Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, SportsHART: Pilates is great for your core, once you stop gasping for …

Posted: March 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm


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My wife recently announced we were going on a wellness plan.

"Does that mean no more Nutty Bars for lunch?" I said.

No. It means we have started taking Pilates classes. Pilates was invented by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century with an emphasis on melding mind and body. After doing Pilates for about a month, we've learned about melding muscles we never knew we had.

We are taking classes one night a week at NuFit For You, owned by the amazing Angie Asmann. Angie won the Dancing With The Local Stars competition a year ago, so not only is she smart as a whip and totally in shape, she's also graceful and moves like a cat. So does NuFit instructor Emily Lopez, who can stretch her legs to the ceiling and make the various positions look easy.

Pilates is based around stretching your "core" -- mainly the muscles that attach to your spine.

"The nice thing about Pilates is that it's for any fitness level. You don't have to be in super great shape to start," Angie points out. "It's about making your muscles longer and stronger."

Angie trained the Quincy University men's volleyball team in Pilates last year, and the team didn't have a single injury all season.

The lessons involve different movements of arms, legs, back, stomach and neck. They are done either flat on your back, stomach or on your side.

You are supposed to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, or is that the other way around? Anyway, it ends up being gasping through the nose and mouth after trying to do a Pilates pushup.

There might not be anything more chilling than Emily starting the class by saying, "I learned some new techniques over the weekend." This usually involves something diabolical like "The Clam," which makes the muscles in your thigh quiver like jelly and may mean you will have trouble sitting, standing, living and breathing for the next few days.

The rest is here:

Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, SportsHART: Pilates is great for your core, once you stop gasping for ...

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Written by simmons |

March 20th, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Posted in Pilates