Inner Strength Pilates
Richard Greenhalgh wakes up early to review Inner Strength Pilates in Knutsford
A typical male response to Pilates – sounds a bit easy, not sure it will really be a challenge – trust me, after an hour with Lisa at Inner Strength Pilates in Knutsford, I am rapidly put right!
I arrive to a fantastic upstairs location in the heart of Knutsford that you would never believe existed if you hadn’t been there. There is an innate sense of calm in the room but despite this lying on the floor are six “machines” the likes of which I’ve never seen before, but more on this later. My instructor Lisa is exceptionally welcoming and gives me the low down on what I am going to be doing for the next hour, glancing over her shoulder at the machines, which I now know are called “Reformers” and which were invented by the creator of the Pilates movement, Joseph Pilates.
Lisa, is a former journalist, turned Pilates instructor and it is clear that her change of career is driven by her love and devotion for her job in helping others better themselves. I am also amazed that some of the more basic movements that she has me completing during the course of my session, leaving me hugely out of breath, whilst she is seemingly able to complete the same exercises with both a smile and no sense of physical exertion at all.
I am joined in my session by one of Lisa’s regulars who is very happy to join the “early bird” work out and is clearly far more adept at working her way around the Reformer than I am.
The Reformer to my eyes, at first glance looks not unlike an old-fashioned bedstead. It is made up of a number of moving parts, most notably the carriage which I spent much time moving forwards and backwards upon. The carriage is tensioned by a number of springs which have the effect of substantially adjusting the amount of tension that the user requires to actually move it. I was amazed by how much the application of different springs to the carriage made to the difficulty of the individual exercises.
Lisa took us through a whole body work out and it is fair to say that whilst I consider myself to be reasonably fit (for a middle-aged guy) I found many of the movements a real challenge and I felt that I was working elements of my anatomy that clearly weren’t used on a regular basis! There is a clear focus on form, but also on ensuring that your breathing remains under control and your core remains engaged throughout all of the workout.
Lisa’s natural demeanour very much put me at ease throughout the session and I left the studio in Knutsford with a very different take on Pilates from when I walked in the door. As I mentioned at the start, anyone who walks into a Pilates Studio with the expectation of an easy ride may be in for a bit of a reality check. My session with Lisa at Inner Strength was eye-opening, for all of the right reasons, and anyone who has a genuine desire to improve their mobility and general wellbeing would be well advised to give it a try!
Inner Strength - King Street 44-46 King Street, Knutsford, WA16 6DT