So as I mentioned I’m looking to try more classes to build up my fitness until I can run again. Before my operation I was during yoga fairly regularly, whether it was a class or following YouTube videos, but I wanted something a bit different.
What is Pilates?
Well it was developed by German-born Joseph Pilates, who believed mental and physical health were connected. It’s about strengthening the whole body with particular emphasis on the core (you will definitely feel this!)
There are both mat classes and apparatus classes which have a system of pulleys and straps that can be adjusted to give the right resistance for you, both to improve fitness and wellbeing – perfect!
What to wear
Comfortable clothing, that enables you to be flexible! Definitely fitted clothing as baggy things will get in the way. I love my little grippy socks as well, ideal for trying to balance in that side plank!
What to take
You don’t need to take anything unless you’re keen to use your own mat. If you lay out your own mats at the class, pick up two if you can as can be a lot more pressure on the hips than in yoga.
What to expect
A class lasts for about an hour. I thought it was going to be pretty similar to yoga but with some more equipment thrown in, but it’s much more like body conditioning. I was completely red in the face and knackered by the end of my first class. But the good news is everyone else is feeling it too!
You start with ‘the 100’ you will start to dread these words, this is a standard Pilates warm up. This is followed by lots of holding legs and arms up and tummies in. With possibly a ball or hoop thrown in if you’re lucky.
I go to a mixed ability class so the instructor gives two or three different options for most exercises so you can do the one that’s best for your.i.e. the one that you can physically manage without crying.
The machines are usually a totally separate class and you’ll need to find a dedicated pilates studio if you want access to everything.
Again this massively varies depending on where you go. You can usually do a free, or at least discounted trial lessons at most places. If you like it, it’ll work out cheaper to buy in bulk. Reformerbased classes are normally slightly more expensive than mat based classes.