Pilates For Dummies

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What is Pilates?

You’ve heard all the buzz about Pilates - your friends are raving about it, your colleagues are going to classes after work, you’d like to get in on the action but have no idea what you’re getting yourself into or where to begin. Well don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on the basics to get you in the know and on trend.

What you need to know

Pilates is a form of exercise that targets strength, flexibility, balance and endurance. The focus is mainly on using your own body weight as resistance while moving through a flow of postures and actions that target different areas of your body. But there’s another level to it - Pilates also teaches effective breathing techniques, mindfulness and mediations so that during your work out, you’re also getting a work in.

Some of the core principles of Pilates are centering, concentration, control, precision, breath and flow. Each of these principles contributes to the attainment of developing core strength, increasing muscle strength and flexibility, correcting posture and alignment, improving breathing, and uniting the mind with the body so that your spirit can be elevated.

What you need to get

Well for starters, you’ll need a comfy outfit to workout in. Preferably something more form fitting but with a gentle fabric that’s stretchy. Your best bet to start off with – yoga pants! As for your top, the simpler, the better. Tops with buckles, zips or ties at the back will make for an uncomfortable work out. Rather opt for something soft, plain and that will allow you to move freely. Generally, Pilates classes are done barefoot so don’t worry about shoes, but you may want to consider giving your feet some TLC.

For the ladies, a good sports bra is always ideal but nothing too reinforced as you would have for more extreme activities.

For the guys, yes you can wear shorts! If you decide to wear baggy shorts, just make sure you wear a pair of tight-fitting shorts underneath. You’ll want to keep the mouse in the house while you’re upside-down or on your back.

You don’t need to take with any equipment to your first class, the Pilates studio will have all the props you need. They should even have a mat for you to borrow until you get your own.

What you need to do

If you have a friend or colleague that does Pilates, ask them if you can join them on their next class! It can often make you feel less intimidated or awkward if you’re there with a buddy. If not, Google your nearest BASI Pilates Studio and sign up for a class.

Keep in mind that Pilates is designed for anybody, regardless of your fitness level or body type. So, don’t be shy if you haven’t worked out since gym class in high school! Everyone’s got to start somewhere, and you never know, this could be the key to the lifestyle you’ve been dreaming of!

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