Sadly, we aren’t serving you milkshakes after class. But wouldn’t that be nice if we all cooled off by drank a deliciously cold thick chocolate (or vanilla, we aren’t bias) milkshake with some whip cream and cherry on top after class and never have to worry about it going to our waistline? Okay, maybe we got a little carried away, but we can dream, right?
In all seriousness though, the ‘Pilates Shake’ is real but for the sake of this article, it has to do with our muscles, not milkshakes.
Whether this is your first Pilates Plus OC class or your 100th, the Pilates shakes are real! Even the most seasoned Pilates goer can and should feel them.
The Pilates shakes are something that a newer person will experience quicker within their workout, but any seasoned Pilates goer should still strive to reach the shaking point and welcome the Pilates shake with open arms.
So what is this Pilates shake we are speaking of?
Well, you may be more familiar with how your body feels during an intense strengthening session at the gym–exhausted and a little wobbly. Or maybe there is that similar feeling for you during running or a spin class, but you have never really reached the point to where your muscles shake. You feel muscle exhaustion because in these types of exercises your muscles are contracting and relaxing over and over again, which means that your muscles are able to become relaxed over and over again during these types of workouts. Because of these relaxing moments for your muscles to take, it is harder for your muscles to reach their max.
However, Pilates takes an entirely different approach to work your muscles to the max–and a quicker path at that.
In Pilates, your muscles are challenged to hold positions for extended periods (this could be minutes) before given the opportunity to break.
Your Pilates Plus OC class exhaust your muscles by keeping them in that contracted position for a duration of time before you get to relax. Of course, we allow you to take breaks when necessary but the point behind holding those positions for an extended period is to work that muscle to the end of almost being burnt out. Then, work it a little harder, but then just as when you are feeling the Pilates shake then you can finally allow the muscle to relax and take a break.
Have you ever noticed that we focus on one body part before moving on to the other side or a different muscle in the body?
This is exactly why. We are entirely exhausting the muscle first before allowing it to take a break while working on another muscle group.
This is why we never have our students perform lunges on the right leg, then move on to an upper body exercise to then go back to the right leg–no, we burn that right leg out in its entirety before moving on to the upper body, for example.
The Pilates shake is something you should desire to achieve often to build the long, lean muscles we are all seeking through Pilates.
As you attend more Pilates Plus OC class more regularly, your muscles will start to adapt to the challenge with each exercise. Thus, over time, your endurance and muscles will strengthen causing the shake to not happen as often.
But this doesn’t mean you’ve reached the max and you will never feel the shake again. No, one of the greatest things about Pilates is that you can always advance each exercise with more intense variations. So, once you feel that you’ve mastered the moves with the lighter springs, take it up a notch by adding heavier springs or ask your instructor to give you an advanced move to the exercises.
Last but not least, please keep in mind that the shaking you experience could also be your body telling you something else. While we just discussed above the shakes you do want to experience… you should also consider asking yourself these questions first:
Are you dehydrated?
Have you given your muscles time to recover from your last workout?
Have you pushed yourself too hard this time?
These questions are great to keep in the back of your head while working out, too.
But, in order to create change in your muscles and achieve the length in your muscles, you should push through the trembling. Importantly, always be mindful of not pushing yourself so far that you end up getting injured. As long as you’re using proper form, you shouldn’t experience any type of injury.
Now, who is ready to shake?