If you haven’t been exercising for some time but you want to get your fitness back on track, signing up for a Pilates class is a great place to start. Pilates, after all, is a low-impact workout that’s slow and steady and utterly adjustable to whatever physical condition you’re in right now.
Developed by Joseph Pilates, Pilates is a whole system of exercises designed to, among other things, boost strength, and improve muscle tone, flexibility, and balance. Pilates’ entire approach to physical fitness is founded on several principles. Familiarize yourself with the following Pilates Principles, and you will be better prepared for your first Pilates class.
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To perform the exercises correctly, you need to concentrate on your mind-body awareness. Full focus makes you mindful of every single movement your body makes. When you establish that mind-body connection, you gain more benefits for your workouts as you get to go through your routine correctly and smoothly.
The effectiveness of your exercises gets a boost once you pay closer attention to your core muscles, which is referred to as the Pilates Powerhouse. When you train your focus to the center of your body, you get to strengthen it, and that would help you maintain control and balance in your body. Pilates, after all, is based on core strength.
This principle is all about muscle control. Correctly performing the routines hinges on the level of control you have over every muscle movement. With proper muscle control, you can do every single exercise with total precision, and that means maximum benefits for you.
Deep, controlled breathing that’s coordinated with every single movement or position is essential for proper Pilates form. Let every single full inhalation and exhalation assist your movement, particularly during more challenging routines. Also, never hold your breath while doing Pilates.
In Pilates, proper form at all times is preferable than doing more repetitions but in poor form. Practice proper form because it’s the only way for you to gain the most benefit from your exercises. Getting there might prove to be challenging, but you do know what they say about constant practice and perfection. If you’re fortunate enough to be under the tutelage of a good Pilates instructor, then you’re likely to get from him or her detailed instructions on all Pilates movements.
Beginners aren’t really expected to perform every Pilates movement with grace, ease, and fluidity the first time around, but it’s essential that they eventually reach that point. Every Pilates routine, after all, should be done continuously, smoothly, and elegantly to keep the muscles engaged. If you’re a beginner, it will help if you try to move like a dancer or a gymnast during your workouts.
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What to wear
You can put on anything that you’re comfortable wearing while working out. Don’t wear anything too loose or baggy though, since the Pilates instructor would want to see not only your posture but also the way your bones align during certain positions and movements. Besides, you wouldn’t want to give everyone in the room an eyeful while doing certain Pilates poses.
What to bring
If you have a Yoga mat, go ahead and bring it. If you don’t, then you can always use the one that Pilates studios usually provide its students. Hydration is absolutely important, so bring your own water bottle as well.
What to expect from your first Pilates class
You will spend your first Pilates class learning the basics of Pilates, from proper breathing techniques to ways to find and engage your core. You will also have to loosen your muscles by performing gentle stretching exercises. You can also expect to perform a few beginner exercises to introduce you to Pilates properly.
As a beginner, you still have a long way to go, but remember that your instructor is there to help. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions. Your instructor would be more than glad to answer them. Take your instructor’s directions to heart, and you will eventually enjoy the health benefits of Pilates illustrated in the infographic below.
The Many Health Benefits of Pilates
Have you tried Pilates yet?
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