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What to know before your first Pilates class

April 1, 2022 tiffaniewoods

What to know before your first Pilates class

April 1, 2022 Tiffanie Woods
Group of women exercising on reformer

Attending your first Pilates class can be intimidating.  Mine was!  To quiet those fears, I decided to do research before even scheduling that first class, looking up the best studios in Buffalo and what types of Pilates they offered and reading reviews on Google and Class Pass. All this due diligence was worth it once I showed up to class feeling prepared and excited instead of nervous and intimidated. Whether you’re attending a virtual class at home or in a studio, here are some things you should know before attending your first Pilates class!

What type of Pilates class do you want to attend?

Something I didn’t know prior to signing up for my first Pilates class is there are many different types of Pilates classes available: Mat/floor Pilates, jump board Pilates, reformer Pilates, classic Pilates and contemporary Pilates. Depending on where you are looking to take classes, the studio may offer one or more types of instruction, so it’s important to make sure you know the differences between the styles. As a beginner, you’ll also want to look into any intro or beginner classes that will set the foundations of your practice. Fortunately, most classes can be attended by beginners as the foundational moves are utilized throughout different versions and skill levels. If you’re not sure, contact the studio and get a professional opinion.

Socks are optional

When going to my first class, I just assumed I’d wear my workout sneakers, but quickly learned at the door that classes are socks or barefoot only. Whether you’re working on a mat or a Pilates machine, you need natural footing to perform the moves. You’ll be working muscles in your legs and feet that you didn’t even know existed, strengthening your muscles that are best utilized without shoes.

Everyone is learning

As someone who’s been doing Pilates for four years, I’ve learned that you’re always improving and learning, and the instructors are there to teach and answer any questions you have. As Pilates is a full-body workout, it activates and utilizes several different muscles and body parts within a class. Instructors structure their classes based on the techniques and foundations they want to focus on. Even if you’re attending your first class, it’s possible the rest of the class is just as new to some of the routines. Keep in mind that this is a cumulative workout, building upon itself every class. Pilates is used to strengthen and stabilize your core, allowing you to efficiently move and utilize parts of your body. Your first class is just the foundation for a Pilates routine you’ll continue to build on to with every class.

The clothes you wear matter

The types of workout clothes you wear to class matters and affects the quality of your workout. Shoes are not worn and you can wear socks, but using either Pilates grip socks or going barefoot will allow you to engage the movements better, improving your workout. Pilates is best done in form-fitting clothes as the movement performed are subtle and help instructors see your movements better, allowing them to provide feedback.  If taking a Pilates class with equipment, wearing form-fitting clothing ensures your clothes won’t get snagged on the equipment and potentially hurt you or changing the quality of your workout. If your pants are falling down or your shirt keeps getting caught when doing movements, you might spend more time fixing clothes than paying attention to class.  

Have fun!

You’ve got the clothes, left the socks at home and have picked out the class for your needs — All that’s left is attending your first class and making the most of it. Fun is the objective, but if you’re going into Pilates to try something new or switch up your current workout routine, you’re sure to enjoy the act of branching out and trying something new! You will be sore afterward but the time in the studio (or in your home if using a virtual class) will hopefully give you the workout you’re looking for!

Tiffanie Woods

Tiffanie Woods is a writer and social media strategist. When she’s not curating the perfect playlist, she can be found talking about her affinity for skincare and hanging with her tabby cat Poppy. Connect with Tiffanie on Twitter @tiffromthe6 and read more of her work at tiffaniewoods.contently.com.

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