Maybe you’ve heard about it from your friends at work, when they were talking about it over lunch. Maybe you’ve read about it in a magazine, telling you about the hottest fitness trends. Maybe you watched it on a TV show like Sex In The City, where the characters discuss their lives and hobbies. After hearing so much about it, why not try it for yourself? It can be a bit daunting trying out pilates for the first time, so we’re here to give you all you need to know about one of the most popular exercise trends to hit our little red dot.
What is pilates?
Pilates is a form of exercise that was developed by Joseph Pilates. It was originally a fitness programme used to rehabilitate prisoners of war during World War II, and was eventually found to be highly beneficial to anyone seeking exercise and a deeper understand of their body. Pilates emphasises the connection between mind, body and spirit, using proper breathing to fully engage both the mind and body in unison. The development of a strong core, as well as flexibility are two other key focuses of pilates.
Sounds similar to yoga. Are they the same thing?
While pilates and yoga may possess many similarities to the outsider, and are in fact very complementary, they are very different exercise disciplines. So don’t come for a pilates class, expecting it to be a yoga class, and vice versa! If you do, you’ll be in for surprise (or a shock, depending on how you handle it). Do take the time to decide which kind of exercise you prefer, or even better, go for both!
What kind of equipment is used during a pilates class?
There is a very wide range of equipment used during pilates classes, mostly due to the wide range of pilates classes and exercises available in the first place! Here a few of the more common ones, so you don’t go into your first feeling too lost and out of place
It’s advisable that you use a proper pilates mat for your classes, instead of a normal exercise mat or yoga mat. Pilates mats are typically more padded than yoga and exercise mats, making it more comfortable for you roll around on the floor and execute your floor exercises, unlike yoga mats which are thin. Pilates mats are also non-sticky, unlike yoga mats which are usually sticky. This would make it easier for you to perform certain exercises. They are also firm, providing you proper support
You might have gone to a gym and seen these being used a class, and not known what it was! While these might initially look very big and daunting, you’ll find that the reformer will soon come to be one of your best friends during a pilates class. The multiple functionalities for a reformer allow it to be used for a variety of exercises, allowing you to train many different parts of your body. It’s no wonder that Reformer Classes are one of the most popular kind of classes!
You might have noticed these in the conventional gym, and maybe even used it in your normal workouts. Or you could just have sat on them when you were feeling tired and lazy. Exercise balls are an extremely versatile piece of exercise equipment, and have now found their way into pilates. They are often used to enhance core muscle exercises, giving you a much more effective pilates experience.
What should I bring to a pilates class?
Bring along a water bottle for sure, because you have to stay hydrated during the slow, but intense workout. Make sure you wear clothes that you’re comfortable to move in, but at the same time not too loose. This is to ensure that you don’t accidentally reveal yourself during the class due to a wardrobe malfunction! Also, because pilates involves a lot of proper posturing and body alignment, wearing fitted clothes help your pilates instructor see if you’re executing the postures correctly. Make sure that you don’t wear jewellery or watches during the class, as they may scratch or bruise you while you are carrying out the exercise.
What should I do if I want to start doing pilates
1. Sign up for a class
Take the first step to your pilates journey and call up a gym or pilates studio to sign up for a class! We’ve got a whole list for gyms and studios down below for you to check out, so you’ll definitely be spoilt for choice. You might want to try out a few classes at different places, or classes by different instructors to see what suits you. You don’t want to be stuck in class you don’t enjoy, do you? After that, try and sign up for a series of class or a package, to ensure that you have regular and consistent pilates classes.
2. Integrate it to your schedule
Ever heard of the new year syndrome, where people sign up for a huge variety of gym and exercise packages, only to quit within a few weeks? Pilates is definitely a fun and interesting exercise, but to derive the most benefits from it, you would need to commit to a schedule. It might be a bit of a pain to have to work around your new pilates schedule, you’ll definitely feel the positive effects as you keep on continuously going
3. Practice at home
There’s only so much time you can spend doing pilates in class, and sometimes you might only “get” a certain posture at the end of class, only to forget how to do it and have to start from scratch at your next one. Practicing pilates at home allows you to keep up with your workouts and internalise whatever you learnt during class, for a better workout during your next one!
Where can I go for pilates classes?
We’ve compiled a whole list of gyms and studios for you to check out. Get started on your pilates journey today!
Don’t forget to take a picture of your new pilates studio and share we us on Facebook or Instagram by tagging us @Wellnessly or #Wellnessly! We look forward to seeing them!
Liked this articles? Subscribe to Wellnessly to receive similar weekly updates. Show some love for us on Facebook too!