As some of you know, I've been making my way through FB's lower body Pilates routines since August. Yesterday, I finished the last one of the bunch! I promised that I'd put together a short (-ish) list of my favorites and share them with y'all along with some additional thoughts 😊
I really like FB's approach to Pilates overall; it feels approachable, straightforward and non-elitist. The instruction in each routine is quite thorough as well. I especially appreciate Daniel's constant cues to check form and tips about muscle contraction, core engagement and how to go up or down a level for a particular move. While I preferred the physical challenge of the older Pilates routines, I loved reading the write ups for the newer ones. They often included messages about not getting discouraged because of your current fitness level, encouragement to continue one's fitness journey, notes from Kelli about staying positive despite chronic pain or injury or illness, etc. It was good to see a bit more of the personal side of K&D, and I happened to really need those messages on the days that I did those routines.
OLD vs. NEW
As I mentioned above, in general, I found that the older routines made it into my favorites more often. They tended to be shorter (30-35 minutes), but felt more intense in terms of specific exercises, exercise sequencing, rest breaks and/or transitions to the next move. I found them to be a great way to challenge my muscle endurance and even mental tenacity to keep going when I felt like giving up. On the other hand, I liked the way that the newer Pilates videos had more unique structure and other small tweaks to switch things up and keep everything interesting - longer intervals (50 sec on/10 off) instead of reps, ascending/descending reps to burnout the muscles and adding some bodyweight strength moves. Mixing the two types together gives enough variety to keep you from getting bored, in my opinion, especially because different variations of certain exercises are used.
All that said, here are my absolute favorite Pilates routines from the last 6-7 weeks! Some of these I've already highlighted in my weekly BVC recaps, but I wanted to put the spotlight on them again because they're that good! 🤗
2. https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos/thigh-slimming-pilates-butt-and-thigh-workout-free-32-minute-online-pilates-class (LOVE this one! Leg Circles = 💙 )
3. https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos/ascending-rep-pilates-butt-and-thigh-workout-for-glute-activation-mat-pilates-flow (ascending reps - you will be shaking by the end!)
4. https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos/pilates-butt-and-thigh-burnout-squat-free-workout-for-a-lifted-round-butt-and-toned-thighs (I always do this one after the 62 minute abs + glute Pilates routine with K&D and always wonder what on earth I was thinking 😂 )
8. https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos/17-minute-pilates-core-series-workout (this isn't *technically* lower body, but it sneaked its way into my favorites. It's such a nice ab routine and I love the progressions!)
9. https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos/pilates-butt-and-thigh-workout-butt-lifting-pilates-workout-for-toned-legs (this one even includes a quick warm up!)
10. https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos/pilates-lower-body-workout-to-tighten-and-tone-the-butt-and-thighs (those frog kicks 😱 )
12. https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos/pilates-abs-butt-and-thigh-workout-pilates-workout-for-lower-body-and-core (had to include this one! I play music when I do it and it goes by quickly :-) )
All in all, I have really enjoyed and appreciated all of the Pilates work that I've done over the last few weeks. I still get to work my lower body, albeit less intensely, and I feel that my mind-body connection and glute activation have improved immensely. Also, my core and hip strength seem to be coming along quite nicely - side hip raises and side planks don't feel so much like death 😂
Better than all of that, I think I've learned a lot about when to bring down the intensity and how to allow my body to take a little rest when everything around me is going insane. I was looking back over my calendar from April-June, and I honestly wonder what on earth I was thinking. I was exercising a LOT and doing intense routines, adding HIIT or cardio wherever and whenever I could, always doing extra credits and then adding more on top of that. I was anxious and tried to mitigate it by doing more intense routines, and that just did not work for me. It's no wonder that I felt burnt out in the middle of Sweat in June! I'm honestly surprised that I didn't injure myself then. I know better now, though. My body and mind have both appreciated the scaling down of the intensity in my routine; I'm planning to keep it low until I feel ready to hop back into full blown strength training again. And I definitely plan to continue listening to my body better from now on.
I am never brief, so thank you for reading if you made it this far! And enjoy the rest of your Tuesday/Wednesday 🤗