M.O.T complete, muscles massaged, it's time to hit the Pilates studio
Yesterday I had a one-on-one session with TenPilates Personal Trainer Jon at the Mayfair studio - and today my muscles can confirm it was a success.
The reformer machine, which looks like the love child of a rowing machine and a medieval instrument of torture, is a spring-loaded sliding bench that comes complete with straps, pulleys, weights and attachments that align your spine, challenge your core and give you a full body workout.
After my M.O.T, Jon knew that my IT bands were inflamed, so I needed to balance that out by working my inner thigh muscles; my back is tight, so I need to counter that by opening my chest; my glutes are weak, so I need to strengthen them; and I need to power up my core muscles to improve my running form and avoid injury again. Not much to do then.
For an hour I got into various positions, and performed various moves to work every weakness in my body. I had to put my feet into the straps and trace circles with my feet while squeezing my thighs and engaging my core, kneel on the platform and pull on a pair of straps to open up my chest, and perform lunges on the moving platform, to challenge those weak glutes of mine. Every exercise pushed me so hard my muscles were shaking, and we’re not talking a mild quiver, we’re talking the kind of trembling you could only achieve by standing in the middle of Antarctica wearing nothing but a string bikini.
You’d normally find me either in a dance studio throwing shapes, or pounding my local streets on a four-mile hilly run, so I didn’t expect this to be a cardio workout. But the fact that everything I did worked my weakest muscles to exhaustion, and often combined upper and lower body movements (while I lunged, I was doing bicep curls) meant that I found myself catching my breath as I stretched out afterwards.
I was forced to think about my form in a way I never have before; with every movement I was concentrating on contracting my stomach muscles, tucking my tail bone in, and stopping my ribs from flaring out. It was as much a physical workout as a mental one.
Today, every muscle bears the scars of yesterday’s reformer session. My triceps are troubled by the simplest of tasks, every time I walk to the water cooler I realise my glutes and inner thighs have seized up in protest, and just breathing is a constant reminder of the core workout. But I feel great - because if I can get those weedy little muscles onside, I can get my running shoes back on once and for all. Let battle commence!
Read my journey to running fit:
Blog one: Can I get back to running - and bikini ready?
Blog two: It's a massage, but not as I know it
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