5 Common Pilates Mistakes
Pilates should be a practice for everyone but that doesn’t mean you’re doing it right — or even getting the most out of your workout.
When you practice Pilates on autopilot, not looking at your mistakes and working to correct them, your form and awareness suffer, reducing your practice’s benefit and increasing your risk of injury and we aren’t just talking newbies here. Pilates is a practice. You never achieve perfection. The goal is to constantly improve.
So whether you’re a beginner or experienced at Pilates, chances are that your practice can benefit from some fine-tuning. Here we suggest you start by watching out for these 5 common Pilates mistakes.
1. Holding Your Breath
Breathing — something that you typically do without giving it a thought — can feel anything but automatic during a challenging move. But without constant breath, your muscle fibers don’t get the oxygen they need to fire, support your body weight, and bend at will. The result: wobbly limbs and — if you’re in a balance move—falls. And little chest raises won’t cut it. You want to go for full-belly breaths: Inhale through your nose so you feel cool air hit the back of your throat and your stomach expands with air. Then slowly exhale through your mouth until you feel your lungs are empty.
2. Pushing Too Hard
“No pain no gain doesn’t apply to Pilates,” we note that most people — if they’re really being honest with themselves — know when they’re pushing themselves too hard. While in some exercise classes and sports you want your muscles to cry uncle, the exact opposite is true in Pilates. It’s a sign you’re on the fast track to muscle strains and injury. Pilates should never feel painful. If it starts to, back off. Pilates is all about awareness, about listening to your body’s subtle signals, and responding accordingly.
3. Comparing Yourself To Others
Every class it seems has that one super-flexible Pilates member who seems to effortlessly master every move — and who has a core you could bounce a quarter off of. Fight the urge to compare and get down on yourself. If you get tripped up measuring yourself against everyone else in the class, not only will you get a crick in your neck, you’ll get a crimp in your fun. You’ll likely become frustrated and maybe even convince yourself that Pilates isn’t for you. Wrong! We at LAB5 stress that Pilates is for everyone, and your personal Pilates practice isn’t about anyone but you. Every body is different, and Pilates is about treating your individual body.
4. Picking The Wrong Class
Pick a class that suits your needs and your physical condition. LAB5 offers something for everyone from the beginner to the most advanced fitness fanatics! There is also a variety of other fabulous classes at LAB5 that compliment the Pilates workouts; all in our single location. Have your tried a class in the back studio yet? Think results and fun. Check out everything at LAB5 that is available to you with many different workouts of your choice included in your membership.
5. Coming To Class With A Full Stomach
When you have a full stomach, not only are most Pilates moves uncomfortable, but blood supply is funneled to your stomach to process the nutrients from your food, leaving your muscles shortchanged on the energy they need for a successful practice. Still, pre-class eaters have one thing right: food is fuel. The key to benefitting from that fuel is keeping the portion size down and eating about an hour before class. That way, your blood has time to head to your stomach, pick up the nutrients, and deliver them to your muscles before you strike your first move. Try a banana with peanut butter or a handful of nuts. The combo of protein and carbs will give you the energy jolt you need while keeping your blood sugar from crashing mid-class.
Alan and Bonnie Cashman, Co-Founders LAB5 Fitness