Getting ready for your first Pilates class can be an exciting and daunting experience. The benefits of Pilates speak for themselves, and with regular practise, these benefits are easily within your grasp. One thing is sure that you will love this heart pumping full body workout.
Pilates was invented around the time of the first world war by Joseph Pilates who wanted to create a minimal equipment exercise program that used the mind to control the body consciously.
Pilates is a complete full body workout that uses resistance training, alignment and holistic awareness to strengthen the body. Using the breath, spine and the core muscles to empower the practice and promote wellness in the body.
The results of practising Pilates are incredible, some of which include body awareness, body sculpting, high energy, improved flexibility, fat burning, improved Posture, strengthened mind and body connection. These benefits are available for Pilates beginners, intermediate or advanced practitioners. No matter what your background, fitness level or style of Pilates you choose to practise, huge benefits await you.
It is vital to drink lots of water after your class to rehydrate. Photo Source: Unsplash
When planning your first Pilates workout, it is essential to make sure that you are fully equipped and ready to learn. As a new student, you will need a few things to get started. Some of the things are necessary, and some of the items are encouraged. But generally, there is almost no Pilates equipment needed as studios provide all essential apparatus.
An important part of taking any group fitness class is knowing just how to behave to ensure you are not hindering anyone else’s progress. A few simple rules will ensure you get the maximum out of the class and support your fellow
Before you attend your class make sure you know which kind of class it is that you have signed up for. If you attend a Pilates Mat class then you will need to bring your yoga mat with you but if you if you are going to be using the Pilates reformer machine then you may only need to take yourself and a bottle of water. To ensure you don’t get any surprises, just be aware of what class you are attending.
Remember that Pilates isn’t going to tire your muscles in the same way that a similar aerobic, cardio or high-intensity workout would. It is focused primarily on working your muscles and core strength in a precise and controlled way, your breath becomes the rhythm of the movement. You will be encouraged to be present and aware of yourself for precision in your poses and mindful practise.
Don’t book yourself in for daily classes until you have tried your first class.
Remember that Pilates isn’t going to tire your muscles in the same way that cardio would. Photo Source: Unsplash
Make sure to arrive at the studio on time, the Pilates instructor will likely be there a few minutes early. It is a great time to introduce yourself and let them know that you are a beginner and of any injuries or restrictions that you may have during the session. This is important so that the teacher can watch over you and give you additional help during the class. Also so that she can provide you with any modifications should they be needed.
When you enter the class as a beginner take a place in the second row rather than the first, often more experienced students sit in the front. Sitting a bit further back gives you additional people to model during the practise. Try not to be too worried in your first class about getting it perfect, just be very observant and do your best. The Pilates teacher will likely come to support you if they notice you need additional help with your alignment.
As you progress through the class, you are going to become aware of your body and muscles. Although you are moving with a slow, purposeful precision in the session, you will often feel your muscles burning. This is a good thing. As long as you are not in actual pain, you should try to resist stopping and complete the set for maximum results.
Immediately after class make sure rehydrate properly, even if you feel you didn’t sweat that much your body would have lost a lot of water and vital nutrients during your practise. Replenishing these lost nutrients and water will help your body to recover and repair.
In the following few days after the Pilates class, you are likely to feel a little bit sore. This is normal and happens when the muscles have been worked hard in new ways, and they are responding to that workout. Despite how your body feels, practising Pilates regularly will move you towards your fitness goals and to a more balanced body. Although your body will need a few days to recover, you should book your next class right away so that you don’t lose momentum.
Pilates is a complete full body workout that uses resistance training. It can be adapted to suit everybody of every level. Photo Source: Unsplash
Regular Pilates sessions can make you feel top notch, here are a few of the improvements that you can expect.
Pilates is a lifelong practise that has no limits as to what you can achieve, it can even complement other forms of exercise. It is a well-developed training program with teachers who follow a very regimented Pilates teacher training program to become qualified to teach.
Therefore you can guarantee that the quality of any class that you choose will be of a high standard and reward you with the best benefits. I hope that this list will help you to keep your eye on your personal goals and keep you motivated to keep going. Pilates is such a useful method, and when paired with a proper diet you will notice and feel the health benefits from head to toe.