I learned about Pilates for the first time when my upper body muscles started aching due to high-intensity workouts that I tried two years ago. A friend recommended it to me, saying that it changed her life. When someone says something like that about a fitness technique, I knew I had to give it a shot.
So, in the beginning, I enrolled in the same Pilates class that my friend went to. All these bed-like fixtures with moveable platforms and other contraptions, which I later found, were called Pilates reformers. They also had weights and magic circles to help strengthen students’ arm and shoulder muscles like me.
The instructor had been incredibly courteous since my first day, too. I told Miss Pats my physical problem, and she said that it could be corrected by doing Pilates regularly. Of course, that’s amazing and all, but I happen to be working mom who doesn’t have two hours to spare all the time to do the classes. It’s why the HIIT exercises ended up hurting me in the first place—because I did it at home without an instructor’s supervision.
Luckily, Miss Pats had a positive outlook. She said, “Oh, you don’t need to come here often. You may do it once or twice a week, depending on your schedule, and follow-through by trying Pilates at home. It should be easy when you remember our lessons. You may even be able to share your newfound knowledge with your family.”
The generous instructor’s last sentence made me think further. Pilates with my husband and two young children? I am all for it. Hence, I asked Miss Pats a few questions regarding the matter, which she answered graciously.
What Equipment Should I Get For At-Home Pilates?
I honestly mentioned to the instructor that a Pilates reformer could no longer fit in my house. After all, my husband and I have two separate offices and a mini gym. We already converted the family room into the children’s playroom, and I could not think of possible space for the equipment.
Miss Pats suggested that the bulky machine was great, but it was not a total necessity. She uttered, “I do Pilates at home, too, and I do not have a Pilates reformer there. All you need is a yoga mat, some resistance bands, and the determination to do the exercises.” Truth be told, getting those things allowed me to workout without going to the studio, and they were effortless to roll up and stash in the closet afterward.
Can My Kids Do Pilates?
I am a mother of four beautiful children—two girls and two boys. Because of my full-time job, there are only a few things that we can do to bond with each other. When I come home from work, I cook our dinner and help them with school assignments, but that’s mostly it. It makes me feel guilty, but we also need to save up for their college, which will undoubtedly be expensive.
When I asked the instructor if my children can genuinely try Pilates, she said yes. As it turned out, the same studio where she was teaching had classes for kids below the age of ten. They also had couples’ classes for parents and the little ones, which sounded fun. I brought all four of my children to one once, and my girls especially showed interest in the activity. Now, they have their own mats at home, and we do Pilates together.
Can Boys Do Pilates?
My boys did not enjoy their first immersion into Pilates because they merely saw little girls in the class. The older one said, “Mom, I only want to do activities that other boys do. I am not a girl.”
Of course, I understood my son’s sentiment. But Miss Pats insisted that I take them to class the next day and said that her sons would be there, too. Everyone showed up, and yes, the instructor’s boys could genuinely follow along with the Pilates instructions. All of a sudden, my kids no longer felt like it was a girl thing anymore. They also got mats, as well as my husband.
Pilates has done wonders for my body. My core was no longer too weak, to the point that I could do crunches a hundred times without stopping. I started lifting barbells and hiking again, and my arms, legs, and shoulders did not give up under pressure.
Similarly, my husband’s children enjoy doing Pilates these days. I loved how the kids especially felt like they were getting stronger than ever with each session. They were taking the workout seriously, and the coaches in their respective sports said that they see a lot of improvement in my children’s strength and flexibility. It was all a parent could ask for, so I could see our family doing Pilates for as long as we could.