Whether in a group setting, or in a private capacity, there are so many good reasons for taking movement classes at a studio. Group classes can be really fun and motivating. You share a common experience and often very similar goals with your fellow attendees. What’s even more fulfilling is that you can become a part of a community of like-minded Pilates enthusiasts, teachers, and mentors. This has been my experience at studios that really welcome you with open arms and are committed to your success. Another crucial reason to take classes at a studio is that the instructor will give you feedback about the quality of your movement and in smaller settings or privates, will build sessions designed specifically for you based on your needs and goals. A mirror at the gym won’t do that.
As much value as there is in taking a class at a studio, there is a lot to be said about your personal practice at home. It is important to practice in between your sessions to see results and build on what you have learned in class.
When I first started practicing Pilates, one of the most rewarding things I discovered is how convenient it is to practice at home. Once I learned what I needed to work on and what exercises to do, I self-practiced between classes and when I missed a workout.
I picked out a few great videos by some wonderful instructors that will help you get started with your home practice.
This video teaches a seated roll-back. In my class, we do a roll-down (or a version of it) in almost every class, so this is great practice. To activate your deep core muscles, you can use a small a block, a towel, or a ball between your knees, but you don’t have to.
This is a foam roller series and includes one of my favorites – toe taps. If you don’t have a foam roller, you can disregard the shoulder warm-up, and do the toe taps your mat. If you are new to Pilates, make sure that your lower back is imprinted into the roller or mat when doing these exercises to give your low back enough support.
This last video has variations in all fours position. Practice on keeping your spine and neutral while pulling your abs toward your spine and keeping your back stable.
Work up to 10-12 repetitions of each exercise.
Enjoy your self-practice and if you experience any pain or discomfort, stop, and check-in with your Pilates instructor.