classical Pilates exercises are displayed around the studio, and there are a lot!
There are two Reformers (where you learn specific sequences and transitions that work the whole body) and four Towers, where you cherry-pick specific exercises.
In this class, we worked with the Tower, focusing on strengthening the core, legs and arms, lengthening the body and back, and using your breath to help with the exercises.
Stacey explained how using the Tower creates resistance, so you have to use opposing forces in your body during the exercises, which really helps to build your muscle strength. In these photos, my arms and legs are literally shaking with effort!
You can adjust the apparatus depending on your level and individual needs. It all looks quite daunting at first, but I think you would get used to how it works fairly quickly.
How I found the class
It was a tough workout but I can see how regular use of this equipment will really build your whole body strength.
The thing with apparatus is, you can’t cheat. You have to do the exercise properly, otherwise it won’t work. You really have to engage that core, keep your shoulder blades down and together, dig deep into those muscles, and breathe!
After the class, I was chatting with a lady there and she’s been practising for about six months now. She began Pilates to help with a bad back (something a lot of us can relate to) and she said that it has helped her enormously. She said that all of her practice has come together and greatly improved her posture, how she holds herself, and how she moves. Pilates has worked brilliantly for her.
And that’s the thing with exercise. You have to find what works for you. I know many people who have been transformed by Pilates, and I can see why. I think that, when everything you learn in the class suddenly clicks, the results could be really amazing.
Find out more
The Pilates Pod offers a whole range of classes and one-on-one sessions. If you’re interested in trying a class, you can find more information on The Pilates Pod website.
Thank you very much to The Pilates Pod for inviting me along. I feel as though I’ve had a brilliant workout.
Share your thoughts
Have you tried Pilates? How has it helped you? Please share your experiences in the comments below.