Are you looking for a way to boost your overall health and fitness and are tired of the typical gym exercises? Do you want to find something that will challenge your body and mind and leave you feeling as though you’ve done something fabulous for yourself? If you’re ready to open your mind to a different way of “working out”, then it may be time to give Pilates a second look.
Pilates is a low-impact exercise that is all about improving a person’s flexibility, muscle strength, building one’s core, and improving posture alignment. While it may just look like “stretching” to the outside person, it is incredibly challenging and takes lots of practice to master the technique.
So, what should you know before giving Pilates a try? Here are eight essential tips for beginners.
Join a Class So You Can Learn the Basics
While it may be tempting to just start Pilates at home referring to a book or video you’ve seen, it’s really best to join a class in person. Doing so will allow you to get guidance from a teacher that will help you to understand the individual moves, how to maintain the proper posture, and deal with any specific issues you may have.
This Pilates studio in Camberwell stresses the need to take one’s personal health and goals into consideration when you’re learning any new routine or exercise such as Pilates. When you attend a class in person, you can communicate those goals to your instructor, and they can ensure you’re heading in the right direction.
Don’t Expect Perfection Right Away
Pilates can be quite deceiving for newbies who figure it’s nothing more than stretching. Therefore, they should pick it up quickly. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, it may be low impact, but that doesn’t translate to “easy”. There is most definitely a learning curve here, so you need to have patience as you learn the proper form and technique, and stay positive in that you will pick it up.
As the saying goes — practice makes perfect — the more you train and take part in Pilates, the better you will get.
Feel Free to Personalise the Moves
It’s also important to note that you may need and want to personalise the moves. Depending on your own fitness level and health, some moves may be easier than others. You may need to tweak them to start with, and then as you build on your flexibility and strength, you can let those moves become more challenging.
Don’t Rush Through Your Session
For those who love to rush through their exercise routine, Pilates may not be ideal. Pilates is all about slow, purposeful movements that hold the stretch. It is meant to be a fabulous physical workout, but at the same time, there is a mental element to it. You are supposed to be present in that moment, focusing on your breathing, slow stretches, and holding poses. Rushing through the moves will not provide you with the benefits you had hoped for.
Don’t Worry About Any Fancy Equipment at First
As a beginner to Pilates, it’s also wise to focus on learning the basic moves first and not investing in any of the fancy Pilates equipment. There are items that can help take your workout to the next level, but first, you need to master the basics.
All you’ll need at the beginning is a Pilates mat with ample cushioning, one that won’t slip on the floor, and clothing that allows you to move around freely. Most people prefer to practice Pilates barefoot, so you don’t even need to worry about specific footwear.
Practice What You’ve Learned at Home
While the Pilates class may be your main location for practicing Pilates, it is also encouraged that you practice at home. That could be a daily morning session before work, or before bed, or even mid-day to help you relax and focus.
Know When to Pull Back
While it’s great to have a goal to take up Pilates and master it, it’s also important you know when to pull back and not push yourself too far. You don’t want to risk injuring yourself, as that will cause major setbacks. Learn to listen to your body and know when enough is enough.
Focus On Your Breathing
The final tip is to make sure you are focusing on your breathing while practicing Pilates. Your instructor can guide you about when to inhale and exhale; these are excellent tips to listen to. It will help to give you better results and ensure it is a relaxing activity.
Ready to Embrace Pilates
Now that you’re armed with all the most essential tips, it’s time to jump right in and give Pilates a real try.