Pilates is Perfect for Beginners
When was the last time you worked your core? If you draw a blank when I pose this
question….today is the day you should consider adding core work to your workout routine. Most of
us make sure we get our cardio in, our weight work, even a little bit of stretching. However, most of
us skimp on our core work. You may not know it, but this is a huge mistake in your workout
Including core work every time you work out is important for the following reasons:
1. Having a strong core improves your balance.
2. Having strong core muscles improves your performance with all other types of exercise
including running, cycling, golf and swimming.
3. Having a strong core improves your posture and decreases the likely hood of developing a
lower back or neck problem.
4. Having a strong core protects your back when you do every day heavy lifting or carrying.
Building a strong “powerhouse” (core) does not take special equipment or fancy exercises.
When considering your options on how to build a strong core, Pilates is a class you should
Pilates has become a popular method of exercise designed to improve posture, strength,
flexibility and correct muscle imbalances. It does this by developing a strong, powerful
core. One of the best things about Pilates is it is truly for anyone of any level. When
taught correctly all of the Pilates exercises provide modifications and variations designed
to meet both the very athletic and the very beginner.
Here are 8 reasons Pilates is perfect for everyone, even a beginner:
1. Develop and define your core. All of the Pilates exercises begin with engaging your
deep abdominal muscles. Any good instructor will begin each and every class with the
Pilates fundamentals which are basic Pilates exercises that begin to engage the
2. Look taller and thinner. Pilates teaches you good posture, which makes your stand
taller and look thinner.
3. Focus on the exercise and forget about your day. Pilates teaches us to
concentrate on the exercise at hand, then we can “flush” away all the tension of the
4. Learn to breathe again. We often go throughout our day breathing in a shallow
manner. Pilates teaches us how to deepen that breath, taking in more oxygen.
Expanding our lungs.
5. Stretch and strengthen simultaneously. Many of the Pilates exercises include a
stretch and a strengthen component, so you are doing both simultaneously. Improving
both flexibility and strength with one simple move.
6. Alleviate lower back pain. Developing a strong core utilizing the appropriate Pilates
exercises can alleviate lower back pain. If you have lower back pain it is important that
you seek out a specialty Pilates instructor as not all Pilates exercises may be
appropriate for you.
7. Pilates is fun. Rather than doing just your basic sit ups or planks. There are some
fun Pilates exercises that stimulates both the mind and body. If you find the right
instructor, it can make strengthening your core not so “painful”.
8. Every single Pilates exercise can be modified for the needs of the individual.
Whether you have a lower back problem, neck problem or knee problem, there is a
way to modify the exercise so that it meets the goals of the exercise without causing
stress in the joints. If you have specific medical issues it is important that you consult
an instructor who specializes in teaching Pilates to those with special considerations.
When practiced regularly you will learn about proper form with the exercises, proper
breathing and proper mind/body connection.
So now that I have convinced you to try a class or two, how do you go about deciding
where to go. Here are a few tips to consider when you are deciding where to start:
1. Look around your community at all your options. Pilates is often taught at health clubs,
YMCAs and Pilates studios. Find what works for your convenience and budget.
2. Research the right instructor. Not all Pilates instructors are created equally. You want
to make sure your instructor is certified by a reputable company, such as Balanced
Body, Stott or PMA. If you have injuries or orthopedic issues, find a Pilates instructor
that is also a physical therapist as they have more knowledge and training in helping
people with specific ailments.
3. Try several instructors out. It may take a few times to find the instructor that is right for
you. You want someone who inspires you, offers different levels/modifications in a
class or session and is fun, so that you will want to go back again and again.
4. Don’t give up! It can take 4-5 classes before you start to get the hang of it.
ABS Pilates of Columbus, Ohio is a specialized Pilates studio, lead by Amanda B. Smith.
She is a certified Pilates instructor, licensed physical therapist and certified McKenzie
therapist with more than 25 years of experience. ABS Pilates specializes in working with
the beginner, the advanced and everyone in between. We offer private sessions, semiprivate
Pilates sessions and drop-in classes.
Contact ABS Pilates today and feel stronger tomorrow!