In biking, you often hear the advice “Always keep your head up.” In swimming, it’s “Don’t hold your breath underwater.” Similarly, Pilates comes with tricks of the trade that can help you make the most of your workout.
If you’re new to Pilates, then these will be invaluable pieces of advice. For the seasoned Pilates practitioner, these can serve as a list to look out for in your next routine. Here are the seven biggest Pilates no-no’s you should take note of.
The Pilates NOT-to-do list
☒ Wearing the wrong clothes
You will be making a wide range of movements during a Pilates class, so choose clothes that will stay put and won’t get in the way of executing the exercises. Comfortable but form-fitting articles of clothing like tank tops and leggings should meet that requirement, while also allowing your instructors to better assess your position and posture during the routine. Also, never forget to wear grippy socks to avoid slipping.
☒ Losing focus
Every exercise in Pilates requires a higher awareness of one’s body that stems from unwavering focus. Zoning out (while very tempting) can also cause you to misunderstand instructions and injure yourself, especially when using equipment involved. Remember that Pilates is a mental exercise as well as a physical one. If you believe you need help in getting focused, consider signing up for private Pilates training
. This way, your instructors can give you their full attention, and guide you back into the zone as often as necessary.
☒ Depending on the equipment
Any equipment you use in a Pilates class is but a tool; it won’t do the work for you. Your progress will ultimately depend on how much work you put into each class, whether you’re using a complicated machine like the reformer, or a simple and light equipment like a ball.
☒ Rushing through exercises
If you move too quickly, you defeat the basic principle of Pilates, which is strengthening and lengthening specific muscle groups by activating them slowly but surely. Transitioning from one exercise to another too soon won’t yield the best results. And when you rush through the routine, you also run a higher risk of getting injured.
☒ Distracting others
While loud breathing or “cracking” bones cannot be helped in a Pilates class, making weird noises should be avoided so as not to disturb other students. If you feel that you will unsettle your neighbors -- say you have a persistent cough or a bad case of allergies and can’t stop sneezing -- it’s better to reschedule a class, or book a private lesson
to avoid being a cause of disruption or inconvenience.
☒ Doing things your own way
Creativity is a highly valued life skill, but you might need to tone yours down when you come into a Pilates class. Instead, enter each class with a humble heart and an open mind. Respect that decades of research inform the isometric exercises in Pilates, and that every movement has been carefully designed to safely and effectively engage muscles and sinews to improve flexibility, develop control, and build total body strength and endurance. Doing things your own way not only disregards Pilates’ scientific bases, but may also lead to injuries like strained muscles or lower back pain. Always listen to your instructor before trying out a new exercise: trust that they know what they’re doing based on their years of expertise in the field.
☒ Giving up
You’re going to feel the burn. You’re going to shake a lot. You’re going to be properly exhausted after a Pilates class. But one thing you’re not going to do is give up. If you find the exercises too difficult, tell your instructor so the tasks can be modified to fit your abilities. At C2 Body, we customize each exercise so you can hit the sweet spot just beyond what’s comfortable, but still within what’s safe.
C2 Body makes sure that your Pilates experience is challenging but engaging, so that you’ll grow to love the exercises as much as we do. We also provide insider tips to make your journey to fitness effective and memorable.
Ready to do Pilates the right way? Book a class with C2 Body today.