You’ve finished your first workout on a Pilates reformer machine, and your body feels like you just lit every muscle on fire. While this may be discouraging, this muscle burn is a normal part of Pilates, especially for beginners.
Unfortunately, the micro-movements associated with Pilates exercises can work and cause micro-tears in muscles most of us have never worked out before.
You’ll notice this soreness, especially if you use high-end equipment, like a Pilates Cadillac Reformer that works every part of your core and take weight resistance away from your spine.
The good news is that inflammation and micro-tears are the body’s way of building new muscle that is stronger and more toned. After repeated Pilates classes, that muscle burn and fatigue will disappear, and your body will be more efficient at converting lactic acid to glucose for energy.
With that said, you can avoid that feeling of soreness and push yourself further in workouts by learning how to reduce lactic acid in muscles.
Unfortunately, lactic acid buildup or that feeling of tiredness and muscle soreness we get from high-intensity exercises can have plenty of uncomfortable and even harmful effects if not properly treated.
That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you reduce lactic acid buildup from Pilates and achieve a faster recovery before your next workout.
Lactic acid buildup is actually a misnomer because the body doesn’t produce lactic acid. Rather, lactate is produced through glycolysis, often used interchangeably with lactic acid and associated with muscle soreness.
Without getting too technical, your body relies on oxygen and glucose to supply ATP to your muscles, which is its primary energy source.
In high-intensity workouts, your body can’t supply enough oxygen to provide ATP to your muscles, so it ends up producing lactate which is often associated with soreness.
However, that soreness results from an acidic environment created by the circulation of hydrogen ions in your muscles and bloodstream. This process leads to the ill effects of traditional lactic acid buildup.
Most of us have probably experienced lactic acid or lactate buildup during a strenuous workout. Understanding the signs of lactic acid buildup is key to allowing your body the proper time to recover.
Lactate is typically recycled by your muscles anywhere between an hour to a day after a workout.
For that reason, muscle soreness felt afterward can be attributed to inflammation caused by micro-tears in your muscles.
While the science behind lactic acid buildup has changed, we can still take the same supplements and precautions to reduce lactic acid or muscle soreness as previously understood.
Altering our diet can help us achieve faster and easier recoveries after a high-intensity Pilates or reformer Pilates workout.
Protein especially is critical to muscle development, so eating high-protein meals 2-3 hours after a workout and on recovery days helps accelerate muscle recovery.
However, there are additional steps you can take during a Pilates workout to reduce muscle soreness and accelerate recovery.
First and foremost, to provide your muscles with enough oxygen required to produce ATP, we can assist our bodies through controlled breathing. Fortunately, experienced Pilates students understand the importance of calm breaths that feed more oxygen to our bodies.
Be sure to work on your posture to help oxygen flow more smoothly through your body. Equipment like the Wunda Chair is designed to help fix your posture and control your breathing.
Taking deep breaths helps supply necessary oxygen to muscles and reduces stress that furthers inflammation.
Lactate is water-soluble, so drinking 20 ounces of water before Pilates class and an additional 6-8 ounces during a class reduces the ill effects of hydrogen ions that damage muscle fiber.
Stretching allows muscle fibers to loosen and oxygen to fuel ATP development. Always do a dynamic stretch before a Pilates workout, and be sure to take small, cautious movements to prevent cramps or muscle blowout.
Be sure to finish a workout with stretches to supply that oxygen needed for recovery and energy. It’s one of the main reasons so many Pilates classes like to end with a small Yoga session.
Furthermore, take muscle cramps and soreness as a sign that your body has had enough. Your body only has so much of a lactate threshold before an acidic environment will develop and cause inflammation.
To help avoid exceeding that threshold, gradually increase weight resistance between workouts using Pilates equipment. This way, you will avoid muscle burnout and fatigue.
Finally, we can help avoid muscle soreness and fatigue by working out more. As our muscles develop, they become more efficient at converting glucose to energy and faster recovery.
As a result, you’ll notice after a few weeks of Pilates, you won’t be as sore the next day, and you’ll be craving that soreness once again. Less soreness and better muscle tone will fuel your desire to continue with Pilates.
While lactic acid technically is not the source of muscle recovery, the same science behind preventing muscle fatigue and soreness still applies to Pilates students.
By modifying your diet to incorporate more protein-rich meals and taking added precautions during a Pilates exercise, you can help avoid excessive muscle soreness and long recovery times.
Additionally, the more you workout with Pilates and gradually add resistance with a reformer Pilates machine, the better your muscles will become at storing energy and avoiding soreness.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Great experience overall - great company to deal with.
Arrived so fast, easy assembling and top quality product. I’ve owned professional Peak Pilates equipment and this quality is comparable.
Our installation was quick and flawless and completed by a very nice and helpful man. We greatly appreciate him. Thank you!
Needed to elevate my Pilates machine as was recently diagnosed with Polymialgia rheumatica. The stand was easy to assemble and raises the machine about twelve inches. Very sturdy and stable.
I am so happy with this product. It was easy assembly. I also haven't felt this good in quite some time. Love the DVDs it comes with too, just wish it had more. I recommend this product.
I love my aeropilates machine. It is great for building strength, endurance and lean muscle, as well as being a great tool for stretching. I like how one can get a great workout at the convenience of one's own house, without going to Pilates clubs.
My machine came without rebounder and I always thought that Rebounder looked easy and will not add much of a value to my exercise routine. Boy, was I wrong! Rebounder adds a great cardio workouts, it really brings your heart rate up and also strengthens muscles of your legs. You can use it during your pilates routine or throughout the day for a quick metabolism boost. I would greatly recommend purchasing rebounder to broaden your workout horizons. I also love using Marjolein's Pilates DVDs- she is a great teacher and her programs are easy to follow.
I exercise on this machine every day. It's super! The videos that go with it are amazing! I'm very pleased with this exercise machine! It's a great workout!
Love the machine overall of course there�s one thing I wish that there was a bar on the other end to pull against the springs. It�s perfect for doing lagree and traditional Pilates. I love it overall.
We were very impressed with the quality of the Aeropilates Cardio reformer. The DVDs that Came with the system are professional quality and explained the machine and provides workouts. We are thrilled to know we now have a way to continue the work outs we began in the gyms; and that has brought us a peace of mind. We look forward to a few more accessories to expand the Aeropilates usage. Thank you so much for making such a quality product affordable.
Ordered this to replace my 17 year old Supreme
Pilates Tower that finally broke. Easy to assemble and very sturdy. Much heavier to move and no wheels, but moving my other one around wore it out. Excited to complete a full work out tomorrow.
The assembly was very easy (I am female, 55, and did by myself), and the machine works well. I also got the pull-up bar which is a nice feature for extra exercises. My only disappointment was that the straps do not have the clip adjustment I thought the 700 models had. Trying to adjust these straps is much more difficult and it is hard to get them even. Otherwise I am happy. I would recommend perhaps softer cushioning on the shoulder rests.
I've been doing pilates group classes for years and it is my favorite workout. I began working from home and wanted to be able to do quick workouts whenever I could during the day. I received this reformer in December and have loved experimenting with it! I was able to put it together by myself in 20 minutes, I just needed help lifting it out of the box. When I first tested it out, it was very squeaky, like unbearable. I reached out to Stamina who was very responsive in helping me with this issue. They suggested using a silicone spray along the track which helped eliminate the noise! Highly suggest this if you experience squeaking. The machine itself isn't the highest quality, but it works well and serves all of my needs. I feel so accomplished when I do an at home workout that leaves my muscles sore the next day as if I went to a group class! I just search reformer workouts on YouTube and there's so many to choose from. The spring loads typically don't match the videos I find, but since I'm familiar with pilates and know what springs work best for my body, this is ok for me. Also, the jumpboard is great! The best part about this is how easy it is to open, close and roll into the closet! Super compact. I highly recommend this if you're familiar with pilates and looking for a way to get in a quick workout without leaving your home! I recommend this product.
I recently purchased the Aeropilates Spine corrector in hopes it would relive the chronic pain in my left shoulder. After only 1 workout of about 15 minutes, I felt immediate relief and I continue to be pain free. This is a very relaxing exercise routine to end a busy day and I highly recommend the spine corrector. It is very solid and well made, very happy customer! I recommend this product.
I absolutely love my new pilates reformer. Love the beautiful wood design and the cushion is soft and does not hurt my knees. I love having springs vs. the chords, the adjustable foot bar, and the shoulder rests, head cushion, along with the carriage are made of great material! It was easy for me to put together as well! Very sturdy and beautiful design! Excited to build muscle without having to lift heavy weights and to get my cardio on! I recommend this product.
Best customer service I have ever dealt with in a very long time. I recommend this product.