As I stepped out of my house to a glorious sunny and 80 degree day (thank you beautiful Arizona), it hit me: swimsuit season is just a few degrees away and I have in no way, shape or form begun toning and tightening for the occasion. Being a fan of mat Pilates and always a bit intrigued with the full-fledged version, I called up our good friends and Remedy Pilates & Massage and scheduled a private Pilates session. The best part? The studio also offers massage so in true spa girl fashion and in an effort to curb as many sore muscles as possible, I scheduled a massage to immediately follow the workout.
Confession: the Pilates machines have always been a bit frightening to me. To my relief, after learning I was a newbie to the machines, co-owner and Pilates instructor Amanda walked me through the different elements and showed me how the various attachments and features operated.
We started off with some basics focusing on the lower body and establishing my strength and flexibility. Amanda made me feel relaxed and at ease with each new move by remaining hands on and guiding me into the right positions and movements as needed.
We transitioned into more advanced exercises for upper and lower body utilizing more of the attachments. As the session progressed I couldn’t help but feel a bit like a stringed puppet but with Amanda by my side teaching me tricks and tips to get the most out of the workout, I quickly felt confident in what I was doing. A word to the wise: don’t tell her you feel like a puppet. Little did I know, there is actually an exercise by that name and it’s a tricky one!
One of the best things about the workout, other than my fabulous massage waiting for me afterward, was that each exercise incorporated stretching movements. I can only imagine how terribly sore I would have been had we not stretched. And believe me I was quite sore for a few days – but she did keep her promise that I would be able to walk that evening for the event I was attending. I guess I should have followed that up by asking how the following days would go for me!
But wait! I haven’t gotten to the best part: my massage. After class I took a few minutes to cool down before Amanda escorted me to the back where the space transforms from workout extraordinaire to a relaxing zenergy.
As I settled in on the massage table and having just spent the last 60 minutes with Amanda, I knew I was in good hands. She asked a few key questions to learn my preference for the massage (I prefer deep tissue massages) and quickly got to work. With a slew of professional sports athletes as clients (we unfortunately can’t mention any names – but we were impressed!) she was a miracle worker with pressure and hitting the right spots.
With insider information on the specific muscles we worked out she was able to focus a great deal on my pending sore spots. Throughout the massage I could feel my muscles slowly stretching as if everything were just melting away. Once she was done with those muscles she worked out a few of my problem areas that had been bugging me all week, specifically focusing on my neck, which I tend to tighten up during workouts and frequently causing post-workout headaches. I am happy to report, none followed this one!
She even offered up a little secret about one of her clients who is in her 50s but thanks to weekly deep tissue massages, has not one sign of cellulite. I am in my 20s and can’t boast that! I think I may need to up my deep tissue massage frequency.
Having spoiled myself with a post-workout massage I have decided, it is the ONLY way to workout. I can’t imagine how sore I would have been otherwise and with the convenience of having both in one location; I don’t see why I wouldn’t continue that routine.