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Choosing The Right Pilates Studio

When looking for a new gym, we often consider proximity and hours of operation. Pilates is a unique form of fitness with specific focus on your mind controlling your intrinsic muscles.When you are looking for a Pilates studio, consider more than just the studio’s location and when it offers classes. Convenience is obviously an important consideration, but you’ll want to consider other factors as well to make sure you avoid injury and maximize the benefits Pilates can offer.

When you choose a Pilates studio or instructor, you’ll want to ensure that each instructor working at the studio has comprehensive training and a broad knowledge regarding the body. Any exercise regimen comes with an inherent risk of injury. Your instructor must have adequate knowledge of the body, functional and biomechanical movements, deviations from the anatomical norm, and contraindications for various conditions to protect and progress you in your Pilates practice and daily life.

Pilates exercises are intended to strengthen the core and minimize back pain, but if you perform these exercises incorrectly, they can create or worsen pain. When you review a studio’s website or meet with an instructor, you should confirm that each instructor has a comprehensive certification. There are numerous certification courses that allow Pilates instructors to become certified with minimal requirements or only for certain levels or equipment. For example, some certifications only certify instructors for Level 1 (Fundamental) instruction. Similarly, other certifications are designed for the mat or a specific piece of equipment (usually reformers). It is not in your best interest to take an intermediate class on chair or tower from an instructor who has been trained only for fundamental mat work. Ask one of the instructors if his or her studio requires all instructors to provide verification of Pilates teacher-training proficiency using as a basis, 450 hours of training on mat and all apparatus. This will ensure that your instructor is comprehensively certified and trained.

Another important consideration in evaluating a studio is to determine if the studio offers a personalized and prescriptive Pilates session, which is specifically tailored and designed just for you. You want to avoid a studio that does not consider the body in front of them in designing their private Pilates sessions or group Pilates classes. Each class should provide modifications to accommodate the individuals in each class. If you have a specific condition or injury, ask an instructor what modifications she or he would recommend based on your injury. You are your body’s best advocate. Make sure that the person you are paying to help you improve your core strength and prevent injury has the right knowledge to help you reach your goals.

Class size is also important. In a group Pilates session, you want to look for a studio that offers small class sizes and minimizes the number of individuals in each class. In our experience, you get the best results and individualized attention in a class of no more than five to six individuals. It goes without saying that your chance of individualized attention is greater when the size of the class is smaller. It is important that you do Pilates correctly so pick a studio that does not encourage large class sizes.

You should also look at the studio itself. Is the studio clean, bright, and spacious? Does the studio offer a variety of equipment? Reformer Pilates is incredible with numerous benefits, but Joseph Pilates created additional equipment that adds to the development of core strength and stability. Does the studio you are considering offer mixed equipment classes on chair and tower as well as the reformer? If you have a private Pilates session, will you utilize the Cadillac and ladder barrel in addition to the reformer? Variety is important for the development of your strength, flexibility, and stability and it will help you stay motivated.

To check out Pilates for yourself, contact Bodhi Pilates today or call us at 303-597-8483.

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