If your new to Pilates it can be a daunting task walking into a room and not knowing what to expect.
First things first, make sure you wear clothes that are comfortable and allow your body to move. Second, come with an open mind, everyone was a beginner at one stage and last but not least enjoy giving yourself time out, its the best investment you can make.
The Mat - 'The Method'
The mat is where we find our technique and some say that the mat, is the method. The mat tends to be the starting point for most in their Pilates journey. Primarily the exercises we learn are learnt in a supine position avoiding any undue strain on the body.
The movements vary in degree of difficultly and are designed to work for the individual at the current level they find themselves. This can vary from day to day, person to person.
I love working on different techniques to help improve my core strength, from pelvic tilts to shoulder bridges.
The reformer is probably one of the most recognised bits of equipment when we think about the Pilates apparatus. The reformer is suitable for everyone, allowing beginners to advance students to explore their full potential.
Made up of different strength springs, the reformer allows us to work through the Pilates repertoire adding resistance and giving assistance to each movement.
The reformer is a great place to start as it allows us to work in a supine position allowing less weight baring movements and a more balanced body position.
As someone with weak hips I love doing a good ‘frog’, the support from the carriage allows for good posture while working deep into the hip adductors, plus it’s fun!
The Cadillac was created by the main man himself, Joseph Pilates. He worked at creating ways to help rehabilitate patients who had been deemed unable to achieve recovery. If you look at the bed like structure you can probably see the similarities to a hospital bed and this is where it started.
The Cadillac is a great starting point for all levels, its stable table allows ease of movement for those with poor balance yet challenges the more advanced student with its climbing frame and multiple use of springs and attachments. This really does allow for a full body experience!
One of my favorites is ‘hanging’ and feeling the upper back extensors working along with the power needed in my upper arms.
Also known as the wunda chair, the chair allows us to work with the Pilates repertoire however, unlike other apparatus it helps us to highlight our personal weaknesses and unbalances within the body.
Made up of four springs contained within a wooden cube, this versatile bit of kit really allows us to work on our ‘demons’ by allowing us to work deeper into the body, creating strength and balance.
The chair is my go-to for my triceps and biceps, ‘seated’ this allows me to concentrate on the fundamentals of the muscle movement and I can control the intensity… which is always a good thing!
The Spine Corrector
The spine corrector is a great addition to any studio. It allows us to work deeper into certain muscles and concentrate on particular exercises increasing intensity or allowing support in areas of difficulty.
Although great for working on back extension, just like all other bits of apparatus the whole body can benefit from using this.