There are always excuses not to go to training and there are always reasons why to go to the training, whatever it may look like, a gym, running in nature, or something else.
Lack of time is a standard excuse, and more and more often we hear that ignorance about exercises and sports equipment, as well as the necessary equipment, are a sufficient reason for missing training.
I do not have shoes, I do not have a ball, I do not have weights, etc, the list is endless.
When it comes to exercises, the most important thing prior to the training is to consult with the trainer or in some other way and learn what are the instructions for performing such activity.
If you’re not sure what training equipment you need, you must find out, as it can truly distort your training.
Now, Pilates is a favorite among exercise lovers, as it is not overly intense, but is wonderfully joyful and beneficial.
When we think of Pilates, the first thing that comes to mind is usually a big ball; which is most commonly blue.
Although Pilates is a form of recreation that we have known about for a long time, it may happen that certain prejudices simply repel beginners from doing it, and this is especially among males.
Prejudices are related also to their benefits, but also to the matter of necessary equipment.
Some people confuse this type of recreation with others (such as yoga and stretching exercises), but this all must be put to rest, and truly find joy in this form of recreational activity that is healthy and useful in numerous ways.
And, besides the regular training preparation, you do not need much of anything really, but your time.
The many benefits of Pilates
One of the most common misconceptions is that Pilates is too easy and anyone can practice it.
Although there are not many restrictions regarding Pilates, and we can say that is not as intense as cardio training, it also causes muscle inflammation, which is almost always a sign that we have done something and that our body has suffered a certain amount of effort.
After this training, you will feel like you have worked out, since Pilates exercises may look easy, but if done correctly, with an adequately estimated number of repetitions, they will be a real challenge even for “fit” people.
In the beginning, it is possible that you will not be able to carry out every exercise to the end, due to insufficient flexibility, but progress is evident over time.
Like other forms of exercise, Pilates engages the muscles.
But, the most common rule is that you should do fewer repetitions that are done properly, than many of them, that are done wrong.
Quality, not quantity.
So, in some way, we can say that Pilates is based on stretching, and it is mandatory to relax the muscles after exercise, that is, to reduce the tension of previously activated muscles.
And for example, and this is not something that many people know is that sit-ups and squats are also part of the Pilates workout regime.
One of the prejudices that are present is the one that says that Pilates is not for men.
This could not be far from the truth – it is not unusual to see a man in Pilates training, and always have in mind that the creator of Pilates is a man.
Now, some people confuse Pilates and much-beloved Yoga class, and we have to say that there are certain similarities, but they are not the same.
So, Pilates and yoga originated in different climates, with different goals. In both cases, one of the most important items is the balance of mind and body.
Both workouts have this on their agendas, but these two approach movement from different angles, and different breathing techniques are practiced.
Pilates requires a strong, sometimes interrupted exhalation, while yoga requires calm, deeper breathing.
As a consequence, these two are not the same and cannot ever be called the same exercise program.
Now, we have spoken of the necessities regarding the training, and for yoga, you actually do not need anything, as it rarely requires equipment, only in some exceptions where it is enhanced.
On the other side of the story, we get to see Pilates which usually involves the usage of some prompts.
Pilates equipment is sometimes included in the program (it depends on the preferences of the instructor and the needs of the participants of the course itself).
We have already spoken of the big blue ball, but it could be even some smaller weights, etc.
In addition to this ball, small balls (smaller than the average ball for children), pilates sticks, and pilates bands are also used.
Although the creator of this method of exercise has foreseen additional equipment, these pieces of equipment are still used most often.
However, it is possible to practice pilates without equipment – on a training mat that can be professional (yoga mat) or it can be puzzle sponges for children.
The point is to protect your knees and spine from the hard floor.
Some exercises are done in a standing position, so part of the program can be practiced without any kind of surface (which we do not recommend).
Nowadays, there are more and more different kinds of pilates that are taking over the world by storm, and for example, Reformer Pilates is just one of them.
It is considered a fitness and rehabilitative method of exercise, that is known for its ability to increase strength, enhance endurance, flexibility, and coordination, and provide more balance.
This way of Pilates is believed to improve overall improvement in daily life, better posture, and removal of pain in the body due to physical imbalance (back pain).
Even children can perform it under the supervision of a trainer.
Preparation for the Pilates
We have said that going on Pilates surely requires certain preparation.
And if you see a person with a sports bag on public transport or on the street, it is clear where they are headed.
Every person who takes care of their body and soul in this way, should take care that everything in his bag is in its place, throw out things to be washed in time and replace them with clean clothes for training.
That bag, in the case of Pilates, must have a compartment for sneakers and some others where you can place your towel, a bottle of water, and Pilates matrice or even a ball.
It is certainly desirable that this bag is of larger dimensions so that you can pack everything you need.
Since Pilates is most associated with ladies, it is not an uncommon sight to see girls who are wearing bulky bags, so it’s not uncommon for their work bag to double as a Pilates bag.
All your Pilates equipment must be in one place, the bag in which you carry these things is practical, and every time you see it, it reminds you that you should go to training!
A water bottle must be in your training bag, especially during the warmer months.
Hydration during training is extremely important, but do not overdo it, and do not drink too much, because it will be more difficult for you to do some exercises.
Also, if your body asks for a dose of sugar after training, it is recommended that you have a banana or some energy bar with you.
If you drink proteins and shakes after training, it is best to take them with you to the gym, so that you can drink them immediately after the workout.
And we have said that during an intense workout in Pilates you gonna need a sugar intake, as soon as possible.
Another item that is extremely important, and which is also required by gyms, is a towel.
As several people use the same devices, a towel is necessary for hygienic reasons, but also health reasons.
If you sweat after training, be sure to wipe your neck, head, and critical parts with a towel, so you don’t get stiff or catch a cold.
The pieces of equipment that you must have with you are listed in the previous items, but for more serious exercisers, certain additional equipment is recommended to enable more effective training.
Pilates can be very intense, and there can be a lot of sweating so you may have blisters (one of the reasons, and we can discuss this later, is you need some comfy workout outfits).
To protect yourself from blisters and to avoid the weight slipping into your hands, it is best to wear exercise gloves with you.
Sponges can also be used for this purpose.
These are props that are often found in every quality training studio, but due to crowds, they may get lost, or they may not be available to you at the moment you need them.
For the same reason, you can bring your curling iron if you prefer this type of warm-up.
In recent years, elastic bands, or as some like to call them exercise bands, have also become popular, so you can buy them at a good price and take them with you to training.
Now that you know what you need in terms of equipment, there are no more excuses! With an adequately packed gym bag, a good diet and training plan, and a little motivation, a good line and the desired results will not fail!
Although the big ball is one of the pieces of Pilates equipment, it is not the only one – and certainly not the piece of equipment that you cannot do without.
Do You Wear Shoes For Pilates?
Now, when you have overcome your excuses and when you have prepared for Pilates, you need to dress up, and you must be wondering what to wear…
A large number of Pilates goers opt for professional sports equipment, which includes leggings and T-shirts made of quick-drying material, as well as a sports bra for ladies. Have in mind here that there will be a lot of sweating and an equally good and frequent choice is a wider cotton T-shirt.
A quality sports collection intended for more comfortable exercise and freedom of movement aims to make the training process as pleasant as possible.
In Pilates, there is definitely a lot of moving, and this is the reason why you need comfortable clothes, that do not disable you to move properly, as you must move in all directions and do your exercise properly.
The most important thing is that the chosen wardrobe does not tighten you, that it is elastic, and that you can easily do all the exercises in it.
Cotton and polyester are recommended as the perfect materials because they are comfortable to wear and prevent allergies, they are natural and they will soak up the sweat without leaving you feeling hard and heavy from the sweat.
It is also important to dress according to the weather conditions as well as the temperature of the gym where you work out. Don’t take off too much if it’s cold, and on the other hand, avoid closed and thicker pieces in the summer.
Ladies should also avoid shorts that are too short because they will certainly not be comfortable in them during training and using exercise equipment.
When it comes to bottoms, it’s up to you to choose whether you’re more comfortable working out in shorts, leggings, or tracksuit bottoms.
You will properly opt for shorts, or leggings and a T-shirt on top with the sports bra, but what to wear on your feet? This is a big question.
Now, the big reveal for those who do not know – Pilates is one workout that is best performed without anything on your feet.
So, you will have the best results, when you do not wear any shoes, even the most comfortable ones. It does not pose any relevance, with or without socks, you should not wear them.
The rule is also not to wear them, for those who may want to wear comfy sneakers, should not do it; as they don’t even need any special sneakers. When it comes to the outfit you will wear during training, only one thing is important – that you feel comfortable.
But we have to say that there are those who simply do not want to be barefoot in Pilates, and they, in this exceptional case, choose to wear sneakers for running, that are thin and are worn on bare feet, as ballet slippers even, thin and that gives you the ability to move properly.
Whatever choice you make, is yours, our advice is not to wear anything on your feet, but if you feel comfortable wearing something, and it does not stop you from performing Pilates properly, then do it in such a way.
Whatever shoes you choose, it goes without saying that they must be clean.
We hope that we have managed to dispel the most common misconceptions about Pilates and that, if you haven’t already, you will give it a chance in the coming period.
There are definitely many reasons to do it; and in addition to the expected flexibility, we guarantee that you will feel stronger and that your posture will be more correct.
It is a wonderful exercise that wakes up your mind, body, and soul and you do not anything special to start training it.
The part of the equipment that plays the biggest role in the performance of the exercises is certainly the footwear, as we have said that you will probably wear leggings and a t-shirt, but as we have said there are a lot of controversies on what to wear to Pilates, shoes or barefoot.
So, you may wonder what shoes to wear to the Pilates training.
An adequate selection of sneakers will reduce the risk of injury and help you achieve better results during exercise, so choosing the right pair of sneakers can be the real deal.
No matter how fashionable they are – leave bulky, leather sneakers or old ones in the dressing room.
Sports shoes are most often with a foam insole, mesh material on the side, and a flexible sole; and this type of shoe will allow you to move in all directions.
We can also say that these sneakers are specially adapted for running, aerobic and cardio training; and Pilates can fall under these categories, at least to a certain extent, in some of its parts.
Others can opt and use ballet flats (not the real ones, but the ones that are just a piece of material put on a leg), and such footwear is suitable for doing activities such as pilates or yoga.
But, the third and maybe the best way to train in Pilates is to wear only socks or to be natural. Not to wear anything on your feet and do Pilates barefoot.
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