5 Pilates Essentials for a Great Workout
Pilates instructor, model, and mother-of-two, Cristin Wertman shares a few of her ‘essentials’ to having a great Pilates session!
Pilates, whether on the mat or with the use of the apparatus, offers an abundance of rewards - both mentally and physically.
I've outlined below what I consider the five pilates essentials you should keep in mind before heading off to your next workout to maximize results!
Find a classically-trained instructor you love.
Pilates is such a wonderful investment in yourself, and you should feel awesome mentally and physically after you do it. And this all begins with a great instructor.When you’re choosing your next Pilates teacher, think about finding someone who truly understands the practices set forth by Pilates creator, Joseph H. Pilates. He was a visionary and a genius whose method does wonders for your body, keeps you as flexible as you were as a child and enables you to move like a ninja!
Consider these words from the man himself:
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure. To achieve the highest accomplishments within the scope of our capabilities in all walks of life we must constantly strive to acquire strong, healthy bodies and develop our minds to the limit of our ability. This can be gained through performing the daily exercises of the Pilates Method to counteract the harmful inherent conditions associated with modern civilization.” (Joseph Pilates, Return to Life).
Have a positive attitude and an open mind.
Pilates can be demanding on both mind and body when you first take it up.
However, I encourage you to have patience, and stick with it even when things do get challenging. My Pilates teacher, Stacey Vargas, who is the owner of The Pilates Institute of Southern California in Manhattan Beach, California, always told me to “embrace the process” and enjoy the journey.
What I love about Pilates is that there is always something to learn, and new ways to challenge yourself and grow.
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Take semi-private lessons with a buddy!
One-on-one lessons can really help you to focus on your own body's needs and to understand the basic moves of Pilates. But after you’ve taken a few private lessons, mix things up a bit.
Buddy up and try weekly lessons with a friend who is at a similar level as you. Working out with a buddy is a great and healthy way to stay connected, but it’s also a great way to encourage each other and keep each other motivated.
The first time I did Pilates, I made the mistake of wearing loose-fitting shorts. I found myself constantly trying to pull my shorts down the entire class — especially during leg circles on the reformer! Eeek!
The lesson here? Wear workout gear you feel the most comfortable in so you can focus on your workout without fear of having a wardrobe malfunction! I love the workout pants from Elisabetta Rogiani, as they are light, comfortable and make you look great! I also love Athleta’s collection.
Another must? A hair tie!
Trust me, you do not want to get your gorgeous hair caught in the reformer equipment! My go-to is Emi Jay hair ties. Not only do they offer up an adorable collection of print ties, they donate 20 percent of all proceeds to charity.
Balance your Pilates workouts with good nutritional habits.
For me, that means loading up on high-nutrient foods and cold-pressed juices, incorporating cardio into my workout routine (some of my favorite activities include hiking, walking and jump roping), and partaking in Pilates equals a winning combo to feeling and looking my best!
So there you have it, a few practical ways to ensure you have the best Pilates workout possible!
And remember, exercise should be FUN. Your Pilates workouts should be, too.
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Cristin Wertman is a certified Pilates instructor who has been teaching people to be Pilates ninjas for over ten years. When she's not teaching, she can be found hiking, being active with her family and embracing the journey. You can keep up with Cristin by following her on Instagram, @cristinwertman