pilates beginners

How to Begin A Pilates Program

Gain Confidence to Join Pilates Mat Classes or Reformer Classes

Even seasoned exercisers can find Pilates an intimidating sport at first. However, anyone can learn the necessary skills to enjoy an effective Pilates workout.

The nuances of Pilates can be difficult to understand and employ during initial workouts. This can lead to performing exercises incorrectly, misunderstanding the goal of the exercises, or simply avoiding Pilates all together. Learn some basics about Pilates so that you can confidently join a Pilates studio, class, or another session.

Pilates’ Five Basic Principles

There are five basic principles that inform each Pilates exercise. Understanding these principles ensures that participants will gain the greatest benefit from each exercise. The basic principles focus on breathing, head placement, rib cage placement, pelvic placement, and shoulder girdle movement and stabilization.

The focus on breathing in Pilates is important. Breathing brings necessary oxygen to the exercising muscles. It relaxes the body and helps to engage the deep, stabilizing muscles. It also adds dimension to each exercise. Sometimes it helps the exerciser move from one position to another. Sometimes it creates an added challenge for her as she moves from one position to another.

The other Pilates principles refer to where the body is in space at any given moment. A well balanced Pilates workout moves the body through neutral, extension, flexion, and rotation. The remaining principles enable students to understand where their bodies are in space. This understanding makes them successful when working their bodies in different positions, through the different planes of motion.

Prepare for Group Pilates Classes with Private Instruction

The best way to prepare for a Pilates mat or reformer class is to take a few private sessions with a Pilates instructor. Investing a few hours in private sessions is enormously helpful in developing body awareness and gaining immediate feedback on the technique.


Private instruction ensures that a new exerciser will reap the greatest benefit from a class that she can, as one’s understanding of the basic principles greatly affects the quality of her overall workout. Of course, the confidence that this instruction brings is also a great benefit to anyone that is new to Pilates.

Select a Good Pilates Instructor

Like many classes, the quality of the instructor will have a great influence on the quality of the workout. When deciding which classes to take, students should find out about the instructor’s credentials. A good instructor should have at least 600 hours of training, including observation hours, apprenticeship, and classroom time. Her certification should be one that took her years to obtain, not days or weeks.

In addition, style differences can make a difference. If possible, Pilates students should search for a gym or studio that offers multiple classes taught by a variety of instructors. This kind of variety allows students to try different types of classes as well as different instructors, enhancing their ability to find the perfect fit.

Join Pilates Classes with Confidence

This year, The American College of Sports Medicine ranked Pilates number 9 in its survey of fitness trends for 2020. Now is the time to learn what all the buzz is about first hand, by joining a Pilates class and building a practice. Armed with an understanding of the basic principles, new Pilates students can now confidently jump in.