Begin your journey towards physical conditioning by enrolling in a pilates class.Basic mat work is the most difficult to master as it engages the body without the aid of gadgets, and strengthens the core by focusing on the abdominal muscles.
A beginner's pilates class with a focus on mat work, will teach you correct alignment within a series of postures, and will concentrate on breathing techniques that will train you to focus the mind in order to move with fluidity in and out of each exercise. While group sessions are less expensive, the individual attention of a private pilates class can be invaluable if you are just commencing your practice.
Most gyms offer pilates classes as a part of their membership scheme however; the ever-growing popularity of this practice has sparked an influx of specialty training centres. There is also a wealth of information available in books, DVD's and on the Internet, should you wish to brush up on your technique at home.
Wherever you practice, you will need a mat that can be purchased from most fitness outlets, and you should wear comfortable clothing and expect to go barefoot. Each session typically lasts between forty-five minutes to an hour.
The most widely offered workshops are focused around mat work, although some will incorporate weights, and others will offer training on special equipment designed to allow you to practice the moves using a pulley-system of resistance.
Consistent practice will tone and strengthen your muscles, but cannot be relied upon as a method of weight loss. Everyone progresses at a different rate however, within ten sessions you will certainly begin to feel the benefits of your practice, and after twenty sessions you will be able to see the difference in muscle tone.
Progress will vary depending on the number of classes taken during a week, whether you participate in any other physical activities, and whether you have any existing injuries.