Day: May 28, 2012

Which Pilates Mat Class is right for me?

Here at the Seattle Athletic Club one of the great benefits as a member is being able to take an unlimited number of group exercise, yoga, and Pilates mat classes! If you are looking to take a Pilates mat class, here are some things you should know.

First, the mat class focuses on the development of the “powerhouse”—the abdominals, the lower back, and the buttocks. Each class consists of a specific series of controlled movements, engaging the body and mind, performed on a mat. The mat class trains the entire body while emphasizing proper alignment and posture, effective body mechanics, correct breathing and improved circulation. There are three different levels: Intro, Fundamentals, and Intermediate, as well as some hybrid classes, like Magic Circle Mat, and Cardio Pilates Mat.

Beginning Pilates Mat
(No previous Pilates experience necessary.) Designed for the beginner, this class slowly takes you through the basic principles, vocabulary and exercises of Pilates. Modifications will be demonstrated and the goals of each exercise will be explained. This is a hard class because it is taught slowly; so don’t skip it if you feel that you are ready to jump into a higher-level class. It’s educational.

Fundamentals of Pilates
This class is designed for both the beginner and intermediate student who want to deepen their understanding of Pilates. Attentions to precise movement, breathing, and core control are the key elements in this class to further strengthen the “powerhouse”. Some members use this class as a stepping-stone to practice what they learned in the intro class, and to get stronger so they can join the intermediate class.

Intermediate Pilates Mat
This accelerated class is an enjoyable challenge to the intermediate student. The instructor will often only demonstrate the most advanced exercises, so previous SAC Pilates experience is highly recommended. That is, the instructor will call out the name of an exercise, and she will expect that you know what it is, how to perform it correctly, and rely on you to decide if it should be omitted based on how you feel (i.e. if you have a bad back that day, you know to leave out the “criss-cross” and the “jackknife”).

Intermediate Mat with Magic Circle
No “magic” here, just deep resistance training with the traditional Pilates ring. It’s a great tool for toning chest, arms, thighs, and buns.

Advanced Intermediate Pilates Mat
Short on time and trying to pack it all in? This is the perfect combo for a lunch workout! A forty-five minute class combining the great core workout of traditional Pilates and taking it to the next level by incorporating cardiovascular exercise. Be ready to spring into action with explosive jumps to and from the floor. This fast-paced class requires some previous Pilates experience.

If you have any questions on which class is for you, don’t hesitate to ask any of the Pilates instructors or Pilates Director Danielle Zack.

Please check our website for a Mind/Body Schedule. See you in class!