What if I told you there was an exercise system proven to reduce cortisol levels, help you lose weight, and much more? 

It may sound too good to be true, but one simple secret to great health has been under our noses since the 1920s! Pilates was initially created to rehabilitate WWI soldiers, and now it has become wildly popular among celebrities and citizens alike! 

Are you interested in learning Pilates? Curious about what you can expect in your first Pilates class?

Check out this quick guide to joining your first Pilates class!

What Is a Pilates Class Like? 

Created in the 1920s, Pilates is an exercise technique focusing on building strength, increasing flexibility, and connecting the body through breath. Some studios, such as Pilatique Pilates Studio, use Pilates in clinical rehabilitation. 

Pilates is different from yoga because it uses movement-based exercises rather than still poses. You can do mat Pilates at home, but it is particularly fun to take in a group class. Some Pilates studios may also offer private Pilates lessons.

You don’t need to do anything to prepare for taking a Pilates class. Although the exercises can be challenging, you don’t need to be in any particular “shape” to perform Pilates. Pilates aims to be accessible for people of all shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities.

Mat vs. Equipment Pilates

Before signing up for a Pilates class, consider whether mat Pilates or equipment Pilates suits your goals. Mat Pilates is done on a yoga or Pilates mat, using only body weight for all exercises. 

Equipment-based Pilates, also known as “Reformer” Pilates, uses specialized equipment to enhance the challenge. Common equipment used by these classes might include resistance bands, tables, foam rollers, and more. You don’t need to bring your own equipment; the class studio should have tools you can borrow. 

What to Wear to Your First Pilates Class

During Pilates class, you’ll want to feel comfortable and unrestricted. You may be upside down or with your legs up in the air during some exercises.

For comfort and privacy, you may want to avoid these clothing items: 

  • Low-cut tops
  • Short shorts
  • Loose shorts that fly up when inverted

Sticking to form-fitting clothing without drawstrings, ties, or embellishments is best. Excessive adornments can get caught or damage Pilates equipment, and form-fitting clothes will help your instructor check your posture and alignment. Safe outfit ideas might include a tank top, leggings, fitted T-shirt, or bike shorts. 

Pilates Class Etiquette

As with any group exercise class, some spoken and unspoken etiquette rules exist. You should do your best to be polite and respectful of other people’s time, space, and energy.

Follow these tips to make sure your workout goes smoothly:

  • Arrive on time or slightly early
  • Stow your personal items out of the way
  • Warm-up before class starts
  • Don’t interrupt the previous class
  • Silence your cell phone
  • Don’t chat, but ask questions
  • Be gentle with your body
  • Clean up after class

Safety and Modifications

Pilates lessons are very welcoming and accommodating for all types of people. You don’t need to be in immaculate shape to do well in Pilates. 

It’s good to push yourself during class, but you can modify Pilates exercises to suit your strength and flexibility. Don’t be afraid to take breaks and ask your instructor about exercise modifications. 

Before starting any exercise routine, it’s important to consult your physician. If you have any injuries or bodily changes, such as pregnancy, inform your instructor before class starts. 

Pump Up the Pilates! 

Now that you know what to expect from your first Pilates class, what are you waiting for? The best way to learn about anything is to give it a try! Treat yourself to a class at your local Pilates studio; you might discover some unexpected benefits!

Are you looking for the latest health tips and techniques? Take a water break, cool down, and check out our other health and lifestyle articles!