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How to Prepare for Your First Pilates Class

It can be very unnerving to start a new exercise regime, and arriving at a new studio for your first Pilates class can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know what to expect and you feel unprepared.  Often, the sight of the mats and contraptions is daunting, as you cannot always figure out how to work these types of equipment or imagine how the exercises can benefit you. 

The basis of this school of exercise focuses on the core muscles that support the skeleton, and in particular, the muscles supporting the spine.  If your core muscles are strong, you will undoubtedly have better posture, decreased backaches, better circulation and a lower incidence of injuries and strains.  Pilates has proven to be beneficial in a lot of ways and consists of exercises that can be done by anybody.

Most of the Pilates workout is performed on a mat, but certain exercises are done with the use of Pilates equipment, and your instructor will show you how to work with these for the best results.  The work on the mat is usually the best starting place, as these can be adapted to individual levels of fitness, and it is essential that the basics of the exercises are mastered correctly before moving on to more advanced work. 

The equipment can be introduced at a later stage, once the mat work has moved on to a more satisfactory level.  It is quite possible to have a lot of fun with these weird looking contraptions, and the results will soon be evident after regular workouts.

What You Should Bring

While mats are available at most studios, a lot of people prefer to bring their own exercise mats to Pilates class.  For this, a normal yoga mat will suffice, but the thicker Pilates mat may be more comfortable to work out on. 

Water is essential – ensure that you have your water bottle handy; room temperature water rather than cold water is better.  Also ensure that you are well-hydrated before you start with the workout.

What to Wear

Your clothing has to fit comfortably and be able to stretch with your exercises.  Very loose or baggy clothing is not recommended, as this makes it more difficult for the instructor to notice incorrect poses or to check that your bones are properly aligned to engage the muscles effectively.  Pilates exercises can also be quite revealing if your clothes are too loose, as they tend to creep up or fall down during the routine.  No footwear is required and barefoot is perfect.

Remove your accessories before a workout.  Jingling bangles and long necklaces can be very distracting, and when working with equipment, these can be dangerous.

Wear a subtle antiperspirant but don’t overdo the perfume, as some people are sensitive to strongly scented substances.  Studios often prefer clients to wear non-scented deodorants or antiperspirant.

Before You Commit

Most studios or instructors will be fine with signing up for one Pilates class only in order to find out whether this type of exercise is suitable for you.  In certain cases, instructors may even let you attend a class for free.  Speak to your instructor first to find out whether this is an option for you, and you will be able to make a more informed decision before you commit to a long-term contract.


If you are interested in doing a Pilates class and not sure about what to expect, speak to our friendly instructors at BASI Pilates.  We will explain how the workout may benefit your body and health, and our qualified instructors will coach you through the exercises that will benefit you most for the best results.  Give us a call today and start living in fitness and health!

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