Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
  • Choosing a Pilates Class

  • Reformer, Mat, or DVD? We help you choose.
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  • The benefits of Pilatesógreat posture, toned muscles, and better flexibilityócan be achieved in many kinds of classes, but how do you know which type is right for you? Master Pilates InstructorTracey Mallett shares the scoop on choosing the best style for you.
    If you are a beginner: Head to a reformer class. The reformerís pulley and spring system trains your body to move correctly through exercises without straining muscles, providing a foundation that will allow you to smoothly transition into mat classes when youíre ready. Reformer classes are done in small groups (typically no more than six people in a class) or one-on-one, meaning youíll also get much more personal instruction. They are more expensive than mat classes, averaging about twice the cost, but are known to give muscles a tougher strength and endurance workout.
    If you have a hectic schedule: Go for a DVD, like Traceyís new Pilates Super Sculpt ($19.95, amazon.com). It features six 10-minute segments that can be done separately or all at once, and allows you to fit your workout in when itís convenient for you. A DVD featuring a well-trained teacher means youíll get instruction on proper form and will always have a view of the teacher, unlike you would in some over-crowded classes.
    If you are on a budget: Attend a group mat class, but do your research. Make sure the instructor is experienced (preferably through a course accredited by the Pilates Method Alliance) and the class isnít so crowded that she canít give you proper attention. You can find classes like these at sports clubs or Pilates-specific gyms.

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