When you come to your first Pilates class, you may be a little curious about the various Pilates equipment located throughout our studio. They may even seem a bit intimidating with odd shapes and springs. You think that they are only to be used by more advanced students.
Traditionally, the Pilates Method is based on a full, integrated system of exercises performed on both the mat and the equipment. Most people come to us and want to try a mat class and "build up" to using the equipment because they are under the wrong impression that the equipment is harder or that you need to be stronger in order to use it.
In fact, working on the equipment can get you stronger and more flexible faster so that you can perform the mat exercises with ease and precision. The reality is that there are some levels of strength and flexibility that you will never get to without the equipment. This is why Joseph Pilates invented his equipment in the first place, to help people who could not do the complex movements on their own. While there are a lot of very challenging exercises on the equipment, the more basic equipment exercises help you gain core strength, body control, and flexibility more readily than doing mat alone.
The springs on the equipment offer support and resistance to help lengthen, shape, and strengthen your muscles and build an ideal alignment. For some people with certain injuries, a particular mat exercise might be inappropriate for them. But the companion exercise on the equipment can aid in performing that exercise safely. It is ideal to do one mat class and one equipment class every week to get the most benefit out of your Pilates practice. At our studio we introduce participants to the equipment right away because we know that they will be safer and more effective in mat class when they incorporate the equipment too.
We know for someone new to Pilates the equipment can look intimidating. But under the watchful eye of a highly trained instructor you will find it fun, effective, and leave you feeling better than you could imagine.