The benefits of Pilates are no secret - improved flexibility, tone, posture, mind/body connection etc are achieved through a low-impact class that virtually anyone can do. But how do you make sure you get the most out of your class?
It goes without saying that you should arrive at your class on time and with the right gear. Make sure you have comfortable, breathable clothing, your grip socks and if you tend to sweat a lot, then a towel is required.
You should also try, as best you can, to arrive mentally ready to exercise. We know sometimes life can be hectic with work, traffic, kids running late for school; but in order to truly get into the Pilates zone, leave those stresses at the door. Think of your Pilates class as YOUR time. 30-50 minutes of complete focus on YOU, not your task list!
We all know that feeling you get when you have been repeating an exercise and the instructor says, "keep going!" and you're thinking, oh come on...say 'last one'!. If you focus on your breathing at this point you will find an extra gear and the pain will diminish (slightly!). By slowing your breathing down and focusing on deep breaths - in through the nose and out through the mouth - you will calm your body and release tension. You'll even find you'll be able to crunch further and speed up your repetitions.
Often we think we need to move faster in our exercises to get the full benefits from them. In Pilates, the opposite is true as we want you to focus on your core control (#TZoneStaysOn) and technique. Once you have your technique right, then you can speed up a little.
At Studio Lifewave, we will stop you if we think your technique is wrong - we'll try to correct your positioning and often take you right back to the beginning of the move to ensure your body is in the right place and aligned correctly.
Communicate with your instructor
Pain: We ask you to complete a client intake form before you attend your first class. In this form we ask about your exercise history and if you have any injuries or health complaints, but it's important that this isn't the only time you share those details. If you don't let your instructor know you have injured yourself or even slept a bit funny and have a stiff neck, then we can't adapt the exercises accordingly. And more importantly, we can't make sure you don't do yourself any further damage.
Unsure: If you're not exactly sure that you are doing a particular exercise correctly, please speak up. If you're not feeling it in the muscle groups we are trying to engage, or perhaps you're feeling it a bit too much, say something to your instructor. We will check your alignment, technique and movement and help you make any changes needed.
Like everything, you will get what you put into your Pilates classes. We mix up the exercises, change the music and try to have as much fun as we can in our sessions, but if you are uncomfortable, unsure or just not enjoying it, please have a chat with us - we can't help if we don't know! We want everyone to enjoy ALL of our classes just as much as we do.