Photo by Rawan Yasser
Originally Posted On: https://www.lsfpilates.com/blog/2020/10/7/the-ultimate-guide-to-pilates-for-beginners
Are you thinking about trying Pilates for the first time?
Pilates is one of the best workouts available. It can help you tone your body, improve your muscle composition, improve your balance and posture, and promote better digestion and sleep health.
But, because Pilates is a workout unlike any other, there are some things you need to know before you begin.
Check out this guide to learn everything you need to know as a beginner to Pilates.
1. Find the Right Pilates Instructor
You’ll get a lot more out of your Pilates practice if you have the right instructor by your side.
We suggest finding a few teachers in your local area and signing up for several different beginner classes. This way, you can try out a few instructors before you find one who sticks.
No matter what though, you want to make sure the Pilates instructor you work with is trained and certified. There are a variety of different Pilates certifications to choose from, but, you’ll want to find an instructor who has at least 450 hours of training under their belt.
When researching local Pilates gyms and clubs, be sure to enquire about instructor qualifications. Ask which organization each instructor is certified through. Then, when you go home, you can do your own research into each organization to make sure it’s legitimate.
To find the right Pilates instructor, it’s also a good idea to ask friends and family members for recommendations. You should also read reviews online and ask for references.
2. Make Pilates A Part of Your Routine
In order to get the most out of your Pilates practice, you need to make it a regular part of your routine.
It’s very easy to work out one day and feel good about yourself and then go back to your old ways the next day. In order to reap the most benefits, we suggest doing Pilates a few times per week.
Of course, everyone is different. Some people prefer to use Pilates as a supplement to their regular fitness routine. For example, if you’re training for a 10k race, you may want to do Pilates as a form of cross-training. If this is the case, then you may find that doing it 1 to 2 times per week is best.
Either way, to get in the Pilates groove, we suggest setting up a consistent schedule so you can build your practice and build your muscles.
3. Create the Right Space for Pilates
In addition to making time for Pilates, you also want to make sure you make space for Pilates.
One of the biggest benefits of Pilates is that it allows you to slow down and relieve your stress and anxiety. But, if you’re doing your Pilates workout in a rush with a million distractions around you, you’re not going to be able to reap the mental benefits it provides.
For many people, going into the studio for Pilates classes is best. This way, you can leave all of your distractions at home and you can rely on the studio to create the right atmosphere for the class.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t practice Pilates at home or in other locations as well. The great thing about Pilates is that you can practice it anywhere.
You just want to make sure you have a comfortable mat for your routine, some water, and some calming music. Also, try to put away your phone and eliminate all other distractions so you can completely put your mind and body into your workout.
4. Take Your Time
Pilates is a low-impact exercise. However, this does not mean that it’s easy.
If you don’t take your time with your Pilates practice, you’re more likely to suffer from burnout and injury. When doing the moves, your first priority should be to always use good form.
Don’t worry about doing as many reps as possible or flying through each motion. Pilates is about slowing down and tuning in with your body.
Also, while there are more advanced moves you can work up to, don’t feel like you need to be able to master these in the first weeks or even months. For many people, it takes years before they can master the more advanced Pilates moves.
The great thing about Pilates is that there are modifications for every level. So, if you’re incapable of doing a move, just ask your instructor to modify it for you.
While Pilates will challenge your muscles, you should never feel like anything is pulling or tearing. If you start to feel this way, stop doing the move immediately.
5. Understand the Different Types of Pilates Classes
When most of us think about Pilates, we think about doing a workout from a mat. However, mat Pilates is just one type of Pilates, and there are several other options to choose from, including:
This type of Pilates involves using a Reformer machine. The Reformer machine looks like a bed with springs, and it’s made of a sliding carriage, ropes, and a pulley.
The Reformer was invented by Joseph Pilates himself, and the machine can be used for all kinds of different exercises. This type of Pilates focuses on core strength and muscle engagement. It can help you improve your athletic performance, recover from injury, improve your balance, and lose weight.
This type of Pilates normally takes place in a studio, and it pays homage to the work of Joseph Pilates by closely following his original moves. If you want to discover the foundation of Pilates, this is a great place to start.
This type of Pilates was developed by famed Pilates instructor Mari Winsor. Winsor Pilates places a focus on weight loss and body sculpting.
Are You Ready to Try Pilates?
Now that you’ve read this beginner’s guide, it’s time to give Pilates a try. Pretty soon, you’ll be a Pilates pro.
If you’re looking to give Pilates a try, be sure to check out our class schedule. We host both in-person and virtual classes for your convenience!