When and how to advance your Pilates practice.
There is no set timeframe or number of completed classes for advancing your Pilates practice because everyone has a different starting point in terms of health, fitness level and general wellbeing.
With that said, when you feel the need for an added challenge that’s usually when your practice needs to advance.
Four tips for how to advance your Pilates practice
1/ Tune into how you feel
Pilates improves posture, comfort and movement with balanced muscle development rather than targeted training. Rather than looking in the mirror for results, tune into how you feel when you’re doing the things that you love to do. Do you feel stronger, faster or more balanced?
2/ Assess your form
Pilates is a mind-body practice because it requires attention to the details. It takes practice to develop the strength and flexibility needed to do the classic exercises with good form.
Form changes how an exercise feels and impacts your body.
3/ Focus on your breathing
Mastering the Pilates breathing will increase the intensity of the exercises and focus your mind. Breath deeps your practice and experience of Pilates. Plus it improves the capacity of your lungs and the flow of oxygen in your body.
4/ Advance the exercises
As you develop strength and flexibility, work towards the full expression of each exercise. Do a small number of repetitions in good form and increase the repetitions as you develop the needed strength and flexibility for a full class.
Three ways to advance your Pilates practice
1/ Group Classes
Most group classes are mixed level. Pilates teachers program for the class regulars and advance the class gradually. If you’re a regular, provide feedback and ask for what you need and want from the class. It’s hard for instructors to get it perfect without feedback.
If you’re dropping into a class, speak with the instructor prior to class to share your fitness level and prior Pilates experience. It gives them the opportunity to incorporate challenges for each exercise.
2/ Private Pilates Lessons
Investing in some private Pilates lessons are a good way to advance your practice. Improving your form and learning to apply the Pilates principles can dramatically change your practice. Plus private lessons gives you the opportunity to address your specific needs and goals.
3/ On Demand Classes
On demand classes are a great way to try more challenging workouts on your own. Just remember, you shouldn’t feel pain during the workout. If you do, take a break rather than pushing through it. A few exercises done in good form is better than many in poor form.
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