Getting The Most From Your Pilates Classes

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Starting any new fitness class can be intimidating, and over the years it seems, Pilates classes have earned the reputation of being particularly so. But there’s no need fear the myths, here at Core Zone, we nurture a welcoming and relaxed class environment, ease new clients gently into Pilates movements, and we never, ever try to intimidate or appear superior.

Rest assured that Pilates is suitable for all fitness levels. Our instructors are always very professional, client-centred, friendly and knowledgeable, and to help our potential clients understand what really happens here, we will always offer a free trial class. A question that is often asked is what is the correct pilates etiquette  – so in an effort to bust a few myths we’ve listed what we believe to be in keeping with our Core Zone ethos.

What to Wear

Here at Core Zone we  like to keep things casual. Keep your attire simple, at least at first, while you figure out what works best for you. These tips can help ensure you’re dressed for Pilates success:

  • Skip Shoes: Pilates requires your feet and toes to be free and we recommend wearing toe socks, buy a pair with grippy bottoms so your feet don’t slip on the equipment.
  • Think Form-Fitting, Not Baggy: Choose workout clothing that’s stretchy but not baggy. This way, our instructors can see the alignment of your bones and how your muscles are engaging. Clothing with seams and stitching that follow the centre line and sidelines of your body are particularly helpful when assessing your alignment and symmetry during class. Keep modesty in mind too: Some Pilates exercises end with your legs in the air or your torso inverted, and loose clothing could ride up or fall down to be revealing.
  • Avoid Tie-backs and Belts: Tie-back tops can be uncomfortable when you’re lying on your back. Ties, belts, drawstrings, and tassels are not only uncomfortable to lie on, but can also leave dents in our mats.
  • Abolish Embellishments: Zippers, buckles, clasps, buttons, or other trimmings can severely damage the Pilates mats and blocks. Please choose workout wear that’s free of metal or plastic adornments.
  • Remove Accessories or Jewellery: Long necklaces, belts, and dangling bracelets can be distracting.
  • Manage Your Mane: Hair needs to be out of your face and tied back if it’s long.
  • Opt for Unscented Products: Many people are sensitive to perfumes and strongly scented deodorants, lotions, and other toiletries, so we request that clients refrain from wearing strong scents.
  • Go Fresh-Faced: or at least keep your make-up to a minimum – foundation and lipstick can be tricky to remove from our foam mats.
Pilates equipment at the Core zone Middleton-Cheney

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do Arrive on Time: Not only is being on time a sign of respect for the instructor and other students, arriving late interrupts the flow of a class—so your body won’t get the full benefit of the sequence the teacher is building. 
  • Don’t Be a No-Show: Whatever the reason, call if you’re going to miss your class. If you signed up for a class, that spot is being held for you. If the we know you aren’t coming, we won’t worry about you, and we might be able to offer your place for a one-off trial class.
  • Do Warm Up Before Class: If you have time before class, a warm-up is the best way to use it.
  • Don’t Intrude on the Class Before Yours: If a class is going on, be respectful. Don’t talk loudly to others waiting or on the phone whilst in reception, chances are those still in class will be able to hear you.  
  • Do Let Your Instructor Know About Injuries or Changes in Your Body: Our instructors will always ask students before class how they’re feeling and if there’s anything special going on. But don’t wait to be asked. Politely approach the instructor before class and let her know what’s up, whether it’s a seemingly minor worry or a more significant issue like surgery, pregnancy, neck pain, or back pain.
  • Don’t Be Precious About Your Regular Space
    We appreciate we are all human, and it is in our nature to be creatures of habit, but if someone new joins your class and sets themselves up in the space you usually work in, please don’t make them feel awkward and ask them to move, embrace the opportunity to experience exercising from a different perspective, you never know you might like it.
  • Don’t Use Class Time as Chat Time: Before and after class are great times to chat with friends and share insights about Pilates. But think twice about talking during class, since it can take you (and others) out of the moment and cause you to lose concentration on the exercise.
  • Do Ask Appropriate Questions: Just use your judgment as to when to ask them, it might be best to wait until the class is over. 
  • Don’t Do Exercises that Hurt Your Body: You are responsible for your body, work to the level comfortable for you. That is one of joys of Pilates the instructor will often demo 3 levels of an exercise, but not everyone will be expected to perform it, and certainly not judged for sticking to level 1.

If you’ve wanted to try Pilates classes but fear has been holding you back, now is your time to sign up. Pilates offers plenty of benefits to your body, no matter your fitness background. You’ll improve your posture, focus on bodily alignment, and get thorough core workout.

Many studies have found that eight weeks of Pilates classes can improve abdominal endurance, flexibility, and balance. Plus, Pilates has seen a resurgence in popularity, with the increased interest in wellbeing and mindfulness. Go on, what are you waiting for? Give it a try. Call us today to book a free trial.


Check out our timetable, and give us a call to find a class that suits you.