Over the years clients, other business owners at networking events and even family have asked me what makes a Pilates studio a good one and what are the best Pilates classes to take. Well of course I have my own opinion and plug, but from an instructor’s perspective here are some things that I think we should note when looking for the best Pilates classes in Orange County.
When I began taking Pilates classes, I was all about learning the practice, getting my workout in and getting out of there. I could have been taking a ceramics class but was told it was Pilates and what did I know? I was new to this Pilates thing anyway.
But fast forward a few years when I took courses to become an instructor, I became aware of a lot of things that were missing from my practice. This is where I began to take notes on what I would want my studio to embrace. This is when I began to visualize what top-rated pilates classes would look like at Five Starr Pilates & Fitness.
I decided then that our classes wouldn’t be too large. After all the instructor has to keep everyone safe. The best pilates classes aren’t too large – eight or fewer people (in my opinion) and would focus on equipment-based pilates classes in Orange County.
I had taken too many reformer classes only to spend 20 minutes doing mat pilates when I paid for a top-rated pilates class on the reformer, not a mat class. So I defined that in order to deliver the best pilates classes, we would focus on that one regimen and do it darn well.
A Supportive and Inclusive Environment
A judge-free zone is important. I have been to classes around the country where the clients didn’t even speak to one another, let alone support one another. It became important to me to hire instructors who are invested in helping others live their best lives, not just earning a paycheck. Meeting each client where they are on their fitness journey requires us to be open to all fitness levels and all commitments.
We all have different strengths, so creating a space that cultivates those differences and celebrates diversity of all kinds is vital to be recognized as a top-rated pilates class in orange county. Understanding that fitness is a journey, not a destination and there are many paths that lead to success is an important value a studio should hold to keep their clients successful.
The Right Focus
Exercises that encourage spinal movement on every plane. No class should be spent in a position of flexion the entire time, nor should you be doing too much extension. But a class that rotates the spine in each direction, that opens and closes the shoulders and hips is a top-rated pilates class. A class that focuses on breathing techniques is top-tier. Essential components of Pilates are technique, posture, alignment and control.
Pilates is not about pumping out as many reps as you can as quickly as possible. It’s about doing the exercise the correct way, holding your body in the correct position, activating the right muscles and moving with control. Doing the movement correctly and with control is what makes Pilates challenging.
What may seem like a simple movement can be challenging for your body when you put all the different elements together. If your technique is not correct or the quality of your movement is poor, you are at risk of injuring yourself.
Hands-on feedback and correction from the Pilates instructor is an important way to teach you where your body should be positioned in space. The best Pilates classes in Orange County provide you with both verbal and tactile cues so your body awareness can start to improve.
Breathing is an important element of the top-rated Pilates classes. People commonly hold their breath when they are concentrating on something or doing multiple things at once, as in Pilates. The key is to maintain your breath, and your instructor needs to re-iterating this during the class.
Some instructors teach exactly when you should inhale and exhale during an exercise, but I am a believer in breathing the way that is natural for you. In my experience, I have found that when you place too much emphasis on the timing of breath, clients focus too much on when they are breathing and it detracts from the quality of the exercise.
Completing the class with diaphragmatic breathing is a nice way to end, as it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, calming the body and promoting rest and relaxation.
If you have an injury, such as pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy, it is important that the Pilates instructor can modify exercises for you to ensure your pain is not aggravated. The best Pilates classes always offer modifications.
Getting Started With the Best Pilates Classes in Orange County
All in all, a top-rated Pilates class is an awesome form of low-impact exercise as it focuses on core strength and stability.
If you’re looking to enroll in your first Pilates class, Five Starr Pilates has a number of options to help you reach your fitness goals. We can help you find the best instruction for your needs and objectives.
View our new client special to get started!