Pilates is a total-body workout that helps strengthen and lengthen muscles as well as increase flexibility and endurance. From the top of your head down to your toes, Pilates offers an overall improvement to health and wellness. If you are new to this form of exercise, a mat class is a great introduction. Pilates 580 in Oakland, CA, offers a beginner’s guide to the basics of mat Pilates preparation.

Tips for Your First Pilates Mat Class

1. Wear the Right Clothing

Choose comfortable athletic wear that is snug to your body. This helps the instructor view your body lines for proper Pilates techniques and alignment. Classes are also typically done with bare feet, so make sure you’re comfortable exposing your toes.

2. Be Early

Give yourself time to settle into a new class environment. Meet the teacher, share any limitations or questions you might have with them, and then find a spot you like that gives you an easy sightline to the instructor.

3. Learn About the Equipment

PilatesPilates mats are thicker than yoga mats, and most studios or gyms will provide these for students. Be ready to do a lot of seated floorwork as well as exercises that require lying down. Additionally, some mat Pilates classes incorporate other pieces of equipment like rollers, magic circles, or exercise balls and bands. Just like the mats, most locations will provide any necessary items, so don’t fret if you don’t have these on hand.

4. Be Ready to Work Your Whole Body

Mat classes incorporate ab, thigh, and back exercises to strengthen and stretch each area. Exercises work in a series for different muscle groups, and your instructor will show you modifications if you are new or have a physical limitation that inhibits you. Instructors will also circle the room to ensure you are using correct alignment to reduce injury.

5. Stay Focused

The key to completing your mat class successfully is to remain focused throughout. Stay in time with the teacher, and listen to any tips they may have. Focus on the movements, and try not to speed past anything. Pilates is a mind-body workout, and staying tuned in will help you get the most out of your class.

The experts at Pilates 580 know how to inspire and train your body both inside and out. Their years of experience set them apart as the Pilates and yoga studio of choice for Emeryville, Piedmont, Berkeley, and the greater Alameda County area. Whether you are looking for mat classes or are seeking private sessions, the studio guarantees you will leave more connected to your body, as well as stronger and feeling great. Visit them online for their class offerings, or call (510) 338-3932.