Pilates Benefits, Types, Equipment, and Exercises for Beginners
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Pilates Benefits, Types, Equipment, and Exercises for Beginners

Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise that emphasizes breathing, core strength, and flexibility.  It's an extremely popular form of exercise and gaining momentum rapidly everywhere, and for good reason too! No matter your level of experience with exercise, Pilates has many advantages that can enhance your general health and wellbeing.

 

Matt Pilates vs. Reformer Pilates

One of the first things you'll notice when exploring Pilates options is the distinction between Matt Pilates and Reformer Pilates. Let’s start with Matt! Matt Pilates is performed on a mat and relies on the use of gravity, your body weight, some minimal equipment (which we will discuss in detail below) and resistance to work the muscles. Reformer Pilates, on the other hand, is performed on a special piece of equipment called a Reformer that uses springs and straps to provide resistance. Both forms of Pilates offer similar benefits, but Reformer Pilates is often more challenging and can offer a more intense workout. 

For those who do not have access to a studio because they are time poor or because it might be out of budget (it’s often a pricey commitment), there are simple ways to get started from home - keep reading!

 

How to Start Pilates

Whether you choose to start with Matt Pilates or Reformer Pilates, the most important thing is to just start! Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Choose a Class: Pilates classes are offered at many gyms and fitness studios, and the only way you will know if you enjoy it, is to try! If you’re in Sydney Australia, we recommend some top quality studios including KX Pilates, Studio Lennox Pilates and Kefi Studio Pilates. You can also find lots of online classes, our favourite is My Pilates Project, that offer the same benefits in the comfort of your own home.
  2. Invest in the Right Equipment: While you don't need much to start Pilates, investing in a good quality mat, some small pieces of equipment including a resistance band, ankle weights and a sweat towel, can make a big difference and help you continue to challenge yourself. If you are using a studio, it’s often nice to have your own equipment for hygiene and sanitary purposes, and also means you have the flexibility to exercise from home or when you travel as you’ll have equipment with you. We highly recommend the ES FIT Pilates Pack as a one stop shop and best value for money - you get 5 Resistance Bands for a range of options (these can also be used to warm up, cool down and stretch outside of your workout) a pair of Ankle Weights, which also double as wrist weights (which is ideal in matt pilates so you have both options) and of course a sweat towel that covers your whole yoga matt to keep it clean, hygienic and fresh! If you have the budget and are serious about Pilates, you could also consider investing in a Reformer at home. 
    Pilates Equipment pack essentials

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3. Wear the Right Clothing: Pilates is best performed in form-fitting clothing that allows you to move freely. Some of our favourite activewear brands are NIMBLE Activewear or Lululemon.

 

 Pilates for Beginners

If you're new to Pilates, it's important to start slowly and focus on proper form. Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise, so it's gentle on your joints, but it can still be intense if you're not used to working out. Start with a beginner's class and take your time getting used to the movements. This is also the case with equipment or accessories, start with a lower resistance option, and slowly work your way up.

 

Pilates from Home - What Do I Need to Start?

If you're interested in starting Pilates from home, all you need is a mat and a Sweat Towel for hygiene and comfort purposes. You can also invest in a few other Pilates accessories, such as resistance bands and ankle weights, to enhance your workout. As mentioned above, the ES FIT Pilates Pack is by far the best value for money in terms of the quality and range of options available in the pack. Other than that, you will need a membership to a studio you enjoy (either virtual or in person) but of course there are plenty of other free resources on YouTube available if you’d like to explore a bit first! Finding a trainer you like is important so experiment and settle when you’ve found someone you can grow with.

 

Pilates Wall Workout Explained

Pilates wall workouts are a great way to incorporate Pilates into your fitness routine. This type of Pilates workout uses a wall to help you perform exercises that target your core, legs, and arms. You can do Pilates wall workouts at home or in a studio, and they can be a great way to enhance your Pilates routine. Adding equipment like  a pilates ball, resistance bands and ankle weights/wrist weights, are a way to take a pilates wall workout to the next level. 

 

Examples of Pilates Workouts for Women at Home

Here are five workouts to get you excited about your pilates journey, and give that bit of inspo to get you moving! 

10 Minute Booty & Core Workout from Home

Long Resistance Band Lower Body Reformer Workout

Pilates Glute Exercise Combos

Inner Thigh Sculpt & Tone with Ankle Weights

Wrist Weights Oblique Strong Core Workout

 

 

Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise that offers numerous health benefits, including improved core strength, flexibility, strength across the body and posture. Whether you choose to start with Matt Pilates or Reformer Pilates, make sure to invest in the right equipment and accessories, to get the most out of your Pilates workout and find the right trainer to guide you through your pilates journey. Whether you prefer to work out at home or in a studio, Pilates is a great way to improve your overall health and wellness and we have no doubt you’ll love it as much as we do!

 

 

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