The Great Lockdown brought about a wave of fitness trends like workout videos on YouTube, jumping rope sessions on one’s Stories, the comeback of the balancing board, and the use of resistance bands.
Now that gyms are finally open—while still following health protocols—you have probably seen someone on social media posting a picture of himself or herself doing pilates—stretching on a four-poster bed with straps, a push bar and cross bar. Though pilates is not new, it is one of the workouts that became popular during the pandemic.
If you are dreaming of having a strong body that’s not bulky, then pilates is the perfect workout for you. Pilates builds flexibility, improves posture, boosts endurance and strengthens the core by training your body through efficient and connected movements.
Though the equipment required might be quite intimidating, they will make the session easier as these provide assistance, and challenge you to level up your pilates game.
Pilates is also very personal. Every person has a unique program that is tailor-fit to his or her body’s needs and fitness level, and every movement is intentional. It is done with minimal effort but gets the target muscle working.
According to Dynamic Bodyworks’ founder and instructor Michael Alcantara, the principles of pilates—control, concentration, centering, precision, breath and flowing movements—are applicable not only in the studio, but in our daily lives.
Dynamik Bodyworks, located at Avenir on Archbishop Reyes Ave., Cebu City, has been around since October 2018. It has a goal of making pilates accessible to everybody regardless of age, shape or size.
Michael, a certified public accountant, together with his wife, Hazel, a civil engineer, were based in Singapore for some time. It was there where they discovered the joys of practicing pilates and its many benefits.
“We have always been the active and outdoorsy type. As we approached our mid-30s, we realized that a lot of the stuff we used to enjoy like running, tennis, HIIT, plyometrics were not as enjoyable anymore. Too many body pains. So we started taking interest in pilates, as somebody had told us that this type of workout is good for those with back pains or with injuries. After our first session, we enjoyed it so much that we started taking more classes. One class led to another, which then led to curiosity about teaching a class and setting up our own studio. We thought it would be nice to make pilates available in our hometown so that Cebuanos can also benefit from it. From there, I started taking pilates instructor courses in anticipation of eventually moving back to Cebu to set it all up,” Michael shared.
Just like any other workout, pilates requires wearing of comfortable workout clothes that are not too tight as this might restrict your movements, and not too loose as the instructor might have a challenging time checking your form; non-skid toe socks are advisable to allow for unrestricted movement of the toes which may affect your balance.
For beginners and general fitness, Michael suggests for them to attend pilates class at least once or twice a week. However, if you are fairly active with sports or another exercise program, then once a week will be sufficient. Pilates can be done to supplement or complement any of your other fitness regimes. Once your body is used to the movement, pilates can be done more often, if not, every day.
“We are advocates of movement be it in any form. Pilates, yoga, calisthenics or others. You just need to find whatever form of movement you are attuned to or compatible with. For us, we have found it in pilates. As Joseph Pilates would say, ‘Change happens through movement and movement heals,’” added Michael.
Dynamik Bodyworks is open from Monday to Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Booking a session is required; just message its Instagram page @dynamik_bodyworks.