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Prepping For That First Pilates Class

Posted Apr 22 2010 5:06am


Your first Pilates class could be a bit intimidating your first time. You will likely see some weird looking machines that you just can’t imagine how you would be able to manipulate unless you had a course in medieval machine torture. Rest assured that with a little practice, those machines will give you quite a workout! Most Pilates instructors understand how daunting the first experience for a newbie could be. Perhaps before your first class you should ask for a quick tour so you know what to expect for your first time.

Pilates Equipment and Working the Mat

You will soon discover that Pilates incorporates both mat work as well as exercises on those odd looking Pilates contraptions. Working the mat is the optimal place to start for newbies and most instructors will start you off there. You will discover it doesn’t matter what your fitness level is, these Pilates exercises for the mat area adaptable based on skill and comfort level. The mat exercises allow you to ease into Pilates so you can learn the basic mechanics of this new fitness program. Gaining confidence with the mat exercises first will make the transition to the Pilates machines a lot easier.

The equipment you will use in your Pilates class takes some getting used to but once you do, it is quite fun! The equipment has some funny names like the Wunda Chair, the Reformer and the Cadillac and they all incorporate spring resistance along with a system of pulleys, resistance bars, straps and more. Combined together, they will give you a total body workout.

Supplies You Need

There is not much you need to bring with your into your first and subsequent forays into the Pilates studio. Usually, the equipment is already provided for your use in the studio or fitness center where the classes take place, even the mats for floor exercises. With that said, you might want to consider investing in your own floor mat. This will ease your mind, knowing that you are the only one sweating on it!

Your Pilates instructor or studio can tell you the best place to purchase a Pilates mat, perhaps even selling them too! The best mat for Pilates is one that is slightly thicker than a traditional yoga mat, although that would certainly do in the short term. The internet will likely hold a host of options to choose from in regards to purchasing one. Make sure to bring a bottle of water so that you stay hydrated during your workout.

Clothes to Wear

There are a few things to consider when choosing your Pilates wardrobe. First of all, ensure your clothing will allow you to fully stretch and move without hindering movement. It also needs to be form fitting enough so that your teacher can see your body well enough to know if your spine is held correctly in position and your muscle groups are engaged and the alignment is correct. Baggy clothes should not be worn, especially on the Pilates machines because some of the movements will allow for some “flashing” of body parts!

No shoes are needed as Pilates is usually done barefoot. Do not wear excessive accessories such like dangling bracelets and earrings. If you have long hair, you will want to keep it pulled back to avoid it being caught in any machinery. Before you sign up for your first Pilates class, see if you can observe one and perhaps sign up for one or two private lessons to jump start in preparation for your first group class.

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