Understanding Pilates and getting the best from your class!

Getting started
Of course by now you’ve heard of Pilates but you may not know exactly what it is. Pilates is a series of precise, controlled exercises which target the core to strengthen it and the rest of the body.
Pilates was developed by a German man, Joseph Pilates, as a way of overcoming his own physical shortcomings, caused by childhood ailments. Joseph Pilates emigrated to the US in the 1920s and opened a studio in New York, where his method quickly became popular among the dance community. He continued to develop and advance the Pilates method until his death in 1967.

Find the right studio
There are many studios and gyms teaching Pilates classes, however to get the best from your Pilates class you should look to join a specific Pilates studio which solely focuses on Pilates. These studios will have very specialised staff dedicated to Pilates and will be able to guide you more precisely on your journey.

Mat versus Reformer
Pilates can be done in two ways. Reformer classes use a specific machine (Reformer) which is equipped with straps, springs and pulleys to facilitate muscle lengthening and strengthening.
Mat-work classes are more mainstream and they are predominantly equipment-free, perhaps using only basic items such as bands, blocks and balls and involves a lot of body weight exercises.
Neither type of class is better than the other, however we believe a combination of the two is best as mat classes consist of more body weight exercises that really target the core, while Reformers can give you more of a full body workout, so a mix of one class of each per week will give optimum results.

Don’t be a purist!
There are many different styles of Pilates, some people can be Pilates snobs and criticise other forms for not being true to Joseph Pilates’ original methods, but it doesn’t have to be ‘classic’ Pilates to be good and effective.
At ServiceYourBody.ie we believe Pilates is about mind and body co-ordination and movement, once you are moving you are making changes and improvements to your body.

Use your brain as well as your body
Movement should be thoughtless and fearless, in our Pilates classes we do ask you to focus while doing a movement to ensure you are moving as best you can. This time spent focusing on your movement allows your body to learn how to move without thinking, when you are going about your everyday tasks.
Focus on the process of the exercise rather than the outcome, but don’t try too hard as that causes you to tense up!

Find the right teacher
It’s crucial you find well-qualified and experienced instructors; luckily for you all the instructors at ServiceYourBody.ie are highly trained and come with many years of experience. We have a great team across our two studios so, if one instructor’s style doesn’t work for you, try one of our other instructors.

If you have any specific issues, you can come to us for an assessment before starting your Pilates journey. Also, our classes are kept small on purpose with no more than 8 in our Reformer classes and max of 8 – 10 in our mat classes. Smaller numbers will mean you get more personal attention.

Be patient
To get the best results, like everything, you need to give it time, commitment and be consistent. Don’t try to progress too quickly as unfortunately there are no quick wins.

The gear
You can wear pretty much anything to a class, as long as it’s comfy and you can move freely.

Please contact us if you have any further questions.