pilates reformer class

What to Expect in Your First Pilates Reformer Class

If you’re looking for a great way to get fit and healthy, a Pilates reformer class in Long Beach is life-changing! When you’re a beginner it can be downright intimidating— that’s why we require every new client to take our 30-minute Pilates Reformer Orientation.

We offer this class every Friday and every Saturday.  Check the schedule for times.    This class will give you the confidence to proceed into a regular group class that we call Reformer Plus!

In this blog post, we’re diving into what you can expect from your first reformer Pilates class and equipping you with the knowledge to help you feel confident when you take up the reformer machine for the very first time. Read on to learn how Pilates can help you become the very best version of yourself and live your BEST LIFE!

What to Bring

So as I mentioned, your first class with us will be an orientation. Don’t bring your notebook and pen, but do wear comfy workout clothing.  I suggest dressing in layers because we keep it chilly in the studio, but you will warm up in class and probably shed your sweater or jacket.

Also, it is important to note that Pilates on the reformer can be done barefoot or in socks.  Pilates gripper socks are the best choice if you choose to wear socks.  We sell them in the studio, but they are not required.  I suggest trying it out barefoot at first so you can feel the different parts of your feet on the foot bar.

You may bring your empty water bottle and fill it up with our complimentary filtered water and the best ice around! Do you know that soft pellet ice?  YUM!

We provide towels for you and even do the laundry!

Understanding the Machines

So, what is this orientation all about? First off, we want to teach you how to use the reformer safely.  There are so many different machines out now, so it is very important that you know how to use and properly care for our machines.  We use Merrithew equipment, which is an industry gem!

Next, we will teach you how to set up your machine for your body. You and I could be the same height, but one of us has longer legs and the other has a longer torso, so we will help you evaluate the settings on the machine that best fits your body to help you get the best results doing Pilates in Orange County.

Fundamental Movements

Now the fun begins…we begin to MOVE! The orientation consists of these fundamental movements. They are called all sorts of things in different Pilates worlds, and you will become a pro in no time with all the lingo! Luckily, we employ a wide variety of teaching styles and methods, which has proven to be a huge advantage to our client success. Our instructors come with over 60 years of combined experience teaching Pilates in Orange County and Long Beach.

  1. Footwork: Lying on the machine with feet on the foot bar you will essentially do squats in 4-5 different foot positions, allowing you to work different parts of the legs, glutes, and feet. I love the benefits of squats, but my knees really don’t care for them and sometimes my back even yells back at me. But in Pilates, you get to LAY DOWN and do them! Additionally, with the added challenge of resistance from the springs on the reformer, it is like doing squats with weights in your hands, but WITHOUT IMPACT on the joints! That’s right, no knee or back pain for these…however, you will build long lean muscles that will help you in your everyday life! I promise!
  2. Hundred: We will teach you the wonderful Pilates staple called the Hundred. It is a core exercise that will help you find your abs and use them properly to build strength and improve posture. Through some small movements, (did I mention you are still lying down?) you will work the abdominal wall functionally while protecting the lower back and neck.
  3. Arm Work: Still lying down we will begin to work the arms, shoulders, middle back, abs, and hips! Yep in a series of arm and shoulder exercises, you will be gaining agility and building core strength.
  4. Feet in Straps: WE ARE STILL ON OUR BACKS, this is everyone’s favorite part of a class, well unless you count the end of class as a fav LOL. Now comes the fun part, we teach you how to gracefully add the straps to your feet, and then through some simple movements, we begin to work the front, back, outer and inner thighs. Additionally, we incorporate the feet to work the ankles without impacting the joint. Want to build your booty? Well, you will in this series of movements. Through varying feet and leg positions, we will teach you the basics of building long lean leg muscles.
  5. Bridges: With our feet on the foot bar again will teach you the different positions of the back and how to articulate the spine correctly, so that you are always protecting your back with functional movement that is always safe.
  6. Stretch: Finally, we stand up! Using the reformer for resistance we will stretch the hamstrings, quads, shoulders, back, and hip flexor. This is a great exercise and I am sure you will become fond of it as the hip flexors stretch feels amazing. It is the favorite part of most classes because it is done at the END with such amazing feelings of accomplishment!

After Class

After the class is over our front desk or your instructor will share some information about the studio such as our app and studio policies— like how to use our waitlist to take Pilates classes in Long Beach at Five Starr Pilates & Fitness, how to sign up for cycling classes, and some great first day specials to keep your momentum going.

Getting Started with Pilates Reformer Classes

I hope you found this article useful and that it dispelled some of the overwhelmingness of taking your first class. I promise we won’t bite and the community here is supportive and kind.

Remember this, Pilates is layering. You never learn it all! No two classes are the same, so it never gets old. You should be learning something new in every class!  So don’t stress out about mastering Pilates in Long Beach and Orange County.  Instead, leave the outside world in the parking lot and enjoy each class, discover what the mind-body connection is as you destress and change your body and mind!

Finally, remember what the inventor of Pilates, Joseph Pilates, once said: You will feel better in ten sessions, look better in twenty sessions, and have a completely new body in thirty sessions.”

Ready to get started?  Check out our class schedule and our new client intro offers to begin your journey with Pilates in Long Beach and Orange County TODAY!

See you in the studio!

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