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How to get ready for pilates - Pilates 101 guide for beginners

How to Get Ready for Pilates

Make Commitments to Pilates 

We know you're busy. We totally get it! But it's easier than you think to fit Pilates into your busy schedule. Consistency is the key to success, so all we're asking as you begin is that you commit to practicing for 20 to 30 minutes a day, four to five times per week. 

Studies show that people who commit to a morning exercise regime are much more likely to stick to it. We suggest setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier than you usually do, with the intent of practicing Pilates. If a morning workout isn't possible, carve out four to five time slots each week that you can dedicate to Pilates. Do your best to stick with this schedule for two to three months. You'll likely find that after three months, your 20- to 30-minute sessions naturally turn into 30- to 40-minute sessions, which is great! We encourage you to build your practice as it becomes available. You may want to block off time in your calendar so there are no scheduling conflicts, and to help you avoid procrastination.

Make an appointment with yourself, and keep it. A Pilates journal is a great way to monitor your progress and hold yourself accountable. Remember, Pilates is a marathon, not a sprint. Dedication and consistency are essential. 

What Do You Need to Begin Pilates? 

Pilates is a convenient and affordable way to begin exercising. You don't need fancy equipment at the beginning, and all the moves can be executed at home in a relatively small space. Here are some essentials to consider before you get started. 

Choose comfortable clothing that allows for a wide range of movement. You don't need any fancy fitness wear, but if that motivates you, then go for it! 

Choose clothing that doesn't restrict your movement in any way and allows heat to escape. Loose clothing may be more comfortable, but avoid items that are so baggy the seams start to twist or you find yourself constantly adjusting your clothing. 

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We prefer form-fitting workout wear in a blend of Supplex, Lycra, nylon, and spandex. The material should breathe, have moisture-wicking attributes, and not be so tight that your range of motion is inhibited. As Pilates exercises work on movement of the foot and ankle in addition to the whole body, footwear isn't needed. If you're practicing at home, barefoot is great.


Should I Wear Socks to Pilates? 

You can also wear socks with treads on the bottom, which provide traction to execute the exercises. 

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How to Select Pilates Mat? 

When selecting a Pilates mat, choose one that's approximately 6 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. While you can use a yoga mat, they are typically much thinner (less than Vs inch thick), and therefore don't provide the same level of comfort needed to perform certain Pilates exercises. If you're exercising on carpet, you may not need a mat (but you may still want one, as carpet fibers can get itchy and stick to your clothing or hair). If you have allergies, then you may opt for a bamboo mat. 

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How to Create Pilates Space? 

When creating a space for your Pilates practice, choose an area that you find quiet and calming. Make sure your space is clear of furniture and obstacles. When gauging the size of the space, be mindful of the fact that Pilates requires room for your arms and legs to move in all directions. While it can be extremely soothing to make a space of your own for your practice, we admit that we've been known to exercise in front of the TV while some-one's watching golf. It's really a matter of personal preference. And don't forget your pets! Your furry friend might think you're playing, and you don't want to inadvertently kick or roll on Fido or Kitty while practicing your Pilates. 

What to Expect From Pilates? 

Pilates is a comprehensive system with specific choreography of movement and breath for each exercise. As you practice, it's important to remember the choreography of each exercise and stay mindful of the coordination of breath and movement. 


The first step of Pilates is learning and memorizing the choreography for each exercise. However, rather than sitting down with this book and memorizing with your brain alone, we recommend that you do the exercises as you memorize so that you learn with your body and your brain. You don't need to master each individual exercise before moving on to the next, but we do recommend that you master all of the exercises in each section before moving on to the next level. 

Fluid Transitions 

Keeping with the concept of mindfulness is the theme of fluid transitions. Rather than executing individual exercises, you want to move with the purpose of one exercise to the next.   

Should I Use Pilates Reformers 

If you can afford buying pilates reformers, it will be the best way to boost your pilates skills and the pilate reformer machine will be your companion even when you will reach professional levels

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Inspired by Katherine Corp and Kimberly Corp (Get Pilates for Beginners Book from Amazon )