Pilates is becoming increasingly popular over recent years. More and more people have discovered the many great benefits of practicing Pilates. If you are thinking about trying out Pilates, then you’d want to know more about it first in order to prepare for your first class.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is an exercise regimen that was developed by German physical trainer Joseph Pilates in the 1920s. It combines different fundamental principles of calisthenics, yoga, and ballet, with emphasis on core strength, balance, control, focus, and precision of movements. Pilates moves are low-impact and can be done on a mat or using equipment specifically used for Pilates. A typical Pilates class lasts for 30 minutes to an hour.
Tips for Pilates beginners
To help you ease into your foray to Pilates, here are some tips that can help you make your first Pilates class more pleasant.
1. Finding a studio and instructor
When starting out, it is best to give both types of Pilates classes a try. Mat Pilates is performed on the floor with the Pilates instructor leading the class, while Reformer Pilates makes use of special equipment to help with the different moves and poses, still with the guidance of a Pilates instructor. Get a feel of which type of Pilates would align with your fitness goals. Checking out different Pilates classes also gives you an idea of the instructors. It is important to pick an instructor that you feel comfortable with in order to make each session more effective.
2. Wearing the right outfit
Pilates involves different poses and movements that make use of different parts of the body. Wearing light, tight-fitting, and stretchable clothing is essential to your practice so the instructor can easily spot if you are doing the movements correctly. Loose clothing can also get caught in the machines so it’s best to steer clear of them for Pilates. Additionally, leggings are more preferred for Pilates, as shorts tend to ride up while doing a lot of leg work on the mat or on the machine. There is no need to wear shoes in a Pilates class, however, wearing socks is a must. Go for non-slip Pilates socks so you’ll feel more confident performing the moves.
3. Listen to your body
In Pilates, you will be asked to move your body in certain positions and movements that you might not be used to so expect some degree of discomfort, especially in the beginning. However, if it’s a little too much for you, don’t hesitate to tell your instructor. Expect to feel sore a day after your Pilates class.
Concentration is also a key element of Pilates, thus being attuned with your body is needed in order to have mastery over the movements. As you practice Pilates more, you’ll find that it’s easier to do more of the movements.
4. Take your time
Unlike aerobics or high-intensity interval training, Pilates is all about the flow. There is no need to rush in doing the movements, rather, you will be encouraged to take your time as you move through the reps. Doing the movements faster will not make it easier, while slowly doing the movements can actually increase the difficulty level and make Pilates more challenging.
5. Have realistic goals
Like other fitness regimens, you won’t see results overnight. It takes consistent practice over time for one to achieve Pilates’ maximum benefits. When you start your Pilates journey, you may also want to rethink your lifestyle as a whole. Complement your Pilates practice with a balanced diet and healthy habits in order to truly live a healthier lifestyle.
Starting a new fitness routine may intimidate anyone. However, Pilates is a physical workout that can be done by anyone at any fitness level. Preparing yourself well as you begin with Pilates is vital to ensure that you will enjoy its many great health advantages. Try a class with us and start your Pilates journey today.