Pilates is a fun and beginner-friendly way to build strength and muscle tone. Popularized by celebrities like Cameron Diaz and Kate Hudson, pilates became a commonplace exercise routine in the early 2000s and has only grown since. Pilates focuses on building strength in the core muscles, but provides a full-body workout. Best of all, it can be catered to all fitness levels and builds slowly on your strength and stamina.
Pilates can be learned in a group class, in a private session, or through video training on DVD or online. Video training typically costs about $25 to $50 for a session, while classes range from $10-$30 for a group session or $50-$150 for a private session.
Rest assured that no matter your fitness level or goals, there is a pilates class for you. This workout routine can be customized to anyone’s ability and fit almost any budget. You can find a variety of Pilates options on Airtasker simply by posting a task for private or group lessons near you. You can also read reviews of local instructors or find group classes that fit your needs.
Before we get into finding a Pilates class on Airtasker, let’s learn more about Pilates as an exercise routine and what benefits it can provide for you.
Pilates has gained media attention and popularity worldwide for it’s fast results and low-impact practices. Though many of us have heard of the exercise, not everyone actually understands what it is. Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates, a German gymnast of the early 20th Century. After years of training he devised a program that would help athletes of all kinds improve their strength, flexibility, stamina, and willpower.
Pilates, in essence, is the practice of a series of movements aimed at strengthening the core, improving posture, and providing a whole-body experience that is relatively low-impact. Unlike other bodyweight exercise routines, Pilates does not cause pressure or impact on the joints. Instead of repeating exercises, you hold poses that require strength and focus.
Pilates can be done on an exercise mat or a machine called a reformer. The reformer provides resistance and more movement capability, but is not necessary to have an effective Pilates workout. If you have a mat, you can do Pilates workouts at home by using a DVD or watching online videos. Pilates is not designed to be aerobic, but it does build both strength and flexibility.
Pilates will strengthen your abdominal and pelvic muscles, and improve your posture. It can also relieve tension for those with desk jobs who spend much of the day sitting down. Pilates works several muscle groups, so be prepared to “feel the burn” and be sore the next day. Until you have some experience with the workout style, scheduling one or two classes per week is ideal. Any more and you may overexert yourself.
Most Pilates workouts are taught in a class format, where you and a group or you privately with the instructor go through the series of movements and practice proper body alignment. Each class will be slightly different. They range from 45- to 90-minute sessions, and taught by instructors of all kinds. Because of this, Pilates courses are priced differently depending on a few factors:
Class style. Pilates classes are taught in group, private, and video training formats. Group and video classes are less expensive, ranging from $10 to $30 per session or video series. Some beginner Pilates videos are available online for free, however, a full program can only be found in the studio or through a Pilates instructor. Private classes are recommended for beginners to learn the basic principles, movements, and proper body alignment. They are also popular for advanced Pilates students who want to dive further into their practice.
Instructor experience. An experienced, highly educated instructor will naturally charge more for their classes than a beginning instructor. If you are a beginner, you want someone who has the experience, patience, and an understanding of the Pilates process as a journey to wellness. Some Pilates instructors have degrees in dance, fitness training, or other related fields, and will likely be in higher demand than those who have less training.
Class duration. Most Pilates classes are approximately an hour in length. Sessions that are longer or shorter may be priced accordingly. If you are new to the practice, opting for a 30 or 45-minute session will allow you to learn and decide if Pilates is right for you before you make a major investment. It will also give your body time to adjust to the workout style.
Equipment. Beginner Pilates classes are typically taught on the mat, but more advanced classes can include equipment such as the reformer, magic circle, and more. These classes which require more expensive equipment may be priced higher than simple mat classes; however, they are worth the expense once you become more familiar with the practice.
Finding a private or group class is one of the best ways to get started with your new workout. Attending an onsite class will give you the personal instruction you need to truly understand the workout and the correct way to hold the postures. Private classes are a great start for beginners, however, you can have just as much fun and learn just as much in a small group class (recommended no more than 10).
It is also imperative to find an instructor who is experienced and understands your fitness goals. Some teachers provide high-intensity courses for those looking to get in peak physical shape, while other Pilates classes are laxer and provide a challenging, yet simple workout for both new and experienced Pilates students. Depending on what you hope to achieve with Pilates, choose an instructor that provides the level of intensity that you need.
No, you do not have to be fit to attend every Pilates course. There are plenty of options for beginners, including online video training and beginner group classes at some studios. Check with the studio in advance to find out what classes they offer and what fitness level is necessary.
Private lessons are a good idea for most beginners so you can learn the terminology and proper body alignments with basic poses and movements. However, private classes are typically more expensive and therefore not the best option for someone looking for a budget-friendly workout. Online videos are a great option for beginners to learn the terminology and basic movements before going into a group setting. Plus, there are plenty of complete beginner classes, and likely one in your area.
Pilates is very active, so comfortable, form-fitting clothing is recommended. Because you’ll be doing a variety of movements such as leg lifts and lunges, it is recommended to wear capris or pants rather than shorts, for both modesty and comfort. Though your clothing doesn’t need to be tight, it should be form-fitting so your instructor can see if your body is properly aligned. Form-fitting clothes also make completing the exercises easier.
Pilates is NOT the same as physical therapy and should not be done instead of physical therapy unless specifically instructed by your physician. Clinical Pilates is a practice where Pilates movements are used for therapeutic purposes. However, this is only offered by certain practitioners and is typically recommended by a doctor, not by a studio.