5 Workout “Rules”to stop following right now…and that highlight the efficacy of what Pilates has ALWAYS been (we just wish people would stop beating themselves up and call it “fitness)

Here are the top five, all-too-common workout myths that should have been retired long ago. But, most people and research does not understand Pilates…the ultimate Stability NOT Soreness WHOLE PERSON workout with your own mind-body feedback as the superior marker of success!

We think these five workout “rules” that just don’t hold water. Whether you think that you have to be sore for a workout to “count” or believe that 10 minutes isn’t worth the trouble, get ready for a perspective shift that’s sure to make you feel a little bit more free while doing the movement you love. And if you can’t do the movement you love, do Pilates to make your joints stable and aligned so you can!

1. Only modify exercises if you want to make them easier

People often equate modifications with less intensity; however, choosing a modification may be the most-effective option to maintain proper form and the full range of motion for the body. Taylor Bogenschuetz is director of training and development at Solidcore, a high-intensity, low-impact workout performed on Pilates reformers and says “Every workout should meet you where you are. For example, you may think that modifying a push-up, either by lowering your knees to the floor, or elevating your hands, is less “effective” or “impressive” than completing a full push-up. But the truth is that the modified version will also work your triceps, core, and shoulders. Then, when you gain the necessary strength, you’ll be able to perform a full push-up safely”.

2. You have to use a fitness tracker to get good feedback

If you’re working out to seek the approval of your smart watch, Bogenschuetz says there’s another way. “From the moment you begin a workout to the second you end it, your fitness tracker measures your heart rate and displays an estimate of calories burned. These numbers alone are not a strong indication of the efficacy of your workout,” she says. The superiority of the way you FEEL is key here and MUST include joy and happiness in a measurement of good feedback.

The reality is, the stats on your fitness tracker are good—but they don’t paint a full picture of the mental and physical benefits you reap. The lesson here? Make sure your wearable isn’t the only way you’re measuring your progress. Consider keeping a fitness journal or clocking how you feel before and after a workout, as well and notice the energy and sensorial feedback increases and benefits.

3. You haven’t worked hard enough if you’re not sore

According to Bogenschuetz, many factors play into soreness including how hydrated you are, how much sleep you got the night before, and how well you’re recovering. In other words: It’s far too variable to use as a metric for a successful workout. Luckily, we are big fans of focusing on how your muscles and breath feel throughout the workout and always preach to listen to your body and make that mind-body connection when training. It can become a more efficient way of training, and it’s eye opening when you can truly understand your body and how it moves. We are also big fans of fascial hydration BEFORE the muscular workout, to prep the fascial continuum and flow, and some AFTER to restore the cellular hydration used up.

4. Always opt for long workouts over short

You don’t need to work out for 60 minutes straight to reap the benefits of exercise. If you only have 10 minutes, do that. If you have 10 minutes, five times a day, that is 50 minutes spread throughout. We have time for what we want to have time for, and sometimes you need to prioritize yourself. Short-and-sweet workouts are also a great way to manage stress, improve your overall health and build health habits.

So whether you have two minutes or a full hour today, make time to stretch, walk around the block, stand up and stretch and breathe, or move in another way that feels good to you.

5. Consistency counts, so don’t take rest days

“‘No days off’ is another ‘motto’ that could be more harmful in the long run. Your body needs rest in order to function properly and to its full potential. Exercise is stress on your body, and if you are constantly putting your body through stress, there will be a point where it could lead to overuse and injury.  

Instead of pushing yourself to exercise every day, listen to your body: If you feel tired, try active recovery like soft foam rolling or fascial flossing with the MELT Method or the Pilates “bubble-gum” balls or stretching. Or, opt to skip movement altogether with a smile in your eyes and heart…no inside voice saying mean things!