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How to Choose Pilates Classes

Use these tips to get the most benefits and enjoyment from Pilates – a unique mind-body workout.


  • : Always consult a physician before attempting to do any exercise or exercise plan.
  • Step 1: Choose mat or reformer Choose between mat or reformer Pilates classes. Your body provides resistance as you perform exercises on the floor in the mat class, and the Reformer is an advanced piece of equipment on which you can perform more than 100 different exercises.
  • TIP: Mat classes often use equipment such as an exercise ball and elastic bands.
  • Step 2: Require certification Choose a certified Pilates instructor, required to have had intensive education and training, especially for classes that use exercise equipment.
  • Step 3: Opt for group or private lesson Opt for group classes if you’re a beginner or want a more social experience. Hire a personal instructor or take a class with just a few students for a more rigorous workout and a one-on-one approach.
  • TIP: If your class is very large, schedule a few private lessons to help you progress.
  • Step 4: Find your level Find a class that suits your level of fitness and experience. If you’re a yoga buff or have done Pilates already, look for a more advanced class; if you’re a couch potato, head to beginner classes.
  • Step 5: Shop around Shop around to find classes that fit your schedule and budget. In addition to health clubs and Pilates studios, try the YMCA, local community center, and continuing education options at community colleges or universities.
  • FACT: Joseph Pilates never trademarked his exercise system, but a physical therapist trademarked the name in 1997. The trademark was ruled invalid in 2000.

You Will Need

  • Mat or reformer class preference
  • Certified instructor
  • Fitness level knowledge
  • Research of local options

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