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Five things to know before starting pilates

Starting a new fitness regime can be daunting. So here are five things to know before you start Pilates.

1 – There are two types of pilates class – mat pilates and reformer pilates.

Mat classes are performed on a mat, which is a. Reformer pilates involves the use of a machine called a reformer, which creates resistance through the springs, pulleys and bands on the sliding reformer bed. What they have in common is they both focus on the concept of controlled movements. And whichever you go for, the aim is to take your time, control your movements, connect with your breath and enjoy it!

2 – Pilates might look like you’re having a lie down – but you’ll feel the burn.

Pilates is not all about cranking out endless reps, or high-intensity moves. This is about slow, controlled movements focussing on specific, smaller muscle groups in a controlled way. And that means that you’ll be working each muscles that each exercise intends to target, with the ultimate goal of strengthening and isolating the right muscles. If you feel sore the next day, it means you’ve challenged your muscles – in a good way.

3 – Like many forms of exercise, Pilates has it’s own lingo. 

You probably already know that core strength refers to the muscles in the trunk that help to stabilise the spine, then there’s the midline, an imaginary line that runs down the centre of the body from head to toe. An abduction, is a movement away from the centre of the body, like moving your arms into a T position. Then there’s adduction, which is the opposite: moving your arms towards the centre of the body. There’s extension and flexion, the first a straightening movement, the latter being the opposite – bending it. And then there’s the powerhouse, an area of your body that goes from the top of your hips to the bottom of your ribcage.

4 – Wear close fitting exercise gear – and don’t forget your grippy socks.

Ideally you don’t want your clothing to be too loose, especially if you’re doing reformer pilates. You don’t want it to get caught in the pulleys or springs. But the other reason for wearing form-hugging gear is so that your instructor can see your movements easily to make your your form is correct. Makes sure it has plenty of stretch though.

5 – And finally, listen to your instructor.

It’s okay to look at your neighbour to make sure you’ve got your hands and feet in the correct position, but listen closely to your instructor as they’ll give you a good idea of where you should be – whether you’re on a machine or a mat.

Core is at 44 High St, Cobham KT11 3EB and offers reformer classes and the more strenuous jump reformer classes.

Find more ideas here

WellbeingYoga, pilates & barre

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