1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Fears About Beginning Pilates

Overcome Some Top Concerns About Pilates Training


Updated October 15, 2013

Do you want to learn Pilates but have some fears about Pilates training? Getting started can be the hardest part of learning something new. Here are some common fears people have about beginning Pilates, along with encouraging information about how to learn Pilates comfortably.

1. Pilates is famous for flat abs, but my waist is bigger than my hips.

Pilates is known for creating svelte figures. But the truth is that Pilates classes are full of all shapes and sizes. If you want to lose weight, Pilates is supportive of weight loss. According to an About.com poll, Why Do You Do Pilates?, achieving a toned appearance and general fitness are the top reasons that people do Pilates. Other reasons include increased strength and flexibility, as well as therapeutic effects. The bottom line (no pun intended) is that Pilates classes are full people who are there for all kinds of reasons, and I assure you, many of them do not have flat abs, yet.

Pilates and Weight Loss
Do Your Pilates Workout for Weight Loss
The Flat Abs Series
Problems Getting a Flat Stomach?

2. Pilates is different than regular exercise. I won't know what to do in class.

Remember starting first grade and feeling like you should already know how to read and write? Same thing. Many people feel intimidated starting a Pilates, and some specifics about its movements set it apart from other fitness systems. The good news is that when you go to a Pilates class, no beginner is expected to know what to do. In fact, in most classes -- beginner through intermediate -- the instructors give detailed instructions every step of the way.

Preparing for Your First Class
Tips for Choosing an Instructor
Top Ways to Learn Pilates

3. I want to try Pilates for back and neck pain but I'm scared I'll hurt myself.

This is a legitimate concern. People with back and neck pain are more vulnerable to injury and some precautions should be taken. One mistake made by people to whom Pilates has been recommended is to try to learn Pilates from a book or video. If you have an injury, you need to work with a certified instructor who can help you modify exercises and make sure that you are doing the exercises correctly. When done properly, Pilates exercises develop core strength, which is key to relieving muscle strain in the back and neck.

Exercise Modification Tips
Pilates and Back Pain
Pilates and Neck Pain
Tips for Choosing an Instructor

4. I'm too old to start Pilates.

Pilates is not about fancy moves. It is about a fundamental set of movement principles that can work for any body that is still in motion. You really can't be too old to do Pilates and reap benefits from its practice. The adaptability of Pilates exercise makes Pilates classes accessible to people of all ages and levels of fitness. Pilates classes are attracting a lot of seniors and classes just for seniors are a growing Pilates trend.

FAQ: Is Pilates Good Exercise for Seniors?
Exercise Modification Tips

5. I don't know what to wear.

You can wear anything you want to do Pilates as long as it is not too baggy and you can move comfortably in it. That said, different studios have different fashion vibes. I find that the majority of studios are casual, but you may want to shop around to find a studio that suits your style. Also, you can visit the studio you are interested in and check out what other students are wearing. You don't have to be signed up for a class to drop in to a studio for a quick look around.

What to Wear to Do Pilates
Workout Clothing for Pilates

6. I'll go broke paying for Pilates classes.

No doubt about it, Pilates is a little more expensive than most exercise classes. Is it worth it? A lot of people think so. Quick results that enhance every other kind of movement you do makes Pilates a worthy expense. One nice thing about Pilates is that there are a variety of ways to learn and practice Pilates. So you should be able to find a way to do Pilates that fits your budget. For example, mat classes are generally less expensive than equipment classes, group classes are less expensive than privates, and one can create a budget-friendly workout schedule by combining studio and home study.

Pilates Can Be Affordable
Top Ways to Learn Pilates

What if my fear isn't here?

If you didn't find what you were looking for in this list, you might find it in Top Myths About Pilates. That article covers other big concerns people have, such as Pilates is just like yoga or Pilates that Pilates may be just for women. And, you can even read more in Who Does Pilates?

You are also invited to ask about your concerns right here in the Pilates forum. If you have something on your mind about Pilates, lots of other people likely have the same thought.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.