5 Next Steps for Pilates Beginners

Group of young people doing Pilates exercises with the help of instructor.
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There is nothing quite like being a Pilates beginner. For many, it is exhilarating to discover a system of fitness that not only provides many physical benefits such as core strength, balanced muscular development without bulk as well as balance and flexibility; but is also integrative for the whole person--body, mind and spirit.

Getting started in Pilates can also be a time when the breadth of Pilates can feel a little overwhelming. You will find much guidance for Pilates beginners here, starting with Pilates Info for Beginners, but what I want to do now is let you know that your don't have to get everything at once. Yes, there is all kinds of equipment and hundreds of exercises, but there is also a basic foundation to Pilates that you will build on over time. It will be an interesting, life-long journey of fitness that way.

The most important thing is to get good instruction.

It is possible to do a lot of Pilates through our free exercise instructions, DVDs and online classes, but the best foundation and most progress is made with at least occasional, and preferably consistent, direction from an instructor. Then, what you want to do is take some steps to lock in your practice and give your training a chance to make real difference in your body and life:

  1. Sign Up for Your Pilates Classes - It might be tempting to go class by class when you get started. And that's O.K., to a point, because you want to find the teacher and class that feels right to you. However, as soon as you can, I recommend you sign up for a series of classes in advance. Remember, experts say it takes at least 3 weeks of doing something consistently to make it a habit. Signing up for a class will ensure that you stick with it. Help with that:
    1. Pilates Classes 101 for Beginners
  2. Commit to a Schedule - As a beginner, you might not be used to integrating a fitness program into your schedule, and (gasp) you might not be addicted to Pilates, yet! So whether you are going to workout at a studio, at home, or both it really pays to consider your schedule and plan to get your Pilates in. Help with that:
    1. Scheduling Pilates
    2. Pilates Beginner Quick Start Program
    3. Making Your Fitness Plan
    4. And for the truly motivated: Keep an Exercise Log
  3. Set Up Your Home Workout Space - If you can go to classes three times a week or so, you are all set and you don't have to worry about working out at home. For the rest us, having a place to workout at home is an imperative and enjoyable way of staying fit and keeping our Pilates training on track. Help with that:
    1. How to Set Up a Home Workout Space
    2. Benefits of a Home Workout
  4. Build Your Practice on Strong Fundamentals - Pilates is not just exercise for exercise sake. It is body/mind training that is very much concerned with alignment and functional, efficient movement. There are basic ideas that underpin the way we move in Pilates and if you get those first, everything else will flow more naturally. Help with that:
    1. Pilates Movement Fundamentals
    2. Pilates Principles of Movement
  5. Get to Know the Exercises for Yourself - Beginner Pilates exercises are not all that complicated -- they are often deceptively powerful in their simplicity -- but if you are in class or watching a Pilates DVD and an exercise goes zooming by without you understanding the intent and choreography of it, it's not going to be very effective. This step takes time. You don't have to memorize all the exercises in the beginning, but it does help to "claim" them for yourself. Fortunately, there are many resources you can use to get a fuller understanding of each exercise in your own time. Help with that:
    1. Beginner Pilates Exercises
    2. Pilates Mat, Ball, Band and Equipment Exercises
    3. Pilates Book Reviews

Welcome to Pilates! You are officially on your way to a Pilates body.

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