When I think of Pilates, celebrities like Jennifer Aniston come to mind. I have a lot of admiration for Jen and how she takes care of her body. I mean, this woman looks better with each ye
ar she ages. Sign me up for what she’s having!
But first, let’s take a step back.
How does she get those long and lean muscles anyway? What type of exercise does she do to stay so fit? I recall reading somewhere that Pilates is part of Jen’s workout routine. The proof does seem to be in the physique.
Having not taken a Pilates class myself before, I was familiar only with elements of the technique in the Barre workouts I do. Beyond that, I have heard doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and fitness instructors talk about how good Pilates is for core-strengthening. But just how good? It was time to see for myself what it’s all about.
So, here we go. For those of you curious about Pilates, I’ve gone ahead and done the leg (and core) work for you. I am going to break down the basics of what you can expect when trying Pilates for the first time here at Premier Fitness.
As a first-timer, you’ll want to take Pilates Intro. This introduction class will take you through the basics of the Pilates Method at the beginner level.
When you show up to the studio, leave all worries at the door. There is no possible way you can know what you should be doing having never taken Pilates before! This is okay and it is to be expected. You will be guided through each step of the way. Your instructors are highly trained and spine and back safety are at the core of what they do.
Wear something comfortable that you can move freely and stretch in. Gym attire, sweats, and yoga type clothing work well. You will not have shoes on during class and will have the choice to go barefoot or wear socks. If you go with socks, I recommend ones with sticky traction or grip on the bottoms.
You will not need to bring anything to class with you, except for a water bottle if you’d like. All props, mats, and equipment will be provided for you.
There are cubbies in the studio for you to securely store your belongings during class.
Once class begins, your instructor will get you started on a floor mat. This allows for a nice stretch and a great way to relax into the session. The instructor will be able to get a sense of your alignment and make adjustments during class as needed. You will learn what and where your core and your pelvic floor are and how to align, tighten, and protect these areas of your body. You will also focus on proper breathing.
You will be introduced to the Reformer, which is special equipment in the studio that will assist you in your movements. At first glance you may feel a little intimidated, but I assure you it is not a beast. Think of it as your new best friend. You will be guided throughout class on use of the Reformer and your instructor will lighten and add resistance for you. You will have a chance to practice some basic core, leg, arm, and back exercises with rewarding stretches throughout.
What you are taught in this class will prepare you to begin taking private or small group classes. You and your instructor will be able to discuss any injuries or limitations you have and create a fitness plan of what class type(s) are most suitable for you—accommodating your own ability and level.
My first experience with Pilates was extremely positive. I am continuing to take classes and love this new addition to my weekly workout routine, which is becoming a core part of it. I find it to be a great way to build strength and bring the focus back to within—to have that one hour a day where it’s about you and making your body work for you. Our bodies are machines that need fueling and to be kept in shape to keep going. It’s also a great way to bring solitude to the mind and go at your own pace. I encourage you to treat your body to the self-care it deserves and you will receive the benefits.