Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned Pilates student, it’s inevitable that you’ll experience the Pilates shake.
And you should welcome it with open arms.
In fact, you should aim to live for that shake.
As you advance in your Pilates practice, you’ll find yourself experiencing that shake less and less, but it is something that you should never stop seeking.
So, what does the Pilates shake mean, and why is this awkward trembling feeling something that you actually want?
Let’s get into it.
The Secret Behind The Shake
Most exercises such as running, spinning, HIIT, etc. allow your muscles to contract and relax during the exercise.
Which means that, in these types of workouts, your muscles are given an immediate break and are not worked to their absolute maximum.
However, Pilates takes a completely different approach to working your muscles.
In Pilates, your muscles are challenged to hold positions for extended periods of time before given the opportunity to break.
In other words, your L.A. Pilates class will exhaust your muscles to the point where you feel you can’t possibly use them anymore and, at that point of near burnout, you’ll push a little bit more, and then, finally relax.
Though it sounds crazy, this fatiguing of your muscles in Pilates is a good thing — it is what leads to the creation of those long, lean muscles, as opposed to bulk that many other forms of exercise provide.
How Muscle Fatigue Causes The Shake
Each exercise in your Pilates Platinum class targets with great intensity a specific muscle group, and your goal is to have that muscle group working so hard that it shakes every time.
When you feel that shake, it means that there isn’t enough energy left in your body to keep your nerves on track, so your nerves respond to this lack of energy/signal by shaking. The shake does not mean that you’re doing something wrong, or are in danger of getting injured — again, the shake is a highly desired thing.
To get the most out of the shake, once you finally get to relax from the shake-inducing exercise, you’ll stretch those muscles out while they’re still on fire.
And that, ladies and gentleman, is what builds the long, lean muscles we are all seeking.
But, in order to make changes in your muscles and progress in the lean building of them, you have to push through the trembling. And always be mindful of not pushing yourself so far that you end up getting injured. However, as long as you’re using proper form, you shouldn’t experience any sort of injury.
The Shake Isn’t Just For Newbies
As you attend your L.A. Pilates class more regularly, your muscles will start to adapt to the massive challenge you’re presenting them with during each exercise.
Thus, over time, your endurance will strengthen (along with your muscles), and the shake won’t happen as often.
However, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen at all.
One of the greatest things about Pilates is that you can always advance (not that it’s ever easy to begin with).
In fact, a Pilates Platinum instructor said in a recent class, “You can either choose the springs that will make this move hard, or the ones that will make this move harder — none of this is going to be easy.”
So, once you feel that you’ve mastered the moves with the lighter springs, take it up a notch and add on some more.
You can also:
● Aim to stand up even higher on your toes
● Drop your thigh down lower
● Really concentrate on focusing your weight in the right place
● Ensure your form is on-point — this can be hard to do when you’re a beginner trying to keep track of everything else.
These things should all keep you shaking. Which is exactly what you want.
Wrap It Up
The muscle endurance that you build via that shaking, and Pilates as a whole is something that will massively improve your overall fitness and health.
Pilates is not just all about building a great bod, though that is a fab benefit and, to be honest, the reason most of us go.
However, Pilates also helps a great deal with balance and flexibility, whose roles become more and more important as we age.
1. Go to Pilates three times a week, and
2. Ensure that every time you go, you’re giving it your all
If you’re checking those two things off your list, then you’re guaranteed to find yourself shaking, feeling the burn, seeing the results, and loving it.