Tips: Pilates for Beginners
It's no secret that the practice of Pilates is a surefire way to build long, lean muscles and achieve top-notch flexibility. However, like most new things, it can be intimidating to newbies. For those who are hesitant about jumping right in, amNewYork caught up with Tamika Walker, an instructor at Manhattan's True Pilates (multiple locations, truepilatesny.com) for beginner-friendly tips.
1. Don't Apologize.
As a new client, people often apologize for being beginners. We're all beginners at some point, so don't worry about that or let it stop you from coming to class. A lady in her 80s called the True Pilates studio the other day and wants to start taking classes with us for the first time. How cool is that?
2. Tell your instructor what brought you to the studio.
Whether it's to get in shape, maintain a healthy lifestyle or achieve mobility, the core work doesn't change, though the focus can be sharpened and defined. The more your instructor knows about your goals, the more we can address them and tailor the workouts to meet individual needs.
3. Don't worry about what you CAN'T do.
Always focus on what you can do, not what you can't. Follow the prescription and you'll do more and more every session. We have a 68 year-old client that told us: "I just did an exercise today that I couldn't do three months ago. At my age there are not a lot of things I do better today than yesterday."
4. Be open to working with new instructors.
Clients absolutely form a bond with their trainers and it's wonderful to watch them grow together. Sometimes, however, your specific instructor might be out sick or on vacation and clients will sometimes wait for them to get back. Don't! The body doesn't wait. Work with other instructors. Learning new experiences and new words will make your workouts better when your regular trainer returns.
5. Find out where your instructors have trained.
True Pilates New York instructors have taken 650 hours or more of study. It's frightening to see and hear about instructors teaching classes after doing only a weekend certification program. No matter which studio you choose, always be sure to ask your instructor about their training program to make sure that you're getting a solid, safe workout every time you do pilates.