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What Should You Expect When You First Start Pilates?

in Southfield, MI

What Should You Expect When You First Start Pilates?

With the strange machinery and unusual movements, it’s hard to know what to expect when you first start Pilates.

There’s no need to be intimidated though. Especially if you choose a reputable studio with highly trained instructors. 

Once you’ve got that covered, the rest will fall into place. Even so, you may still have reservations. As such, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions so you’re not coming in cold. 

How Does Pilates Differ From Other Workouts?

Pilates is a completely non-impact form of exercise. Following six distinct Pilates principles, practitioners either lie on their backs or sides, or are in a kneeling position. All movement comes from the core, or the powerhouse as it’s known in Pilates. By using the abdominal wall in a controlled and mindful way, the back is protected. Symmetry and evenness in movement is also emphasized.

The closest form of exercise to Pilates is yoga. Both practices focus on fluidity and a mind-body connection. But one difference is that Pilates also utilizes machinery that provides resistance, or in some cases assistance, using springs and pulleys. Speaking of which…

Whats the Deal with the Machines?

When you’re first starting out, you’ll likely stick most often to mat Pilates. A mat Pilates class doesnt use any machines. Its all about using your body weight and alignment to execute controlled, precise, and fluid movements. Once you get further along, you may start dabbling with the machinery.The most commonly used machines are the reformer and the Pilates Cadillac.

These machines may look like torture devices, but they’re anything but. The reformer has a rectangular frame and a cushioned mat known as the carriage. Using the resistance of springs and pulleys, the carriage slides back and forth on wheels.

Meanwhile, the Pilates Cadillac is a table that stands 26 inches off the floor and has a canopy from which springs, pulleys, and a trapeze hang. Given that this piece of equipment is elevated, it’s the perfect option for those who have trouble getting down on the floor.

With What Frequency Should I Do It?

Unlike a lot of other forms of exercise that advise a rest day, Pilates is safe enough to do daily. Even so, Joseph Pilates (the founder and creator of the practice) used to say that three times per week was enough.

When you’re first starting out though, you may want to do it every day so you can start establishing the rhythm. From there, it can be every other day.

Will I Get Cardio? 

Your entry into Pilates will probably be slow-moving because there’s a lot to learn and you’ll be getting familiar with the six principles of Pilates. 

Once you become more familiar with the practice and know the motions, Pilates can be quite aerobic. Especially when on the equipment and working at an advanced level. Some classes even alternate Pilates moves with cardio sequences to really boost the heart rate.

How Do I Find the Best Pilates Instructor?

It’s no secret that Pilates is very popular right now. So you definitely won’t have trouble finding an instructor. But finding a qualified instructor is a different story. 

Because there are so many people branding themselves as Pilates teachers, you’ll need to do due diligence. When you’re vetting instructors, read their bios and get knowledgeable about their certification and education. How many years have they been teaching? How often do they do teach? Ask questions.

So… What Should You Expect When You First Start Pilates?

Having covered the basics, you may be wondering what your first class will look like. Obviously, we can’t say with any accuracy what you’ll e doing. Every class and instructor is different. But it’s safe to say that you’ll likely encounter “the hundreds” pretty early in your intro. It may even be the first exercise you do. 

With this exercise, you lie on the mat, lift your legs up at an angle you can sustain, and keep your back pressing toward the mat. You then engage the abdominals and lift your head and shoulders while pumping your arms up and down by your sides. You do ten rounds of ten breaths (hence, “the hundreds”).

This exercise is often first on the docket because it’s emblematic of the ultimate Pilates movement. Plus, it gets your circulation pumping and stimulates the organs – making it both an internal and external workout. 

It’s the whole package!

Ready to Try Your First Pilates Class?

Now that you know what to expect when you first start Pilates, we welcome you to join us!

Our highly skilled and experienced instructors will provide clear and encouraging guidance as you get started on your Pilates journey. 

So contact us today to find out about our wide offering of classes. Your body and mind will thank you.