When Joseph Pilates created the physical fitness system named after him in the 1920s, he devised over 500 exercises, of which 34 were mat based exercises. While some instructors still teach the original exercises only, there are many more exercises evolving, all based on the original system, and the number is ever-increasing. To make full use of the variety of exercises now available, it is best to look at the options of doing Pilates online workouts.
Online classes have many advantages and cater for any sort of need, whether you are more of a beginner or quite advanced, and whether you want to focus on your core or other areas of your body. They can be used as an addition to your instructor led studio classes or instead of studio classes. The choices are almost endless.
First studio classes, then online classes
Most people start Pilates in a dedicated Pilates studio fully equipped with apparatus, or in an open area with mats and small equipment and classes led by a qualified Pilates instructor. These classes are usually taught in groups.
When you first start off and you have no prior experience in doing Pilates, it is highly advisable to book an introductory class with an instructor, particularly if you are suffering from back pain. This way you learn the basics of Pilates and how to do an exercise correctly.
But once you know what it is all about and what to consider during your exercises, it is a great idea to start doing your own workouts at home. And the nice thing about this is: everybody can do it, regardless of age and level, lifestyle and home environment and regardless of your budget.
Less can be more
In the past 10 years, the popularity of Pilates has increased hugely as more and more people realize how beneficial it is for your overall well-being and especially for your spine. However, it is not always easy to find the time to go to a Pilates studio or another instructor led Pilates class as not everybody has a class in close proximity to their home. To make the journey there and back worthwhile, classes are usually around 60 minutes long and take place once a week.
Of course, doing Pilates for 60 minutes once a week is much better than not doing any Pilates at all. However, if you want to achieve the best possible benefits for your body and health, you need to exercise more regularly but for fewer minutes at a time. For example, you may wish to start a routine of 30-40 minutes three times a week, or do 10-15 minutes every day. This will greatly strengthen your core, improve your posture and benefit your balance. It’s like eating: many small meals are better than a few big ones.
You choose what, when and where
Another huge advantage of doing Pilates online workouts is that you are completely free to choose what is best for your. You don’t have to follow a fixed routine that is aimed at the many different needs of a whole class of people.
Instead, you can put a workout together or choose a program that entirely focuses on particular aspects and areas of the body you wish to target. For example, if you are suffering from shoulder pain and want to focus on exercises targeting the shoulder, you can. Unlike in a studio class, you don’t have to go along with exercises that are not quite as relevant for you.
Also, you are completely free to do your exercises whenever you feel like it – even if you want to have a workout at 2 o’clock in the morning, that’s absolutely no problem. Having the freedom of making use of your time whenever suits you, whether it’s a few free minutes before breakfast or between a couple of tasks, is such a great advantage.
And not only that: you can also pick the perfect environment for your workout and feel comfortable and relaxed whilst you are exercising.
Checking before buying
As with everything in life, you don’t want to commit to something or spend money on something without knowing whether it is right for you and whether it’s what you are looking for. And this is also true for online classes and workouts. Whilst you can always download suggestions for Pilates workouts from YouTube for free, more structured classes put together by experienced and qualified Pilates instructors are available for a fee.
A good online provider of Pilates classes and workouts will, however, always let you sample their products for free. Often, they offer you a free trial period of 7 to 14 days before you have to decide whether to take up membership. So you have the chance to find out what exactly is on offer.
Always check that the exercises have been put together by professionals with the necessary experience. Another factor to consider is the variety of the exercises and workouts on offer. You have to ask yourself: Are their enough specific workouts to target particular parts of the body? For example, are their sufficient core strengthening exercises, if you suffer from back pain?
And finally, it is important that the workouts are divided into ability levels. Ideally, there should be something for everybody, from beginner to advanced so there is always a good variety of choices as you progress.
Online workout or not? A no-brainer…
Looking at all the benefits Pilates online workouts come with – such as flexibility, customized routines, greater variety, efficiency, long-term improved health and cost saving, the answer to the question whether to start exercising with the help of online classes is very clear: yes, yes, yes.
Provided you have had a face-to-face introduction into Pilates and know the basics, this is the ideal way of working out on a regular basis in the comfort of your home. And you don’t need a huge amount of time at your disposal, as short exercise units even fit into the busiest of lifestyles. So it is a perfect way of doing Pilates at home.
Have you tried any online workouts or would you consider trying one?