Getting ready to try Reformer Pilates for the first time can seem intimidating. What is a Reformer? What can you expect? Will you survive?
Here is a guide to get you through your first experience like a pro!
- Arrive Prepared & On Time
It’s always best to arrive early, especially if it’s your first time going somewhere. Allow time to find the location, park, and fill out a liability waiver. As for the outfit, the clothing is pretty simple and comfortable. Fitted clothing is probably best so your clothes don’t slide around when you’re moving. We recommend avoiding zippers on pants or tops as they can cut into you while lying down during class. Grippy socks are important. They provide traction and prevent you from slipping. If you don’t own a pair, you can usually buy one at the studio.
- It’s All About the Springs!
Another reason to arrive early is to give the instructor time to show you how the Reformer works. The first thing you might notice is the variety of colored springs at the top of your machine. They’re not just they’re to make it pretty – they each have a purpose. Each spring has a different resistance or weight (they can vary at different studios). You’re not expected to memorize which does what in the beginning. The instructor will always advise the class which spring to use for each exercise and it can be different for each person. At Pilates In the Grove, yellow is the lightest spring, blue is medium, and red is heavy. We also recommend taking advantage of our complimentary introductory classes prior to your first group class to review the basics of the equipment.
- Pilates Movements Are Mindful, Slow, and Controlled
Pilates isn’t about quantity, it’s about quality. We don’t want you to do 20 quick, ineffective lunges. We want you to feel the movement in every muscle and body part worked. You will actually feel the benefit so much more when moving slowly and precisely. You will learn how to perfect your lunge and get the most out of each one. Moving slowly also decreases the chance of hurting yourself.
- Pay Attention To Your Instructor
You will hear a lot of cueing throughout the class. It’s all important so listen to every word. Alignment and posture is very important and your instructor is trying to make sure you are as aligned as you can be while performing the exercises and you walk out feeling like your posture, mobility, and strength has improved. Each movement has several parts to it. It’s a lot to learn at first so try to get the most out of each movement by following the instructors lead.
- You Will Get a Full Body Workout
It’s never “Leg Day” in Pilates. Expect to work each muscle in every class. Your core will be used in each exercise so expect to feel some soreness in your abs the following day. You will also work the spine, arms, legs, hips, and plenty of muscles you didn’t even know you had!
- Don’t Forget To Breathe
The breath will move you through each movement and help engage the muscles correctly. Don’t worry, you won’t be expected to know when to inhale or exhale. This is another cue your instructor will be giving throughout class. You will learn the Pilates breath and when to use it. Even if you lose track, just make sure you’re always breathing.
Don’t worry, Pilates was made for every body! It may seem intimidating, but you can go at your own pace and take it from there. If it still seems scary, remember you get to lay down most of the time! We keep our group classes small (9 people or less) to provide an intimate and individualized experience so that you get the best out of each and every class.
Ready to take the plunge and try Reformer Pilates for the first time? The instructors will be happy to set you up with a Reformer and make you feel at home. Sign up here!