The first time you take any new fitness class can be a little daunting. Although Pilates can have an extra air of “avoid this if you don’t know what you’re doing. Maybe it’s the reformer, with its straps and springs or the exercise names that you’ve never heard before? If you’ve wanted to try Pilates classes but something has been holding you back, now’s the time to sign up for your first one. Here are some things to keep in mind before attending your first class: 1. Two Types of Pilates Classes
You'll be tackling a class that's based on either a mat, which is slightly thicker than your standard yoga mat, to cushion pressure points. Or a machine called a Reformer, which is a sliding platform complete with a stationary foot bar, springs, and pulleys that provide resistance. Know which one you're getting into before you commit to your workout. 2. Equipment to Know
Many Pilates mat classes don't require any equipment but they can use different equipment including a resistance band that provides adjustable resistance training used for a variety of exercise variations that target muscle groups. There is also the Magic Circle, a ring you often use between your legs to create resistance. Your teacher will talk you through how to these.
3. Pilates Works Several Muscle Groups
Pilates focuses on your core and trunk, but that doesn't just mean your abs. Although Pilates is specifically defined as an exercise for the core or abdominal muscles, it is important to know that the core includes the entire trunk, which is the abdominals, the hips, the inner and outer thighs, and the back. So expect a workout that works your entire body. 4. Common Terms and Exercises During a Pilates class, you will hear specific terminology for specific exercises. The most common ones are:
The Hundreds (a breathing exercise that also targets core strength and stability)
The roll-up (a slow, precise movement that stretches the spine, the back of the body and strengthens the abdominals)
Leg circles (which strengthen the hips and core stabilizers)
Rolling like a ball (which massages the spine and opens up the back)
Series of 5 (a group of moves that strengthen the abdominals and back muscles)
5. What to Wear
Even if you typically prefer loose-fitting workout wear, you're going to want to wear a body-hugging option for a Pilates class. This way, the instructor can see your movements better and your clothes don't get caught in any of the equipment. 6. Pilates Fitness Plan
Keep in mind your body needs a day or two to recover from fatiguing resistance exercise. Pilates stretches, strengthens and aligns your body all at the same time. With that said, it also complements every other fitness endeavor because it prepares your body to move better in every way. Adding it into your routine will help you lift heavier weights, run faster, swim with better form, or even achieve that elusive arm balance in yoga.
ABOUT OUR TEACHERS
Based in Marbella, Spain and originally from Australia, Susan holds a RYT 200 hours certification with Yoga Alliance and is currently completing her 500 hours.
Susan teachers Vinyasa, Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra and Pilates. With an emphasis on balancing the physical, mental and emotional state through a guided practice.