Pilates Tips for Beginners

First introduced in the 1920s, Pilates is a popular fitness routine that people of all ages are drawn to. Developed by Joseph and Clara Pilates, the earliest form of the workout can be traced to the couple’s Body Conditioning Gym in New York City, which opened in 1926. Pilates was founded on a set of principles that were designed to help people reach optimal strength, flexibility, and mobility in their workout. These principles include:

  • Breath
  • Concentration
  • Centering
  • Control
  • Precision
  • Flow

If you go to a modern day Pilates class, you will quickly find that these principles are present in every class. For those that are new to Pilates, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to ensure you get the most out of the experience. Pilates is a wonderful way to sculpt long and lean muscles, while building flexibility, strength, and balance at the same time. Those who attend Pilates classes on a regular basis will tell you that the best way to make sure you have a good experience is to go in with an open mind and discuss any questions or concerns you may have with the instructor. Let’s now go over a few beginners tips to help enhance your Arlington Pilates experience:

  • Dress comfortably. This is a big one – if you don’t wear the right clothes, your Pilates experience will likely be an unpleasant one. Make sure you wear breathable clothes that allow for movement without being too constricting. You may also want to bring a layer or two, as you may get a little chilly during the cooldown portion.
  • Bring a small towel with you. Even if you don’t usually sweat a lot, it is recommended that you bring a tower along with you, just in case. Whether or not you use it will depend on the workout, instructor, and your body, of course, but it never hurts to come prepared.
  • Make sure you have a good yoga mat. Many of the exercises require you to be on your back, side, or knees, which is why proper padding is important. You may be able to borrow or rent a mat from the gym, but it never hurts to come prepared with your own. We recommend trying out a few different mats to make sure you have one that is as thick as you would like it and will not slip.
  • If it hurts, stop. There is a big difference between a pose or exercise being uncomfortable and causing pain. Everyone’s body is different, so while one exercise may be appropriate for another student’s body, it may not be for yours. Always listen to your body and ask the instructor for a modification if you are in pain.
  • Be patient with yourself. It’s safe to say you are going to feel a little out of your element the first time you go to a Pilates class. The key is to be patient and kind to yourself always, but especially when first starting out. Furthermore, you will get results from Pilates by working consistently, but this won’t happen overnight. If you enjoy the first class you go, stick with it and try to make it a regular practice.

Pilates can be extremely beneficial, especially in a group setting. If you have always wanted to try out a Pilates class but aren’t sure what to expect, come on into Fitness Nation and chat with our instructors. We have locations in both Arlington and Bedford and are here to make sure your workout experience is a positive one!