The tone-up trend of 2010!

January 4, 2010

Want to tone up those wobbly bits without having to run a mile? Here’s one celebrity fitness trend you may actually try!

You’ve heard the buzz, you’ve seen the results that have celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Rachel Weisz shouting about pilates from the rooftops, and now you’re ready to try it for yourself. Smart move. Whether part of a new year’s resolution to finally shape up or a case of wanting more from your existing exercise routine, pilates has the power to hone and tone the entire body.

Narveen Kaur is the founder of the Daily Pilates studio in Melbourne, an eco-friendly wellness wonderland that counts Dannii Minogue among its fans. Here Narveen answers five common questions about pilates to help you take the plunge for total mind and body fitness.

What’s all that weird equipment for?

That’s the first thing everyone wants to know! At Daily Pilates we have specially designed apparatus called the Reformer, Trapeze Table and Wunda Chair to assist in performing the very specific pilates exercises. Not everyone uses the equipment. Pilates is all about resistance training so you can also get a great workout in our mat classes thanks to gravity and your own body weight.

I’ve done yoga before, will this help?

Sure! You’re already used to stretching, holding postures and being aware of your breathing. But pilates uses precise, sometimes tiny, movements based on an exercise method developed in the 1920s by Joseph H. Pilates. While there’s nothing spiritual about it pilates does require intense concentration and many people find it’s a great way to tune out the rest of the world and relax.

What can pilates do for me?

Whatever your level of fitness, pilates can increase strength, flexibility and give you better posture. It creates long, lean muscles which is one of the reasons lots of dancers do pilates. But it’s also adored by athletes from golfers to AFL players who find their game improves due to better core strength.

I keep hearing about core strength – what does it mean?

Through pilates, you develop both the deep and superficial muscles of the torso, particularly the abdominals and lower to mid back muscles. Because these help to stabilise the body, they give strength to your core – the mid section where all your physical power comes from. That results in improved posture, balance and strength which means you’ll not only look better and get more from your sports but you’ll be less prone to injury too.

What should I wear?

Bare feet and fitted workout wear such as leggings and a tank are a good idea. Anything loose like a baggy T-shirt or floppy yoga pants can impede your practice. If you’re going to use the specially designed pilates equipment it’s important your clothing won’t catch on any of the springs and pulleys.

The Daily Pilates studio is located at 85 Trope Street, South Melbourne. It’s open from 7am til 9pm Monday to Friday and until 3pm on Saturdays. Prices starts at $38 for a casual class, or $310 for a 10 session pass. Mat classes are $90 for a set of 6.

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