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  • Writer's pictureCeleste

Pilates for Beginners: What are pilates classes?

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

You may have heard of “pilates” in movies or shows where typically a female character goes to pilates classes. Growing up, I didn’t know what pilates was. Later I knew that pilates was compared to yoga, but I wanted to know more.

After research and taking a few classes, I now have a better understanding. We to help you understand what pilates and pilates classes are.

What is Pilates

Pilates is a set of repetitive exercises that are performed on a mat or other equipment. Different classes will have the main focus, like flexibility. In general, pilates can promote strength, stability, and flexibility.

It depends on the class because some pilates can be intense while others are more relaxing. Overall, Pilates is not easy. The movements are not natural and can be done incorrectly.

Pilates is not yoga or as intense as lifting weights. It does focus on your body by promoting the factors I listed earlier. Pilates also has different approaches that we can look through.

Types of Pilates

The general turn of Pilates is a set of exercises that can be performed on a mat or equipment, but the objective varies on the type of Pilates & Studio. Here are some of the illicit Pilates which will go through each index.

Classical Pilates

Source: Healthine

Classical Pilates can viewed be viewed as a general objective and foundation of pilates. The sessions focused on the whole body and mind and were designed to move the body through a full range of movement.

Mat Pilates

Source: Soma Pilates

Mat Pilates can often be confused as yoga just because you're working with a mat. Mat Pilates is an excellent option because you can do so many different movements in any environment with space. These classes usually are cheaper and are best for beginners.

We recommend working with mat pilates before moving to an apparatus.

Contemporary Pilates

Contemporary Pilates is a variation of the classical view, but it is combined with Physiotherapy and incorporates biomechanics. This approach is an excellent option for physical therapy. If you have a previous injury that you're worried about, this could be very helpful.

You don't even have to have an injury to do come to Contemporary Pilates. If you have experienced some lower back pain or some hip pain in the joints, it is highly recommended to try this out.

Reformer Pilates

Source: Style Caster

Reformer Pilates is a type of Pilates that is done with a machine. This approach doesn't mean that's any Pilates that uses an apparatus is reformer pilates. This particular Pilates uses explicitly a machine called the reformer performer.

The machine is designed to add resistance and help with balance in aligning the body. This type of Pilates is generally done one-on-one because you might need an instructor to help guide you throughout the process. This is why we recommended starting with mat Pilates to get it used to the movement before you approach a machine.

There are some other types and approaches to Pilates a lot of studios, and instructors like to add, but in general, there's no need to know the names. It’s just figuring out if you want to work on a mat or with an apparatus.

What are Pilates Classes?

In the previous section, we are kind of able to tell what a pilates class looks like. I do recommend looking at videos to get a better idea of the movements. Overall, it is meant to help with balancing and stability.

Let's take a deeper look to see what type of classes you might find at Studios and what you can expect.

Type Classes

Here are a few types that pilates studios might offer.

  • Strengthening Pilates

  • Prenatal and Postnatal Pilates

  • Relaxing Pilates

  • Apparatus Pilates

The classes I listed above may not be worded the same, but it is interesting to look at them. A lot of the time, Pilates classes might focus on an objective like strengthening or relaxing. These two objectives are going to impact how the class is structured.

Next, we have prenatal and postnatal Pilates. As you can expect, strengthening Pilates will be more intense but shouldn't be painful. The technicalities are very common. Classes like prenatal pilates are ones directed toward a type of person.

Prenatal Pilates, of course, is for pregnant women, while other examples can be those that are injured, disabled, young, etc. Last we have an apparatus Pilates. In general, you're never going to hear this name.

I listed the word apparatus because there are multiple machines used in Pilates, so I'm going to refer to all those machines as an apparatus.

Final thoughts

Overall, Pilates can be awkward and intimidating at first, but there are so many types of classes to choose from. Even one on one classes will form the class based on your personal body goals.

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