Pilates workouts have a tricky habit of looking a whole lot easier than they actually are. Thanks to the slow-and-controlled nature of their movements, even the simplest-seeming exercises can leave your muscles shaking—but only if you do them right. Proper form is key for reaping the maximum benefits of Pilates, which is why in this 20-minute full-body slider workout, Studio Qila founder Bridget O'Carroll is urging you to take as many modifications as you need.
- Bridget O'Carroll, founder of Studio Qila
"It's form over ego," she says, which means that not only is it okay to modify the moves (which, by the way, is *always* the case)—it's actually encouraged. "Instead of trying to push for whatever feels like the most advanced move, focus on form and alignment and take the modification when you need it. The workout is going to be most effective if you take the variation you can stick with over time."
Instead of choosing the most advanced version of a move, pick the one you can actually do for the entirety of the workout. Then, move slowly and with control to build up tension so you can really get into those slow-twitch muscle fibers."You'll get to the point where your muscles are going to start shaking, convulsing a little bit... I swear that's a good thing," says O'Carroll. "It means your muscle fibers are starting to break down to create tiny little tears and that forces them to rebuild tomorrow. That is how you get stronger. It is never comfortable."
If you choose a variation that's too difficult and causes you to take breaks before completing all of your reps, you'll release some of that tension, which means you'll miss out on the full benefits of the move (plus, you could end up hurting yourself). In other word? Modifications are your best friend, so give yourself a pat on the back for taking those planks on your knees.
Ready to get stronger? Press play on the video to see the entire full-body slider workout.
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