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How to Get Started with Pilates - Without Spending a Lot of Money

Updated on March 15, 2020
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Katy is a life-long exercise junkie who loves trying new workouts.

Beginner Pilates

Here are some steps to get started in Pilates:

  1. Try video workouts at home
  2. Get your equipment together
  3. Go to a beginner mat class
  4. Keep working out at home and going to classes
  5. Talk to instructors and other members to build your practice

This method of trying it at home first before investing in classes or equipment helps those of us who sometimes overestimate how interested we'll be in a activity. We spend money and time too early and find out it's not for us.

These steps also have the advantage that they are gradually preparing you to take on beginner and then more advanced classes.

Let's look into each step.

How to get started doing Pilates classes.
How to get started doing Pilates classes.

Try Workouts at Home

If you’re thinking of taking up Pilates, first try some workouts at home. Everyone is a little nervous their first time in a class but you can take away some of that by getting familiar with the movements and principles first.

Find a beginner workout from YouTube or your library and try it out. Focus on your form during the movements. You can slow it down if you have to in order to get it right.

There are special Pilates mats but at this point doing it on your living room carpet is just fine so see whether you like it.

If you enjoy a few of these at-home Pilates sessions and like what it’s doing for your body then you should be ready to go on to an actual class!

Get Equipment Together

Pilates equipment and clothing doesn't have to be complicated or expensive for a beginner.

If you’ve been to a fitness class or to the gym to workout the equipment and clothing you need for Pilates is not much different. The studio you go to will have all the equipment you need.

Just be sure to dress in non-restrictive clothing and be ready to go barefoot.

As you get more advanced and find you're spending more time going to classes you can invest in clothing, equipment and private lessons.

Go to a Beginner Mat Class

In Pilates there are two basic types of classes offered: Mat and Reformer. The mat classes are body-weight exercises done on a Pilates mat with an instructor leading you. That’s where beginners should start. Reformer classes use studio equipment to take the mat skill a step further. That’s something you can get into once you get established.

Find a beginner-friendly Pilates studio near you. Big gyms also offer Pilates classes so if you have an existing membership see what they offer. Studios can be more expensive but more personal. I’ve had good experiences in both settings. Try a few different classes to see what you like best.

Keep It Up

After your first class, set up a regular time to go to a Pilates class weekly. You might be sore after each one early on. But once you build up base muscle and flexibility you can add in your classes within a weekly cardio and strength training regimen.

At this point if you’ve stuck with Pilates for a few weeks you could invest in your own mat to use at home. There’s also grippy socks or Pilates specific clothing that can encourage you to keep up your practice.

Also, make a point of connecting with people in your classes and the instructors that lead them. You'll start to build a community and they'll encourage you to keep going.

Get Advanced

If you're loving Pilates and have build up a strong base strength look for ways to challenge yourself more.

Try a Reformer class. Most studios will have a deal where you can take your first Reformer class free if you already do mat classes with them.

Look for private sessions. A one-on-one session will be expensive but is so valuable, especially if you're struggling with a muscle group or are recovering from an injury.

© 2020 Katy Medium


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