When we think about building our Pilates practice, we think of it like building a house. Tap into the video below for a highlight from our CEO + Founder, Kaleen, and keep reading for a deeper explanation.
It’s no secret that we love data here at Flexia, but we also take great care in doing things right, building a solid baseline before jumping ahead, and refining our skills before finessing them. The same is true with Pilates, it’s a practice of patience.
So, how is your Pilates practice anything like building a house? Let’s jump in…
BuildingYour Pilates Practice: Foundation
When building a house, you can’t start with a roof or framing your walls. First up is a solid foundation–and you need to take great care to ensure it’s done correctly. Without a sturdy foundation, your house will be wonky, lopsided, prone to disrepair, and unable to weather even the slightest storm. Don’t rush this process. It’s worth doing.
The same goes for your Pilates practice. In Pilates, your practice foundation is your reformer set-up and spring settings.
Reformer set-up: Are the carriage, footbar, and shoulder blocks in the correct position?
If your set-up is off, each exercise moving forward is going to be unnecessarily challenging and may result in strain on your body. The Flexia Smart Reformer has 48 adjustability settings to choose from for a reason: “your reformer should fit you, not the other way around” - Lindsey Strobel @fatbodypilates. And don’t worry about guesstimating your way to a perfect fit. Jump into our Find Your Fit video to tailor your reformer set-up.
Your workout is going to be challenging enough, let’s make this part easy.
Spring settings: Are your spring settings correct for each exercise?
Each move on your reformer should feel achievable and challenging. The correct spring settings are the difference between slamming your carriage shut on a return rep or straining your shoulder during chest expansion. The right spring settings most certainly matter.
This is why we created the Spring Level Indicator on the left-hand side of your class screen. This impressive tool not only updates your spring recommendations for each exercise (never miss an instructor’s cue for a spring change again!) but also gives you the power to level up or down depending on your body’s needs.
No more gambling if +/- a spring will derail your workout or enhance it. Know instantly what springs you should set and how to adjust if your body needs it.
Pay attention to this part of your Pilates practice. Experiment, find what feels good, and be open to adjusting when your body calls for it. Soon, this will become second nature, but until then, tune into this foundation. Your body will thank you.
Building Your Pilates Practice: Frame
Once your Pilates foundation is set (A+ on reformer set-up and spring settings–bravo), we move onto your Pilates framework: your body’s form during an exercise.
Phrases like “bend your knees more”, “lift your chest higher”, and “keep your spine straight” are form cues you’ll hear often from your instructor in class. These form cues enhance your practice beyond set-up and push you to live in some healthy discomfort while your body builds strength and mobility.
Just like your reformer set-up and spring settings, these form cues will become ingrained over time. Soon, you’ll be able to tap into your own form adjustments when your body feels off. That’s the great thing about repetition in Pilates, that well-worn path of exercise foundations and form framing will prove invaluable over time.
You’ve got this.
Building Your Pilates Practice: Roof
Last but not least is the roof of your Pilates practice: your breath.
Once your set-up, spring settings, and form are aligned, you’re ready to refine your breathing. We cue breathing in every exercise within our Online Studio–and it’s most certainly important to breathe on Day 1 of your Pilates practice--but deeply concentrating on your breath alongside reformer set-up, springs, and form is a lot of noise for your mind to sift through while moving on the reformer.
This is why we encourage you to take your Pilates practice one step at a time. Above all, we want you to enjoy your time spent on the reformer and ensure that your practice is ready for the next step before moving on.
Your Pilates practice doesn’t need to be an overwhelming experience that you master on day/week/month/year one. Experiencing your Pilates practice through the building blocks of foundation (set-up and spring settings), frame (form), and roof (breath) is a great way to boil your practice down to the basics and take one thoughtful step at a time.
Take your time building this house, we promise it’ll be worth it.