When a Runner Takes On Pilates

Sarina Fazan recently visited Diamond Pilates Tampa Pilates studio for a class and to learn more about the Pilates method. Specifically, after years as a runner had taken a toll on her body (and meniscus), she was looking for a way to strengthen her muscles in a controlled and rehabilitative way.

Check out Sarina’s class at Diamond Pilates and her take on this form of exercise:


Pilates and Pregnancy

Pilates in Tampa for Pregnant Women

I have had many clients come to me with the exciting announcement that they are expecting…and then the question, “can I keep doing Pilates through my pregnancy?” The answer: YES! Pilates can be a great way to stay fit and strong throughout pregnancy, and a good Pilates instructor will know how to safely modify exercises and utilize special equipment as your pregnancy progresses.

Pilates in Tampa for Pregnant Women

Worried about losing your pre-pregnancy figure? Practicing Pilates regularly throughout your pregnancy is a great, low-impact way to safely tone and strengthen. You know those women who remain tiny throughout their pregnancy, toned arms, legs and booty and just the sweetest baby bump? Most of them are working for it. And that could totally be you if you commit to Pilates throughout your pregnancy, since Pilates builds long, lean muscle and tightens and tones the small muscles that hold everything else in.

But as you know with Pilates, it’s not just about looking good…it’s about FEELING good. Pilates for PregnancyAnd practicing Pilates throughout your pregnancy can help you feel your best. It’s a natural stress reliever, and because it stretches while it strengthens, Pilates can actually help relieve some of the aches and pains that women experience throughout pregnancy. It also helps to improve posture, circulation, and nervous system function – things that can get a bit out of whack when you’re expecting.

And the REALLY big bonus of Pilates when it comes to pregnancy? Pilates engages the deepest core, muscles, pelvic floor, hips and spine, which means you develop better muscle strength and memory. Translation: women who regularly practice Pilates prior to and throughout their pregnancies get their post-baby bodies back much faster.

There are modifications to many classic Pilates exercises, and it’s important that you practice with a trained professional (like myself) who can guide you through these modifications, especially as you progress throughout the different trimesters and milestones. Professional Pilates studios also will have special modification equipment that will make your workouts safe and effective. And of course you should consult your doctor before doing any workout when pregnant.

What to Look For in A Pilates Instructor

Tampa Pilates Instructor Deecembra Diamond

As a Pilates instructor and fitness professional, I like to attend other instructors’ classes from time to time to learn new techniques, try new equipment, and get my own good workout in.  I attended one such class last week, and while I don’t want to call out the specific studio, let’s just say it was a good lesson in how NOT to teach a Pilates class. It also prompted me to want to put together a list of some of the things a good Pilates (and in most cases, any specialty fitness class) instructor will do, so my clients and potential clients and even just the general public can spot the good studios, as well as the not-so-good, a little more easily:

1. A good Pilates instructor wants to know about your body.
The very first thing I will ask a new client is, do you have any injuries, or any problem areas? Pilates can not only be safe for many different fitness levels, but it can actually help you heal or strengthen injured or weak areas IF your Pilates instructor knows what you are working with.

A good Pilates instructor will also ask about your other forms of exercise, how often you exercise…even what you do for work! All of these factors can contribute to how your body will respond to certain Pilates moves, and this knowledge can be used by a good trainer to tailor the best workout to your body.

Tampa Pilates instructor Deecembra Diamond

2.  A good Pilates instructor customizes each workout to each client.
Whether there are 2 people in my Tampa Pilates classes, or 6, I make sure that each person is doing what is right for their body and fitness level. This might mean lighter or heavier springs, movement variations, fewer or more reps, or different exercises altogether. The beauty of Pilates is that it can (and should) be customized to help you get the most out of your body, without causing injury.  What is right for one person might be completely wrong for another (this also goes back to knowing your clients’ histories and bodies).

If your Pilates instructor is not tailoring your workouts to you, speak up. And if you take any fitness class where there are too many people in the class for the instructor to manage, leave.

3. A good Pilates instructor asks about your goals, and helps you reach them. Maybe you want to gain better flexibility; or maybe you’re looking for better lengthened definition in your muscles; or maybe you have always had a “pancake butt” and want to trade it for a cute little round one. Whatever your fitness goals are, a good Pilates trainer should ask you.  And then they should help you work to achieve those goals. But if they never bother to ask, or you don’t speak up and tell them, you probably won’t get the results you want from your workout.