Pilates sculpts long, lean muscles, as does the factory that makes Action Joe Pilates figures. Be a model of good health with this Groupon.
Choose from Two Options
- $49 for 6 Pilates classes ($126 value)
- $99 for one month of unlimited Pilates and TRX classes ($249 value)
Eccentric Muscle Contraction: The Rock-Solid Core of Pilates
Pilates aims to build muscle strength and definition without unnecessary bulk. Stretch your mind around Groupon's study of eccentric muscle contractions to understand one of its major tools.
Anatomists identify three types of muscle contraction: concentric, eccentric, and isometric. Isometric contraction occurs when a muscle resists a force without moving or changing its length. Concentric contraction can be exemplified by a set of rapid crunches: the ab muscles repeatedly shorten during the emphasized upward movement, and often don't revert fully to their relaxed state until the set is complete or the gym teacher looks the other way. Eccentric contraction, on the other hand, is what happens when the muscles resist a force as they lengthen—as they do in the Pilates version of a crunch, the roll down.
To build any muscle, you need to do some controlled damage to its fibers, prompting the body to generate new muscle cells to make repairs. And eccentric muscle contractions are especially good at doing this. Students carefully control their abs and resist their own body weight as they slowly relax, challenging the muscles in their elongated state.
Eccentric exercises force muscles to work harder than they would in a concentric state. This phenomenon explains why beginning Pilates students can experience muscle soreness the day after a deceptively easy workout. Besides trying to prevent addiction to IcyHot, Pilates instructors limit rep quantities because muscles tend to revert into concentric contraction as they tire, which can counteract any gains in flexibility.
M2 Core +
The owner of M2 Core + came to the fitness industry through necessity, as she struggles with scoliosis. By leading the studio's Megaformer workouts, though, she's so far kept her core stomach and back muscles strong; thus, helping to keep her condition under control. The person she has to thank for all this? Sebastian Lagree.
Lagree is the fitness titan who invented the aptly named Lagree Method, a full-body conditioning regimen that promotes fat-burning without resulting in bulky muscle. Thanks to the workout style's wealth of drills and modifications, the routines can be adapted for exercisers of all abilities and those with back and knee injuries, as well. It's the linchpin of M2 Core +'s workouts, and is backed by the Megaformers—the custom-weighted resistance equipment students sweat on. To boost motivation, the team plays high-octane songs during workouts, rather than just singing "Happy Birthday (to Muscles)" throughout each class.