What to wear to a Pilates session

Filed under: Pilates Features — Cathy on April 11, 2014

Created by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s, Pilates has seen a boom in popularity over recent years, with celebrity advocates such as Madonna and Jennifer Aniston. Routines aim to strengthen and stretch the body, improving core strength, posture and flexibility, and may even aid the reduction of tension and stress.

As with any form of exercise, you need to take steps to ensure you wear the most appropriate clothing to maximise your workout, and not hinder your progress or get in the way at all. Before starting any exercise routine, always ensure you are sufficiently hydrated, and take a water bottle and towel along with you.

Consider the intensity

Pilates is not the same level of intensity as a class such as step or aerobics, and as the moves within a Pilates routine are controlled and measured, whilst some may increase your heart rate slightly it is unlikely that you will reach the traditional “sweaty look” associated with other classes. Suitable for all levels of fitness, it is a more gentle way of exercising, and popular with those new to exercise or those with poor mobility. It can also be adapted to match your fitness level to ensure that you remain challenged.

For the ladies, it is important to wear the appropriate sports bra. Pilates is a low impact form of exercise, so select a low impact sports bra to provide comfort and support during the routine. Most sports bras now are designed to draw perspiration away from the body to prevent chafing, and give additional comfort. As your workout is predominantly made up of bending and stretching the body, it is important to make sure that you choose an outfit that enables your movements to remain fluid. As a result, avoid overly baggy clothing if possible.

Your Pilates instructor will be watching to ensure that your bones are correctly aligned and see how your muscles are engaging, and baggy clothing may obstruct this. No fancy footwear is needed, as Pilates is generally done barefoot or in socks. There is a huge selection of workout wear available these days, some even marketed as specifically for Pilates. It is down to the individuals’ budget and choice, but the most important thing to remember is comfort and ease of movement, so choose nothing too restrictive.

Not just clothing

Once you have decided on what you are going to wear, don’t forget to consider removing accessories such as long necklaces and bracelets, and make sure long hair is tied back.

Having taken all of the above into consideration, you are ready to go; it is simply a case of finding a class at a suitable time and venue. Many people go with a friend for encouragement, motivation, and to remove that “new member” feeling you sometimes get when doing a class for the first time. A friendly, approachable and professional Pilate’s teacher will make you feel at ease and keen to proceed with the workout.

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Charlotte Hopkinson