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Pilates with Club Pilates

Story and Photos By Maudie Heard

Published online: Sep 05, 2023 Health & Wellness Maudie Heard
Viewed 5336 time(s)

As trends will have it, Pilates is making its comeback into the fitness world. The rising popularity of Pilates comes as no surprise as it comes with many benefits. So, what is Pilates?

Pilates is a full body workout,” said the head pilates instructor at Club Pilates, Jillian Harvey. “The workout is very focused on what’s called powerhouse, or core. We focus on mobility, strengthening and lengthening the muscles. You get a good stretch with it and overall, a good workout.”

At Club Pilates, the classes focus on Contemporary Pilates, one of the two different types of Pilates. Contemporary Pilates is the version of Pilates in which more advanced knowledge of the body and muscle groups are taken into account, versus the original, Classical Pilates.

Classical Pilates was designed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s and focuses on the six principles of Pilates.

The principles of Pilates are centering, concentration, control, precision, breath and flow,” Jillian explains. “We focus a lot on that breath. Joseph Pilates studied a lot of breath work, he called breathing your internal shower.”

And while Pilates is often mistaken to be the same practice as Yoga or other fitness classes alike, the distinction between the two is notable. Pilates focuses primarily on strengthening muscle groups by engaging core while yoga focuses on increasing flexibility while holding stationary poses.

One distinction is clear; when practicing Pilates, reformers are your best friend. The reformers Pilates machine was designed specifically for the goals of the Pilates workout.

And although the machine may look intimidating, people all over the world swear by it. The reformers pilates machine isolates muscle groups and in turn, allows you to effectively engage the muscle you want to strengthen.

This low-impact style of exercise has not surprisingly become a fitness phenomenon. Any and everybody can benefit from Pilates, no matter your age, height or physical abilities.

People from all walks of life have seen the benefits from Pilates classes. “We want to make more fitness options available and see more people getting up and moving and getting stronger. Especially with aging, we want to see people taking control of their lives and not letting their lives control them,” Jillian said.

As you can see, the range of benefits that comes from practicing Pilates is wide. According to Healthline, the physical benefits range from increasing core strength, improving posture, decreasing joint pain, improving balance and increasing energy levels.

The benefits are not only physical but mental, too. Similar to many other workouts, Pilates has the power to reduce mental stress and fatigue by getting the body moving.

With many years of experience practicing and instructing Pilates, Jillian is familiar with many of these benefits. “I have always had some challenges with balance,” Jillian said. “I would trip over something that’s not even in front of me but I found that I was doing that a lot less.”

Jillian’s small venture into the Pilates studio many years ago would be life changing.

A Pilates studio opened up next to the kickboxing gym I had been going to and I would always go and peek in,” Jillian said. “It looked really intimidating and I was nervous about it. One weekend, I came in to try a class and it was nothing like I thought it was.”

Her newfound interest in Pilates became a sort of snowball effect.

I started to see results from Pilates that I wasn’t seeing from kickboxing,” Jillian said. “One day, I told my husband, ‘I really want to bring Pilates to Idaho Falls and bring more of that Pilates community,’ and we started this venture about two years ago.”

Club Pilates opened its doors to the community in 2023 with the desire to help members grow. “One of our slogans is, ‘Pilates is for everybody and every body,’” Jillian said. “Whether it be, to have better posture or less back pain, anybody is welcome to come in and we can work with them to help achieve their goals.”

The club offers different levels to all of the classes, providing members with a variety of class types based on their physical abilities. “Everyone begins at a level 1, otherwise known as your foundational practice, where we are building balance, coordination and core,” Jillian said. “Then you can progress to a 1.5, a 2 and lastly, a 2.5.”

In order to get to a level 2, the club performs safety tests before the member can advance. “We focus a lot on safety. You are here to get better, to get stronger, not to get hurt,” Jillian said. “Our trainers have a heavy focus on muscle emphasis, positioning and a number of things to make sure our clients stay safe and to help them progress through those levels.”

Like many other fitness rituals, sticking to Pilates and practicing regularly is when the progress and results start to show. “Seeing people progress makes me so happy,” Jillian said. “At the end of the day, no matter how tired or worn out I am, seeing them progress in their practice makes my day and just makes me happy.”

Looking towards the future, Jillian hopes to continue to build the community at Club Pilates.

My No.1 goal when we started here was to touch a lot of people’s lives, to help them progress and to feel better in their bodies. That is really my hopes and dreams for the future.”

For more information about Club Pilates or to sign up for your first class free, visit www.clubpilates.com/location/idahofalls.

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