Trying new things can sometimes be scary, especially when it comes to new fitness classes. If you’re interested in trying a Pilates Reformer class for the first time and don’t really know what to expect, you’re not alone! Pilates, which is a form of exercise designed to improve strength, flexibility, and posture, among other things, is suitable for all fitness levels. The Pilates Reformer is the most well-known piece of Pilates equipment designed by Joseph Pilates, and is used in our classes at Body Forte to add resistance to certain exercises and to challenge a variety of different muscles in the body, including the core.
Pilates is great for beginners, and if it’s something you’re interested in trying in the near future, here are some helpful tips before you walk into the studio:
WHAT TO BRING!
Most Pilates studios will provide everything you need for your workout class – equipment, water, etc.
At Body Forte, our studio is fully air conditioned and we have water coolers ready at all times. We also have bathrooms, changing rooms, mirrors all around – and most importantly, we offer a safe and friendly environment to workout in. Just come ready to have a great workout and feel amazing after!
WHAT TO WEAR!
No Shoes – Pilates is usually done barefoot with the occasional exception of wearing grippy socks, which help to prevent you from slipping on the Reformer, since they provide some traction. We have lots of grippy socks for sale at our studio – they are both functional AND fashionable!
Form-Fitting Workout Clothes – think stretchy, but not too baggy. Form-fitting clothes allow the instructor to better assess the alignment of your body and engagement of your muscles as you move. You want to feel comfortable while lying down and moving around on the Reformer in a lot of different positions. Try to avoid drawstrings, belts, jewelry, or anything that can get caught in the springs of the machine while you perform the exercises.
DO’S AND DON’TS!
DO arrive on time
DO inform your instructor about any injuries/conditions/illnesses
DO ask questions when you don’t understand
DON’T use the hour to chat and distract
DON’T do exercises that aren’t safe for your body
DON’T do exercises that hurt a certain body part or are painful for your body
UNDERSTANDING THE REFORMER SPRINGS!
Depending on your studio of choice, your reformer will have springs with different colors, which represent different amounts of resistance or tension you’ll be working with. Most Reformers have red, blue, and yellow springs. At Body Forte, some of our Reformers have a green spring. Here’s what this means:
Green – heaviest
Red – heavy
Blue – medium
Yellow – light
Don’t worry about memorizing the spring tensions – your instructor will explain how to use the reformer and will teach you about the springs and the resistance. Your instructor will also tell you which resistance and springs you’ll be working with for each exercise, and will even get as specific as giving different options based on your level of experience. So, you don’t have to worry about that either!
Be sure to ask your instructor any questions if you feel lost or confused!
HAVE FUN AND FEEL GOOD!
Pilates is a positive form of movement that’s designed for anyone at any fitness level. Come in, try a class, get to know the equipment, get to learn some of the exercises – and the more you come in, the more amazing Pilates benefits you’ll get to FEEL and SEE in your body! ENJOY!
-written by our Polestar Pilates Practitioner Lexie Bicknell.