The Thing About Springs

IMG_0787The Thing About Springs

Post By Ann Raber, Pilates Trainer

In every Core Reform Pilates class, we come in ready to work hard. It’s only 50 minutes, we’ll be moving the whole time, quickly between difficult exercises. We love Core Reform because the workouts are efficient, kicking us hard then sending us back off into the world a little stronger, a little leaner. This desire to push ourselves to the limit for a short amount of time is something that resonates with many Core Reform regulars. But what’s the best way to keep pushing ourselves?  Sometimes we are tempted to go really heavy on the springs. Heavier springs means harder work, harder means stronger, stronger means better, right? Hang on a second.
A saying common among Pilates instructors is ‘the only thing harder than working with all the springs on, is all the springs off’. Light springs take the challenge of many exercises straight to the core body. Imagine the typical leg springs moves, circles, frogs, lifts. Now imagine doing it with no straps, your feet high in the air with nothing to hold them up or push against, can you hold your spine steady? Can you move your legs with control? The core work available on a lighter setting here is hard to overstate. Picture the arm series, you’re up high on your knees, arms wide hugging into the center against resistance from the straps behind you. Now imagine those straps offer almost no resistance, but you must stay tall and balanced on the moving carriage, carefully moving the straps and your body with steady shoulders and don’t fall!
Next time you’re in the zone, pushing your body against the straps, pushing your mind to stay in the moment while the teacher counts down way too slowly, consider what these heavy springs are doing for you. Then, when you’re ready to add an edge to your core work, instead of adding that extra red spring for resistance and that delicious burning feeling in your quads, take a red one off and feel the burn through your center.