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What is Pilates?
Pilates (pronounced puh-lah-tees), is similar to yoga but has a bigger emphasis on your core. The moves in each class are all about technique—they may look simple, but they actually take a lot of precision and control. The exercises you’ll do will help you find your center (literally), and improve your posture and flexibility, too.
Word to the wise
How to be ready
You don’t have to be an expert in technique to start Pilates, all it takes is for you to show up. But if you aren’t sure where to start, don’t be afraid to tell your instructor it’s your first class and ask for some beginning tips. You’ll build a solid foundation with basic exercises first, then you can move on to more advanced moves as you go.
What to wear to Pilates class: form-fitting clothes you can move in.
What to bring: grip socks (most studios require them), water, and a towel.
Types of Pilates
What are the different types of Pilates?
Pilates comes in so many different styles and forms, you’ll never find yourself bored of the same ol’, same ol’. You can switch up everything from the equipment used to the approach and focus, just by which class you choose. Let’s break a few of them down:
These classes follow the exact sequence and movements as Joseph Pilates intended it, meaning you can expect the same exercises in the same order every time. If you’re a fan of consistency and effectiveness, classical is for you!
Taking the classical moves and adding a contemporary twist, these classes incorporate modern knowledge of the body with modifications, different exercises, and a variety of equipment. These classes are perfect if you’re looking to escape the crowds and get focused attention—most are capped at a maximum of four students.
Other than a yoga mat, you won’t find many props on this floor-based class. But don’t let that fool you ...these classes rely on gravity and your body weight as resistance, so you can still expect a challenge.
Taught on a megaformer, a machine like a reformer but bigger and with more springs and straps for extra resistance, these classes work every muscle at once. Although it’s low impact, this high-intensity workout has slow movements and quick transitions—you’ll be burning, shaking, and sweating from the start, but accomplished and hungry for more by the end.
PiYo is a total-body fitness system designed to whip you into shape from head to toe. It combines the practices of Pilates and yoga to help you clear your mind while building strength.
These classes incorporate the key parts of Pilates (breath, posture, focus, and core), but take it to the next level using machines with resistance springs to increase or decrease difficulty. You’ll be pushing, pulling, and holding it steady—all while trying to keep your cool.
More stretching, less stressing.
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