Pilates is becoming a more and more popular form of exercise, and it’s no wonder. With its muscle stretching equipment and focus on core and truck toning; it’s a way to exercise that places emphasis on control, rather than endless reps and muscle exhaustion.
It allows you to become lithe and tone, which is probably why it is such a popular form of exercise for models.
This exercise technique was founded by Joseph Pilates, who created various pieces of equipment to use while training his body. He found that by combining the equipment with certain exercise routines, he got the desired fitness results
While most studios around the world feature some of the same basic equipment, the reformer, the trapeze table, specialized chairs, and a mat, what makes different types of Pilates is basically the differences in the Pilates equipment
That said, if you’re a newbie and have never stepped foot in a Pilates studio, then all that may seem a little intimidating.
Are you unsure of how Pilates actually works, and that is holding you back from taking your first class? Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know before signing up for your first Pilates class, allowing you to walk in and start working out with confidence.
Five things you need to know before you take your first Pilates class:
What is the purpose of Pilates?
Pilates is a type of exercise that focuses on your core and trunk, but also other muscles as well.
Your muscles are getting strengthened by working against gravity.
That is done either on a cushioned mat (that is thicker than a yoga mat) or with a machine, called a “reformer” (a sliding platform that has a combination of pulleys, springs, and a stationary bar).
What should you wear to a class?
Shorts are a no-go since you’ll be lifting your legs and moving around a lot. Wear form-fitting clothes that hug your body, such as leggings or capris.
You can either go barefoot or wear socks (however, check with your studio first, since they each have their own clothing protocol). If you opt for socks, make sure that they have some rubber grip on the bottom, so you don’t slip or slide on the mats.
What should you expect to learn at a beginner class?
When it comes to beginner classes, each Pilates studio teaches the same established set of Pilates moves.
These moves include:
● The Hundred (a breathing exercise that targets your core strength and stability).
● The roll up (a slow, precise move which will stretch your spine, the back of your body, and strengthen your abdominals).
● Leg circles (that are designed to strengthen your hips and core stabilizers).
● Rolling like a ball (which will massage your spine and open up your back)
● Series of 5 (a group of moves that will strengthen your abdominals and your back muscles).
How will you feel after your first class?
Since you are exercising a few different muscles at one time, it’s normal to feel pretty uncomfortable and feel a “burning” sensation while at the class. The next day you’ll feel sore as well. That’s normal, and it’s okay!
You are exercising muscles that you don’t use regularly, and that’s a good thing. As the week progresses, the soreness will go away but probably return at your next class.
As you exercise your muscles and strengthen them, you will experience less discomfort.
You won’t be alone.
You may be feeling self-conscious; however, if you are taking the beginner class than there are others there for the first time as well
Even if you study all the correct “lingo,” each studio may use their own terminology, so you may find yourself at times unsure of what the instructor is directing you to do. A great way to avoid getting confused is to place yourself in the center of the class and keep an eye on the regulars.
You can simply allow the other participants to guide you through the class. Besides, some people learn better visually, and that is a great way to do so.
If you’ve been thinking about taking a beginner Pilates class, then hopefully, this helps you to feel a little more ready. Just remember, at some point, everyone at the studio was in the same place as you–just starting out.
Pilates is a great way to exercise and center your body. If you think that you may be interested in starting taking classes, then don’t wait and find a local studio near you and sign up for a class!