Pilates for Beginners

Doesn't everyone want to have better posture, flexibility, and alignment? How about a slimmer waist, defined abs, and improved circulation? Sign me up!

These are just a few of the many benefits of Pilates.

What are the different types of Pilates?

When starting a new Pilates practice, the two most popular options are Pilates on a Reformer machine or a mat Pilates class.

The Reformer machine enables you to fine-tune muscles through a series of resistance exercises. If you decide to start with the Reformer, you will typically be practicing at a Pilates studio. Private lessons can range anywhere from $55 to $100 an hour. Ask if your studio offers any introductory specials or semi-privates lessons to save on cost. Starting "duet" classes with a friend is not only a great way to save money, but it's also a great way to keep you motivated.

Group mat Pilates classes offer many of the same alignment and conditioning benefits as a Reformer lesson, but are practiced on the mat instead of a machine. Pilates props, such as rings or balls, can sometimes be incorporated into the class. Mat Pilates classes can range anywhere from $12 to $25 an hour. A mat class can be just as a rigorous as a Reformer lesson. You can also practice your new mat exercises in the comfort of your home between classes.

What should I do before my first class?

Before taking your first lesson or class, you'll want to read up on the famous Pilates Principles, Typically no shoes are required for either a Reformer lesson or a Mat class, so just wear comfortable exercise clothing.

It's probably best to begin Pilates by taking a class. If classes are not an option for you, we also highly recommend Pilates for Beginners, a great DVD starring Kristin McGee. It's a great introduction to Pilates and Kristin is very detailed in her instruction.

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