- Pilates is a great low-impact workout that can help strengthen and tone your body while increasing your flexibility and improving your posture.
- Reformer pilates uses a variety of machines to perform pilates exercise with a greater range of motion in both beginner and intermediate level classes.
- Beginners classes are great for everyone, teaching you how to use the equipment and perform the exercise at a slower pace.
- Once you’ve mastered the exercises and equipment, you may want to increase your workout pace with an intermediate level class.
Pilates is a form of low-impact exercise designed to help you strengthen your muscles while improving your flexibility and body alignment. Pilates exercises focus on your core, low back, pelvic floor, and hips. Some pilates classes are mat-based, where all the exercises are performed while you sit or lie on a mat on the ground.
While other classes offer reformer pilates, using reformer machines instead of mats.
Reformer pilates classes are performed on machines that are elevated, giving you a full range of motion to better align and strengthen your body. Using the reform machine may be easier and more effective than pilates done only on mats.
The level of pilates class you sign up for shouldn’t correspond to how often you work out or how athletic you are. Instead, it applies to the amount of experience you have using pilates reformer machines. It’s essential for you to understand how to use the pilates equipment and perform the exercises correctly in beginner level classes before advancing to higher levels.
Beginner Level Pilates: What You Should Know
Beginner pilates classes are appropriate for everyone, regardless of your experience with pilates exercises. In a beginners level class, your instructor teaches you how to properly use the different pilates machines that operate with springs and pulleys. A beginner level class includes the pilates reformer, chair, barrel, and smaller equipment such as mats, elastic bands, and hoops.
You’ll learn how to complete the exercises on each machine, how to transition between exercises, and how to adjust your machine. Your instructor pays close attention to your position and alignment and lets you know when you need to make adjustments. They can design a workout that addresses your specific needs.
Intermediate Level Pilates: What You Should Know
Intermediate level classes are for those who have a solid understanding of how to complete the exercises and transitions on their machines. Being able to stay in alignment through your workout and knowing how to change the springs on your equipment helps you advance to the next level of classes.
The springs on your pilates reformer and other pilates machines control the tension. Springs offer very light to heavy resistance, depending on their color. Based on your strength and experience, you may need to change the level of tension in the machine before or during your workouts.
The pace of your workout increases as you progress levels, which may deepen the impact of your exercises. Intermediate classes require you to keep up with the faster pace with less instruction. You’re expected to transition easily between exercises and change your own equipment.
Differences Between Pilates Levels
The three main differences between the levels of pilates classes are:
- Knowledge of the equipment
- Exercise and transition experience
- Pace of the class
Beginners classes help you master the pilates equipment and teach you how to perform the exercises and transitions correctly. They go at a slower pace so you can keep up with the class as you learn the techniques, helping you get the full benefit of your workout.
Intermediate classes move faster because they assume you already know the names of the exercises and transitions and know how to perform them. Intermediate level instructors expect you to manage your equipment and change your own springs if needed.
How Do I Know When I’m Ready to Move Up Levels?
If you’ve been taking beginners classes for a while, you may be ready to progress to intermediate classes. You can ask your instructor for their opinion, but you should also assess your knowledge of pilates exercises.
You may be ready for intermediate level pilates classes if:
- You know how many springs are needed to perform footwork exercises.
- How to prepare your equipment for specific exercises, such as the leather straps needed for leg circles or frog exercises.
- You know what a short box series is and what you need to perform it.
- You understand what running on the reformer means.
Are Beginner Classes Good Workouts for Everyone?
Yes, everyone can benefit from beginner level workouts. You can still get a great full-body workout from a beginner reformer pilates class, even if you’ve been regularly practicing pilates for years. You’ll stretch your body and strengthen your core, back, arms, and legs in your beginner class.
Beginner classes allow you to master your techniques and alignment so you can get the most from your pilates workout.
Improve Your Health With Phitosophy
Phitosophy helps you improve your flexibility, strength, and overall health through our reform pilates methods. Our classes use reformer machines to aid in your pilates movements, allowing for a greater range of motion and providing resistance. Your instructor helps you maintain ideal body positioning while teaching you how to use the machine effectively.
At Phitosophy, we understand the importance of offering our members classes at all levels to benefit personal growth. Our class sizes are small, always 10 members and under, so you get more personalized attention. Before every class, your instructor asks everyone what their level is to ensure your workout matches your abilities. Contact us today to learn more about the classes we offer, or call us at (818) 561-4889 for more information.