If you’re new to Pilates, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by this exercise that everyone and their grandmother seems to be doing for cultivating a strong core, balance, and flexibility. You may have also heard that Pilates is a technical practice, involving something called a “reformer”, exercise balls, and specific poses with funny names. And someone may have told you that if you’re going to practice Pilates at all, you need to join a class.
At Core Fusion Pilates + Yoga, we believe that Pilates is for everyone, especially for those who have never tried it! In today’s blog we are going to address five things we’d like all beginners to know as you prepare for your first class and skip trying to learn at home.
- Mat or Reformer Class? You’ll find two general types of Pilates for beginners: mat or reformer. Classes that involve a mat (slightly thicker than a yoga mat) focus on resistance training exercises that also include use of a stability ball and weights.Core Fusion offers reformer classes. A reformer is a sliding platform that involves a stationary foot bar, springs, and pulleys to provide resistance to strengthen and isolate certain muscles. We have classes that feature other props, but all beginners start with the reformer.
- Muscle Burn Is Normal – As a beginner, you probably won’t be starting out with high-intensity exercises. However, the intro exercises you will learn will challenge your muscles from the get-go. Expect your abs to burn as you leap into sculpting your core. Our extensively trained instructors will make sure you are using the equipment correctly to prevent injury and strain. In this case, that burn you feel is a good burn.
- Expect to Work Several Muscle Groups – Everyone focuses on the “the core” when they talk about Pilates, but this goes far beyond your abs. Yes, you’ll sculpt some beautiful abdominals over time, but you also end up working many more muscle groups that support your core and trunk. These muscle groups include the hips, inner and outer thighs, back, and shoulders.
- Wear the Right Clothes – While we certainly don’t expect anyone to show up wearing the latest in fitness fashion, we do have some clothing recommendations. Make sure your clothes fit well, and that they are not baggy. We need to observe your movements closely so we can ensure you’re performing the exercises correctly. Also, no shoes; just socks or go barefoot.
- Fuel Up and Stay Hydrated – One of the most important pieces of advice we can offer beginners is to eat a nutritional snack or light meal before class. Make sure you have protein and a carb (nuts and fruit, for example) before working out. We also strongly recommend you drink plenty of water before class, and that you bring a full bottle for afterwards.
Pilates for beginners is exciting because you are beginning your journey of fitness, strength, and well-being. The next step is to sign up for a class. For more information on class schedules and requirements, call or e-mail us today.