Pilates has been trending for quite some time now, and for good reason. It is one of the most versatile, graceful forms of exercise. Best of all, it can be done from practically anywhere since equipment is completely optional.
Overall, pilates aims to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility, and improve postural alignment. You can expect these exercises to target your core, which is the entire trunk, including abdominals, hips, thighs, and back. Also, pilates instructors tend to mix and match different moves, engaging other muscles like legs, glutes, and arms.
If you’re new to pilates, don’t worry! Let’s break down what to expect at your first pilates class.
Take Your First Class to Experience the Benefits Firsthand
When showing up for your first pilates class, typically, an experienced and qualified instructor will guide it. You can always expect to break a sweat while always having the liberty to modify movement to suit your needs.
To get the most out of your class, wear comfortable pilates clothing that’s designed for exercise, bring a water bottle, and be willing to stretch your limits. Your body will thank you later!
Why Pilates is Amazing (Even During Your First Class)
It Gets to the Core
Your core is the center that allows the back to be strong and everything else to flow smoothly. In yoga, the abdomen is considered the energetic center from which we draw our willpower and digest life. So, by working it out in pilates through a series of movements that will challenge you in different forms, you will put your willpower to work.
The end result is improved digestion, decreased back pain, and increased confidence! Ultimately, when the foundation of the core is strong, flexibility, mobility, and improvements in posture follow.
It’s Super Rehabilitating
Pilates founder, Joseph Pilates, developed these exercise systems as a purely physical practice focused on rehabilitation. Unlike yoga which aims to prepare the body to sit for long periods of time in meditation, pilates builds strength and stability in the core areas around your spine.
Therefore, there is a greater focus on building strength and stability with pilates though the exercises often interweave with yogic practices, and vice-versa.
Continue with Classes or Do Them at Home
Pilates is highly accessible thanks to platforms like YouTube and amazing teachers who offer free classes. Your first class can indeed be through the screen. Just make sure to set yourself up with a mat and optional weights. Of course, if you prefer to learn at an in-person class, find a studio near you to practice!
Then, work your way up to remembering the exercise rounds at home and practicing. Luckily, this practice can be personalized to you and your body, so do whatever feels best for you, as long as you get a good sweat in while strengthening the mind and body connection.
You’ll Learn the Pilates Lingo
Just like yoga, barre, and Crossfit, every system has its own language. By continuing to practice pilates, you’ll become seasoned and more equipped to follow the exercises.
A great teacher uses cues, anatomy, and liveliness to make your practice come alive. Peel through your spine, for instance, means movement from vertebrae to vertebrae, while powerhouse refers to your entire core center (where power is sourced from).
The Outfits are Everything
Who doesn’t love a fashionable activewear moment? By showing up prepared with the right fitness attire for a Pilates class or at-home workout, you’ll be more likely to get the most out of your workout while feeling confident.
Opt for very comfortable, fitting clothing instead of anything that is loose-fitting to avoid getting caught on equipment or hindering your exercise.