10 Tips For Getting Started With Pilates

10 Tips For Getting Started With Pilates

Always wished you'd gotten on board with Pilates but still haven't found the right time? It's worth remembering the practice not only improves strength, balance and alignment, it's also an effective and efficient full-body workout. From embracing the burn to breathing techniques, here’s why there's no time like the present…

There’s A Technique To It

“Pilates is so effective because it teaches full-body control through an individual’s range of motion, targeting both larger muscles (chest, quads and glutes) as well as smaller stabilising muscles like the rotator cuff and lower abdominals. In the early days, Pilates was referred to as Contrology, so expect a slower-paced class but a more conscious experience. You’ll be targeting every muscle in your body, ultimately creating better posture and leaner, longer limbs.” – Adam Ridler, fitness master trainer at Ten Health


Precision & Control Are Key

“Pilates isn’t something you can learn from Instagram or a YouTube video. It’s all about precision and control – there’s no substitute for being in a class or one-to-one environment. Expect your first few classes to be harder than they look but trust your body and don’t over-think it.” – Adam Ridler


You Have To Start With The Basics

“When it comes to Pilates, any decent studio will offer classes specifically aimed at beginners. I highly recommend beginners start with this kind of class – it will help you understand the fundamentals and allow you to progress quicker.” – Adam Ridler


You Can Progress To The Reformer 

“The main difference between reformer and floor Pilates is that the reformer will provide you with more resistance, which is great for building strength and lean muscle mass. Mat-based Pilates, meanwhile, focuses on using bands for resistance, as opposed to pulleys and springs on the reformer. Both types follow the principles of Pilates but the reformer will provide a more dynamic, intense workout.” – Adam Ridler


It’s Great For Recovery

“Pilates is often used by physiotherapists for rehabilitation purposes and is a great way to exercise and build strength if you are recovering from an injury. With such a strong focus on correct alignment of the body, doing Pilates is the perfect way to strengthen areas of weakness that are causing misalignment and subsequent pain.” – Liam Rodgers, consultant physiotherapist and Pilates clinician at Ten Health & Fitness


It Helps To Achieve Balance

“Pilates is very much about achieving balance in the body. While it can be tempting to push your body, especially in terms of flexibility, it’s important to appreciate the limitations of your individual body and the necessary strength and control that’s required to execute advanced moves safely. Learn the balance between strength and flexibility and don’t let your ego get in the way.” – Adam Ridler


Breathing Is A Skill

“The Pilates breath technique can be confusing as it involves inhaling through the nose and expanding the ribcage laterally, and exhaling through the mouth whilst closing the ribcage down. This technique is designed to aid movement and muscle activation. If this feels too daunting to start with then consider booking yourself into a one-to-one session to help you nail your technique.” – Katie Gray, founder of the Kind by KG Method and Fit And Flow retreat instructor


It Could Help You Slow Down

“Pilates helps you take some time out for yourself and understand what it feels like to slow down. Pilates is a gentle, flowing pace that allows the mind to wind down. In fact, the slower and more controlled the move in Pilates is, the more challenging, intense and effective the exercise will be. Understanding this is key to Pilates.” – Katie Gray


Consistency Will Pay Off

“As with everything, consistency is key in order to get the most out of Pilates. The odd class here and there is pretty pointless. Instead, start with one or two classes a week for two months – I promise you’ll start to see the changes in both the mind and body in no time.” – Katie Gray


It's Not For The Faint-Hearted

“Lots of people come to a Pilates class on their rest day or when they fancy a chilled class that involves plenty of stretching. Don’t be fooled – even though Pilates is slow and low impact, it burns and is far from easy. Always come with an open mind.” – Katie Gray

Ready to get going? Book a class at one of these SL-approved studios…


Pilates PT: Founder Hollie Grant fuses HIIT-inspired cardio bursts with toning exercises to achieve visible results. PilatesPT.co.uk

Ten Health & Fitness: With nine studios across the capital, Ten specialises in injury prevention and classes are limited to just ten people. Ten.co.uk 

Zero Gravity Pilates: Find yourself on a reformer next to a supermodel at this luxury, results-driven studio. ZeroGravityPilates.co.uk

Exhale Pilates: This award-winning destination offers a mix of tower, reformer, chair and barrel classes. ExhalePilatesLondon.com

Heartcore: Combining classical Pilates with athletic conditioning, these classes will strengthen muscles you didn’t even know existed. Heartcore.co.uk

INSPIRATION CREDITS: Instagram.com/heartcorelife & Instagram.com/tenhealthfitness
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