No matter what kind of workout you’re into, it gets 10x easier when you have the right knowledge up your sleeves. Take Pilates, for example. The seemingly easy set of exercises are like climbing up a mountain with woobky legs, but the right instructor, the right guide and the right time will make it smooth as silk. Whether you’re starting an in-person Pilates class or have enrolled into an online programme (or are following free YouTube videos, yay!) our specialised Pilates for Beginners guide is going to help you figure out exactly what you’re getting into, and assist you in having the best possible time!
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a form of low-impact exercise that aims to strengthen muscles while improving postural alignment and flexibility. Typical Pilates workouts tend to be 45 minutes to an hour long. Pilates is not restricted to only certain parts. It might tend to target your core but the exercises work on other areas as well. Pilates is popularly defined as a workout for the abdominal muscles, but it is important to know that core or abdomen workout includes the entire abdomen, the hips, the inner and outer thighs and the back. Many pilates instructors specifically mix workouts to engage your arms, shoulders and lower legs making this a full body workout.
What are the benefits of Pilates?
Pilates strengthens and stabilizes your core, which is your foundation, leading you to move efficiently while improving your posture, flexibility, and mobility. Pilates is based on the mind-body connection, and can give you an introduction to both physical and mental endurance. The workout increases your abdominal endurance, hamstring flexibilityband upper-body muscular endurance. It also improves your overall stability, mobility, balance and flexibility.
Things to keep in mind before starting your pilates workout
There are two types of Pilates: Mat Pilates and Reformer Pilates. Mat used for the former are thicker than yoga mats. Reformer pilates, however, uses a machine which is a sliding platform complete with stationary foot bars, springs, and pulleys that provide resistance.if you’re completely new to this workout, the best pilates for beginners is mat pilates. Mat classes allow your body to better understand how to support itself without outside resistance. Mat classes cover the fundamentals which follow an order that helps you activate your deep muscles. Once you become comfortable and ready with a pilates workout, move to the reformer ones.
Do I need equipment?
Pilates workout may or may not require equipment. The most used equipment are Wunda, Cadillac, the spine corrector, the high chair and the magic circle. It is very important to let your instructor know that you’re a beginner, and the level of difficulty you can handle, so that they’ll keep an eye on you throughout the session and will modify it whenever required.
Can I couple Pilates with another workout?
Pilates workout goes well with yoga. Many instructors combine them together to make it more efficient and comfortable for beginners.
Some beginner classes will feature the same set of exercises in each class, building strength, resistance and flexibility. These exercises will work as the base or the foundation and as you get familiar, more pilates moves will be built on them.
What should I expect from my first Pilates class?
The common beginner exercises are the hundred, leg circles, roll up, rolling up like a ball and a series of 5 exercises that strengthens your abdomen and back.
Pilates exercises consist of movements that’ll work on muscles deep inside. When it happens, you might get delayed onset muscle soreness after workout. The soreness is very subtle and normal, nothing to worry about. As you get more practice and training, it’ll fade away eventually.
What should I wear to my first Pilates class?
Wearing a proper work out outfit is very essential for pilates classes, you won’t be able to work out properly here if you show up in your sweatpants. Pilates requires outfits that are body hugging, like leggings and sports bras. These types of outfits will let you move better and reduce chances of getting stuck in the equipment.
How many days a week should i practice Pilates as a beginner?
Pilates should be a part of a well rounded workout routine. As a beginner, you cannot do it every day, because your body will need a day or two to recover from the fatigue and soreness. It is also highly essential to incorporate other forms of physical activities along with your pilates. Two to three days a week is a good number to start with, and you may gradually increase the frequency as you get accustomed to your new workout.
Finally, it is important to not overdo the workout, and prevent any injuries that’ll follow that. You must seek a doctor or a physical therapist, if you feel any sharp pain or soreness even after two days after your pilates workout. Start slowly as a beginner and try to form a strong mind-body connection before building more exercises.
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