Pilates Essentials for Beginners

Posted on Oct 22, 2018

When we talk about fitness, Pilates will eventually find its way into the discussion. It is not a fad, but a sustainable form of exercise that is teeming with benefits, which is why it is widely practiced to this day. As a fitness routine, Pilates can be ingrained in your lifestyle. So, if you think this would be a good addition to yours, this information should help you get started.

Pilates May Not Be What You Think It Is

Since you found your way here, chances are you already have preconceived ideas about Pilates. While some may be true, oftentimes these could be riddled with misconceptions. So, let’s clear the air and draw you only to facts to help you make an informed decision.

Misconception no. 1: Pilates is only for women

Joseph Pilates created the exercise to rehabilitate injured soldiers during the war. Therefore, there was no way that this is an activity designed solely for women.

Misconception no. 2: Pilates is too easy

This misconception also stemmed from the idea that Pilates is a woman’s exercise. While it may not be as intense as cardio workouts, the routine can get more challenging as one progress.

Misconception no. 3: Pilates only works on your core

It is true that Pilates is a reliable exercise for core strengthening. However, more than that, it is a full body workout. Pilates delivers a unique blend of strength training, balance, coordination, and postural work. On top of that, it is also creates a mind-body connection that is hinged on technique and mindfulness.

Misconception no. 4: Pilates is only for flexible people

One of the advantages of Pilates is that it is an inclusive exercise. You don’t need to have a certain degree of flexibility to do it. Pilates can be customized to suit people of all ages and physical capacity, although it should not stop at that level. This is, after all, the true intent of Joseph Pilates – and that is to progress. Through regular sessions, Pilates training can help someone move their body more efficiently and gradually improve both flexibility and mobility.

Misconception no. 5: Pilates is only for the fit and young

Again, you don’t have to be fitness fiend to do Pilates. It doesn’t matter if you start from a sedentary lifestyle or if you start at 50, exercises can be arranged to suit your needs and physical capacity.

Misconception no. 6: Pilates is too expensive

It is expected that there will be variations in the price for Pilates classes in Singapore. If you want to try it out, studios offer different packages at affordable prices. At Pilates Plus, we offer trial packages, so you can test out the waters first before committing to a full program. You can check out our rates, here.

Misconception no. 7: Pilates and yoga are the same thing

Pilates and Yoga may appear in several aspects since it works on alignment, strength, flexibility and stability. However, these two use different techniques to target specific muscle groups and areas. Pilates involves the use of equipment exercise equipment on top of mat classes. Yoga is characterized by a series of flowing movements while sustaining certain postures.

What are you really getting out of it?

Pilates offers a variety of benefits for everybody as it is a versatile fitness program. It is challenging enough for fitness buffs and easily customizable to fit first-timers. With regular sessions, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Better core strength
  • An improved posture
  • Better balance
  • Increased flexibility
  • Improved breathing
  • Increased muscle strength and tone
  • Better body awareness (mind-mind connection)
  • Reinforced joint strength
  • Better physical and mental control
  • Weight loss
  • Increased energy

What a Pilates Class Consists Of

Pilates exercises are categorized into two – the mat and equipment classes. While these two are built around the same principles, it offers anybody taking these sessions variation and in-depth action. The different exercises under these two target different areas with their own sets of benefits.

Mat Classes

As the name suggests, a Pilates mat class consists of exercises that are performed on the mat. These are low-impact exercises that may involve the use of other materials like weights, balls, therabands or rings. Pilates studios have their own programs, but mat sessions is perfect for first timers.

Equipment Classes

Pilates equipment classes are often daunting for many once people set their eyes on the apparatus used. However, these are safe to use especially with the help and guidance of a trained and certified Pilates instructor.

Common Pilates equipment found in studios today include the following:

  • The Low (Wunda) Chair

Its main function is to provide you with the chance to work with added resistance against the body.

  • The Cadillac (Trapeze Table)

It is designed to increase support, allowing the user to work on more difficult or strenuous Pilates movements and routines.

  • Universal Reformer

It offers all the benefits of Pilates including overall strength, balance, flexibility, and coordination.

  • High/Electric Chair

It is often used for strengthening and balancing the hips, glutes, and legs.

  • The Wall or Pole System

It helps elongate the muscles and balance strength and flexibility at the joints.

  • Ladder Barrel

It challenges the stability of one’s core. It can also improve hip joint mobility and muscle flexibility for the hip flexors and hamstrings.

  • The Hump Barrel

This strengthens the abdominal, back, and shoulder muscles to keep the spine strong.

How to Prepare for Pilates

If you are now resolved to try it out, here are easy steps to prepare for it:

  1. Look for a good instructor

This is necessary to ensure that you are doing Pilates under the guidance of a trained, certified, and experienced instructor.

  1. Prepare materials

This means the right attire and other relevant merchandise for a better experience.

  1. Get a mat

Some studios may offer this, but if you are to proceed in going for several sessions, it pays to have your own.

  1. Cut back on caffeine.

Caffeine can have effects on your muscles that may not help you when performing the exercises.

  1. Get an assessment appointment

There are some studios that offer this, while others do not. There is no need to feel intimidated, since this is done to assess your baseline.

  1. Eat right

Exercise is just part of the equation in fitness. You must complement your Pilates exercise with a healthy diet to achieve better results.

  1. Inform instructors of any injuries

To ensure your safety in every session, you must inform your instructor of any pre-existing injury or discomfort you have.

Learn more about these tips in detail, here.

What Pilates Plus Offers

Pilates Plus offers programs that are customized to each person’s fitness level. But, we don’t just settle there because we aim that you improve as we move along. This means that we will guide through the different sequences which consists of 34 exercise movements. This comprise our traditional Joseph Pilates program.

In addition to that, we also provide a Calisthenics program for those who wish to have more variety in their exercise regimen.

If you want to try Pilates at Pilates Plus today, you can get started with out introductory package of 3 sessions only for $60! Sign-up now, here.