It has been my experience as a Pilates teacher that every time I introduce it to someone who is regularly strong and fit from other forms of exercise, Pilates still manages to kick their butt. One of the most memorable experiences was with my Pilates mentor, Bernadette Giorgi, (www.justbmethod.com) in Philadelphia. Her studio at AFC Fitness in Bala Cynwyd, Penn., (www.afcfitness.com) is next to the basketball court. Every day at noon there was always a pick-up game on the court while the ladies waited outside the studio for their 12:15pm Pilates class. So while the men organized their teams, they asked “What’s so special about this class?” The ladies assured them it would make them more flexible and stronger on the basketball court.
The leader of the group, Mack, replied “Okay, how hard can it be? Bernadette keeps telling us we’ll be better athletes if we take this class.” So the next day when he came to class, Mack was amazed how challenging the class was yet how great he felt afterwards. Soon he was telling all of the players about what he experienced. The guys were also asking a lot of questions. “Come on! How hard could it be? It’s for girls!” So, Bernadette told them to each bring a basketball and meet her on the basketball court!
About 15 guys wandered on to the court and fired off questions like,” So, what’s the difference between this and yoga?” Bernadette replied, “Do it and you’ll feel the difference!” She used a basketball as a Pilates “prop” beginning with breathing exercises and a light warm up stretch. The tempo was quick with very little breaks. At the end of 45 minutes the guys were drenched and amazed at how challenging the Pilates work was, but somehow found the “inner” strength to mutter! “Wow, Bern! You busted our butts! When are we doing it again?”
Some pro ball players are already experiencing the benefits of Pilates. NBA All-Star Jason Kidd works out regularly with a Pilates Trainer and even has a Pilates Reformer in his basement. Some NBA teams such as the New Jersey Nets also use Pilates in their training.