10 tips to get the most out of your Pilates practice
Updated: Jan 12, 2022
We all want to get the best results from every workout, right? But let's be real - 6-pack abs and Beyonce's body aren't a reality for most of us. Remember that between Instagram filters (yup, there are a TON of filters for photos and video) and sites like TikTok that are highly criticized for artificially skewing posts toward attractively thin, young and white bodies, our expectations may not match reality.
To get the very most out of your Pilates practice keep in mind:
Be Patient! It takes time to learn this stuff...and even then, "Pilates brain" is real. We sometimes talk about needing to regress to progress - don't pressure yourself to move at a particular pace.
Don't seek what Pilates doesn't deliver. Can Pilates help you lose weight? Maybe. Remember that weight loss is largely about nutrition, too. Can Pilates help you with posture? Sure. But you have to do the work outside of class, too.
Focus on quality! It's so much better to do a few quality reps than 10 "meh" reps. Form matters!
Eliminate the "no pain, no gain" mindset. A little booty burn or muscle awareness is okay, but Pilates should never cause discomfort. If it does, talk to your instructor right away.
Listen to Your Body. If your neck doesn't like doing chest lifts, don't feel obligated to do them until/unless you can do them properly. Work with your instructor to find your body's optimum form.
Respect Your Body. Every body is different - some of us shouldn't do Short Spine on the reformer (even though we wish we could), so we don't. That doesn't mean we don't do "real" Pilates. Respect all of the amazing things your body can do and celebrate those!
Create and stick to a reasonable schedule. Beware of the "I need to do an unlimited membership" mentality and do what your body likes. We usually recommend 2-3 times a week so your body can hold on to what it's learned.
Find what fits you! If you know you need a certain "vibe," find a studio that suits you, even if that means driving a few more minutes or paying a few dollars more. You're more likely to stick with it if the classes/studio really fit you.
Practice with friends. Do you find you do better in individual sessions, but they're a bit pricey? Ask a friend to split the cost for a duo/duet. You both get individualized attention, can work around schedules, and can save money.
Remember it's a lifestyle! Those of us who've been at this Pilates "thing" a while often say Pilates isn't just a workout, it's a lifestyle - once you've been doing it and see all of the amazing and surprising benefits, you'll never want to stop!