Chances are, you’ve heard of Pilates but have never been in a studio before. It can be daunting to see the Reformers and try to picture yourself working on them. Rest assured that Pilates — a form of exercise that focuses on building core strength — is suitable for all fitness levels. More importantly, it is a customer-centred practice.
To get answers to your questions, most Pilates studios will allow you to attend class on a trial basis. The trainer will walk you through the process, but it helps to know what to expect.
What should you bring to a Pilates Class?
If you’re attending a Pilates class for the first time and you don’t know what to carry, we got you covered! You don’t have to bring anything specific to the class as the studio takes care of it. The exception is a mat if you are attending a Mat Pilates class and would prefer to use your own.
Pilates mats are usually made a little thicker than a standard yoga mat to give you appropriate support and padding. You can ask your trainer for recommendations.
You may also want to bring a water bottle with you. While it’s not a high intensity workout, it’s always better to carry your own bottle and keep yourself hydrated before, during and after the class.
What to Wear?
Most Pilates studios recommend you keep it simple (at least at the start) while you figure out what works best for you. Here are some tips to help you dress for a Pilates session-
- Avoid tie-tails and belts: Tie-back covers can be uncomfortable when you are lying on your reverse. Ties, belts, drawstrings, and tassels can get caught in the springs and might lead to an injury.
- Avoid wearing accessories: Choose active wear that is free of any accessories or for that matter any fancy zippers, buckles, grasps, buttons, or so to avoid any damage to the Reformer. It might also save you from discomfort that can be caused if any accessories get caught up in the Reformer.
- Go fresh-faced: While there’s no rule to not wear makeup, it’s recommended to go make up free or light makeup so that it doesn’t stain the Reformer.
- Skip shoes: Pilates is generally done barefoot. However, if you prefer to wear socks, you can go for it.
- Choose Comfort:
Wear workout clothes that are comfortable to you. Tie up your hair if it’s long. To enjoy a Pilates class, you should feel comfortable.
You can always opt for clothing which might be simple and yet fun. Whatever your body type, it’s easier than ever to find fashionable as well as functional workout attire that will help you exercise efficiently and still look good.
Mat Workout vs. Reformers
Pilates exercises are either carried out on a mat (which is done on the ground with no equipment) or on Pilates Reformers.
Mat workouts are a great place to start, if you are a Pilates beginner and don’t have a Reformer studio nearby. The fundamental movements and Pilates exercise principles are incorporated into the mat exercises which will help you gain strength and confidence.
In addition to being adaptable to any fitness level, Pilates mat exercises let you concentrate on learning the basics correctly, without having to master any new equipment at the same time.
Etiquette for Pilates Classes — Dos and Don’ts
- Do arrive on time– Being on time is always appreciated. Arriving late interrupts the flow of the class and your body will not get it’s full benefit that you were looking for.
- Do not be a no-show– It’s always recommended to inform the studio if you can’t make it to the class. While the spot will be held for you until the last minute, if you are going to miss it, It’s better to let the studio know so that they can use the slot for someone else.
- Do warm up before class if necessary: While the trainer will do a warm up routine before the commencement of the class, if you need any extra warm up, you can do so.
- Do let your trainer know about your injuries or any changes: The trainers will check in with students before class to see how they are feeling. However, do not hold back if you have a concern. Before the class starts, you can approach the trainer and let them know if you have a minor concern or a more significant issue like surgery, gestation, neck pain, or back pain.
- Don’t do exercises that hurt your body: If the trainer asks you to do something that doesn’t feel right, request a modification. Remember – You are responsible for your own body.
- Don’t neglect your personal hygiene: Take a shower before coming into class or use body spray or deo if you’re coming in from work. It will help everyone in the group
Planning for your first class can be exciting yet intimidating. Knowing the basics can help you be prepared on what to expect. Every studio offers a unique environment. Choose the one that feels like a right fit for you!
We at Neo Pilates, offer Reformer as well as Mat Pilates classes. If you’re looking to enroll for Pilates, Contact Us.