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Pilates

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've been interested in this for a while, and my interest was only piqued further when a friend of mine in the UK qualified as an instructor, but until now it's been so rare here that you would have to go into the city for private lesson at CHF lots/hour which I wasn't prepared to pay on a trial basis. However, a returnee from Canada is starting classes in our village, with a trial session, so I've signed up and I'm made up about it. I'm doing it regardless as it will be good all year round, especially given the number of hours I spend at a computer, but how much help do you think it will be for skiing fitness?
post #2 of 9
Warning: A biased Pilates instructor is replying to this thread! Pilates can be extremely helpful for skiing, although its effects are not immediately apparent. However, if you look at some of the basic Pilates principles, you will see that they are applicable to skiing. Breathing, control, smooth movements, concentration, core activation are all essential to skiingt. Pilates also develops "strength with length," which means you become more flexible without sacrificing strength. Unlike yoga, Pilates flexibility is dynamic, rather than static.

How effective your Pilates program is for your skiing depends on your instructors background. There are some that believe that the program should be taught exactly as it was in Germany at the turn of the century. These instructors will not modify the technique in any way. Allow it is still beneficial, it may not be as effective as the programs taught by cutting-edge instructors who perform the exercises using the stability ball, bosu and other balance equipment.

Have fun!
post #3 of 9
Pilates are well respected among fitness pros I know. I use the resources at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and my Trainer, who holds multiple degrees related to her profession, is getting certified in Pilates.

I've read that their is a split between Traditionalists (or purists) and more progressive Pilates instructors. You might establish which philosophy your instructor uses.

http://www.pilatesmethodalliance.org/whatis.html

http://www.pilatesfoundation.com/

I'll ask my Trainer for more info when I see her in a week.

Hope that helps

Michael
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by eng_ch
I've been interested in this for a while, and my interest was only piqued further when a friend of mine in the UK qualified as an instructor, but until now it's been so rare here that you would have to go into the city for private lesson at CHF lots/hour which I wasn't prepared to pay on a trial basis. However, a returnee from Canada is starting classes in our village, with a trial session, so I've signed up and I'm made up about it. I'm doing it regardless as it will be good all year round, especially given the number of hours I spend at a computer, but how much help do you think it will be for skiing fitness?
I attended Pilates classes for the first time this past summer, mostly as a result of seeing Pilates mentioned frequently in association with ski fitness on EpicSki forums. I'm no longer living in a town that offers these classes (I'm no longer living in a town that has a real health club, for that matter), but I'm doing the exercises on my own and am happy with how it's improved my skiing. In addition to strengthening my abdominal and lower back muscles, I've developed a better awareness of my body in space. It sounds a little new agey, I know, but at some level, dynamic skiing is all about being aware of your body in space (same basic deal as Pilates, but with moguls instead of mats).

The Pilates class I took emphasized slow controlled moves. There has been a definite crossover effect for me, not only with respect to the muscles that I'm using but also with respect to breathing techniques. I've also found Pilates helpful for improving general posture.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well I went to the free Pilates session on Saturday and really enjoyed it. I felt so good afterwards and I felt about 2 inches taller! Actually it was quite gratifying, it seems my middle is stronger than I thought. People tend to laugh when I say playing the saxophone and violin are good exercise - I don't know why, they use diaphragmatic breathing, increased lung capacity, shoulder muscles, back muscles, abdominal muscles, dare I suggest even a little bit of cardio? And can I also add they train rhythm, timing and co-ordination - all of which translate to skiing. Anyway, I've signed up for the whole course of Pilates and I'm really looking forward to it
post #6 of 9
I have been doing reformer pilates for about 2 years. I have noticed
a huge diffence in my skiing and biking endurance. I do not get muscle
soreness after skiing all day or doing long rides. I feel stronger, recover quicker and it is mentally relaxing. My overall posture is better as well.

In addition to pilates, I do BOSU, fit ball and cardio training but in addition
to my pilates sessions. My pilates teacher does not follow the stricct traditional method but incorporates a variety of movements in our classes.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by eng_ch
I don't know why, they use diaphragmatic breathing, increased lung capacity, shoulder muscles, back muscles, abdominal muscles, dare I suggest even a little bit of cardio? And can I also add they train rhythm, timing and co-ordination - all of which translate to skiing.
An acquaintance played bagpipe; after watching a performance I was very impressed by both the musical and athletic skill and development required!

Please keep us informed of your progress.

Cheers,

Michael
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv
An acquaintance played bagpipe; after watching a performance I was very impressed by both the musical and athletic skill and development required!

Please keep us informed of your progress.

Cheers,

Michael
Musical or snow-related?
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by eng_ch
Musical or snow-related?
A gentleman always remains discrete...:
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