Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Trust LeBron: If You Want to Meet the Hotties, You Gotta Take Pilates

LeBron James has sent half a dozen emails and twitter questions to me.  Okay, not him, but his tweet has you got you, dear peeps, asking me a few things.

On July 15th @KingJames (self-esteem is NOT an issue w/ him) tweeted: "just got done putting in work at my high school. Great workout! Headed to pilates class now". 

A few folks recalled that I have blogged about and done a story on CBS11 about pilates.  Many more just asked how to pronounce it.  Pih-lah-tees.  You're welcome. 

Tons of professional athletes practice pilates: LeBron James and DeMarcus Ware just to name a few.  It gives them an incredibly strong core, which is essential for everything they do.  But it doesn't matter if you play football, crunch numbers at a desk or cart kids around all day, pilates can help you move better in every aspect of your life.  I always get the "How tall are you?" question.  I respond by saying  my height depends on how much pilates I do in a given week.  Men take note: pilates improves your posture in ways you can't believe, giving you an extra inch or even two.

I could rave on and on about it.  Instead, I am reposting a blog entry I did on the practice in April:

April 6, 2010 
If You Want to Meet the Hotties, You Gotta Take Pilates
An NBA player, I am 90% certain you know, told me that.  I had heard he was taking classes at a popular gym.  I asked him about it and he simply responded with "If you want to meet the hotties, you gotta take pilates!"  Then he proceeded to form a wide sh!t-eating grin which led me to believe that he did, in fact, meet some hotties.  

Player A wasn't alone.  He took pilates with another more famous, more successful NBA player I know you know.  Joining them were the expected soccer moms and MILF's along with a member or two of Dallas' SWAT team.  I'm talking serious, athletic guys participating in a workout that many out-of-shape guys I know think is a bit girly.

Pilates is a method of exercising that builds flexibility, endurance, coordination and strength without adding bulky muscles.  The primary focus is core strength: stomach and lower back.  A solid workout will also hit hips, legs, buttocks and upper back as well as focus on controlled breathing techniques.  This can help produce a fabulous physique.  Think long, lean and sinewy muscles vs stocky, thick ones. 

I have to admit, my first couple of pilates classes were awful.  They were taught by instructors who either a) didn't know what they were doing or b) too fearful of challenging the class.  Recently, I have been taking group classes at my personal gym and we are blessed with a phenomenal instructor.  A well-taught one hour class hits almost every major muscle.  You definitely "feel the burn" but it's a sensation different from that "pump" you get when lifting weights.  It's a true burn, a good one, that will stick with you for 12-24 hours.  I consider myself to be in pretty good shape but after a good class, I feel it.

There are a two primary ways to practice pilates.  Many people (like me) take classes on mat using their own body weight for resistance along with a few tools.  This pilates ring looks painfully simple but can be painfully challenging when properly used.  Exercise bands are also helpful for adding resistance.

Another method of training involves using what's called a reformer.  This adds additional resistance and allows a person to focus perhaps a little better on developing proper alignment, core strength and flexibility.

Here is a link to a Pilates-based workout I profiled in 2009 for CBS11/TXA21's Get Healthy Texas segments.  The story was targeted to get women bikini ready in a six-weeks.  Trust me, you can get there with these moves.

Pilates isn't for wimps.  It's a phenomenal way to get in shape regrardless of your fitness level and gender. With practice and dedication, it will improve your strength, flexibility and physique.  And if the latter is true, Player A's line appropriate for both men and women.

Have any clue who my pilates-practicing NBA guys are?  
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