How to Avoid These 3 Key Mistakes When Join A Pilates Class?. The popularity of Pilates continues to grow - especially with celebrities singing it's praises and Olympic athletes sharing the fact that it's a regular part of many of their training programmes. Pilates is a valuable addition to anyone's fitness routine as it increases core strength and develops flexibility. It not only helps to correct injuries and normal problems caused by aging, but can help to prevent them from ever occurring.
Pilates works the whole body in a balanced way as well as working on the core, especially the deep abdominal muscles. Toning the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles helps improve stability of the torso and the stretching, flowing movements help to develop the range of movement throughout the body. This is also one of the reasons that Pilates is often recommended by doctors and why it has been so successful for people who have back pain.
So you are convinced about the benefits of Pilates and you are tempted to give it a go - but are you are worried about where to go and whether you will be able to cope? You are not alone. As a Pilates instructor, I get many many enquiries from prospective students who are keen to start but full of concerns about whether its right for them. Many students make simple mistakes when taking up Pilates but they can be avoided by following these simple tips:-
Mistake Number 1 - Not researching which class to join
Pilates is an amazing exercise discipline - but you have to keep going in the long term to maintain the benefits. When you start a class, if its the right one, you could be going for years - so its worthwhile spending some time investigating the options available to you.
Many students just turn up to a class at their local gym and find 20-30 students in a class. It's hard for the instructor to manage a class of this size and you won't get the personal attention that is essential for you to develop good technique as a beginner.
You might find yourself at the back, struggling to see the demonstrations and then performing the move badly yourself so at best it is ineffective and at worst, can cause injuries. Many students do this, become disillusioned and then give up and don't go back, missing out on the huge benefits Pilates can bring.
How to avoid this mistake - investigate all the options locally. Look at local community classes run by dedicated Pilates instructors or those who offer private classes. You can get huge benefits from having a series of 1-1 sessions before joining a class and it will make sure you understand the moves correctly and get your technique right from the start.
They can also offer adaptations for your individual body type and condition and you are unlikely to get that in a large class. Ask about the instructors qualifications and find a class where you have the same teacher regularly so you can get to know them - and more importantly, they can get to know you and your particular needs.
Mistake Number 2 - Not attending class regularly
Have you ever started going to the gym, or an exercise class but have missed more than you have attended and have then given up? Join the gang! This happens to so many people - many of whom pay out for expensive gym memberships, or buy all the equipment and then fail to keep it up.
There are many reasons for this including not feeling included in the class (particularly if you join an established group), not connecting with the instructor or often because of the aches they feel after the class. Unfortunately just joining a gym or signing up for a class won't work - you actually have to attend regularly!
How to avoid this mistake - One great way to ensure you go along is to sign up with a friend. You will think twice about opting out if you are letting them down and you can encourage each other. It's also worth talking to the instructor before you go along.
Try to get to know a bit more about them, what qualifications they have and how do they deal with beginners in their classes. If you stuggle to commit to a regular time slog, because you work shifts or have childcare commitments for example, find an instructor who offers a range of classes at different times so you can always go to at least once a week. And if you really don't like the instructor, don't give up - just find a new class and keep going until you find an instructor you can relate to.
Mistake Number 3 - Competing with others!
Whichever class you go along to, there will be a wide range of individuals attending. Even if you find a class for complete beginners, the attendees will all be different shapes and sizes with a wide range of fitness, strength and flexibility.
Its very tempting when you are all lying down, to try to do the same as your neighbour. I see this all the time in class as students try to keep up with each other. That can mean working way beyond your current ability level or trying to do a much more advanced version of the exercise demonstrated.
And what is the result likely to be? Poor technique, feeling inadequate and worse, potential injury! This approach will enable you to develop good technique, get to know your body, gradually progress with the exercises and avoid injuries and too much discomfort after the class. Do expect to feel some muscle ache after a class though - and enjoy it as a sign that you have been working hard.
So follow these tips and find a Pilates class that you can enjoy, attend regularly and really benefit from this life changing exercise regime. Good luck and Happy Pilates!
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