A popular question from new and existing clients is how regularly should they do pilates classes. There are a number of factors that feed into the answer of this question, and like a diamond is multi-faceted and dependent on what your lifestyle/exercise regime is.
On average, to get real benefit, it would be amazing to aim for 2-3 classes a week, and this is why we offer a fantastic All Class Pass for £49 that gives members access to all online classes, Movement and Breathe-In for a month (see Mondays for purchase the class pass).
Reasons why you need to do regular online pilates classes:
Consistency is key to any exercise practice, it enables our bodies to get used to the movements that are required for it and so you start to recognise the moves and therefore making it easier to do. When we are doing 2-3 pilates classes a week then we are giving our bodies the best opportunity to practice the moves that each class brings. Consistency also means that you are able to build on the strength and flexibility that you are working on each class. Your body will react to the exercises that we do and grow stronger as a result.
Similar to consistency, when we do something regularly, we create a habit. Habit forming can be brilliant as it means that we carve out the time for ourselves and commit to doing something that is good for us. Many of my clients have lots of family and work commitments and can find it difficult to create time for themselves. Since they have started regular pilates classes - 2-3 times a week - then they find it easier and easier to create space for themselves. This has a ripple effect, meaning that the people around them benefit from their increased sense of wellbeing, that regular online pilates gives them.
Clients report that they are feeling more energised, are more proactive, sleep better, feel more engaged with work, feel less guilty about relaxing, eating less, feeling happier.
3) Achieving Goals:
When you make time in your diary for consistent and regular classes then you will find that you move towards your goals at a faster rate. When you do only one class a week, the benefit will have a slower rate of increment than it will when you do more frequent classes. One of my clients who has been doing pilates 3-4x per week for 6 months, is now able to sit comfortably on the floor, crossed legged, whereas when she started she found it really uncomfortable and we used cushions to support her hips.
Increased strength is another benefit from consistency and regular classes - one of our next posts will be about strength, so I'll not go into it here, however I have the most wonderful experience of watching my class all do Teaser (balanced on your hips in a V shape) from lying on the floor - which 6 months ago, none of them were experienced enough to do.
We also have a couple of clients who were previously unable to support themselves on their wrists, but now they have more core strength, they are able to support themselves from their bodies, rather than loading their wrists.
4) Niggles Dissolve:
Many clients come to me complaining of lower back pain, mid-back pain or shoulder and neck pain. When they commit to coming to class 2, 3, 4 times a week it means that they can really get into the groove and therefore reach the corners of their body that may be unavailable to them for when they come once. Each class is nuanced, dependent on what issues show up for people that day. All clients are invited to share if they have a particular issue so that can be addressed during the session. After a few weeks, clients find that their niggles either soften, reduce or disappear completely. And it's a marvellous feeling as a teacher to know that their clients are rediscovering their body without pain or discomfort.
5) Bouncing back:
Doing pilates regularly and consistency puts you in brilliant form for the things that everyday life throws at you. Life is life and sometimes, you may have something happen while walking the dog, like a client experienced this week. She had a slight twinge in the back of her leg, so after discussing this with her to ascertain any damage, she returned to class - and we spent sometime focusing on that area - with variations where required (everyones hamstrings need love I've found). Three days on, there is zero discomfort. One of my clients does class whilst his partner works in the background, and another banishes her husband, kids and dog out of the front room when she's in class. Another's dog sometimes joins in... we can learn a lot from the way animals move.. but that is also the subject of another blog post! ort, and the elasticity of the muscles in her legs has mean that 'a something' that could have been rather painful, was a niggle that she was able to iron out.
The way we teach pilates at BodySoulMovement is about connecting the dots between movements, understand the integrated nature of body movements - such as, when you lift the arms, your rib cage is involved, when you lift your leg, the abdominals are involved, when you move the hips your spine is involved. My aim with all my pilates and movement classes is to teach the body how to perform as it's optimal when we are out of class.
What if I can only do one class a week? Is this a deal-breaker?
Absolutely not. All of this said, exercising can be tough to carve out the time for, especially during lockdown when the kids are homeschooling and everyone is working from home.
If you don't have the time, or the capacity for 2+ classes a week, perhaps you have a consistent and regular running or cycling practice, perhaps the classes don't suit you or your families timetable. I'd prefer to see you in class once a week than not at all!
One of my clients does class whilst his partner works in the background, and another banishes her husband, kids and dog out of the front room when she's in class. Another's dog sometimes joins in... we can learn a lot from the way animals move.. but that is also the subject of another blog post! If you would be interested in different times, we are always happy to add more classes to the schedule, if there are sufficient numbers.
And if you're new to online pilates classes, remember to check out our post about what you need for your first class.
Our inbox is always open for questions or queries to how, what, where questions. Please do get in touch, it's lovely to hear from everyone.
With fluidity, softness and strength,
Alison, founder BodySoulMovement