Pilates is a body-conditioning system of exercise that has skyrocketed in popularity over the last decade. Hundreds of thousands of exercisers have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to achieve the "Pilates" look: chiseled waistline, strong back, toned limbs, sleek silhouette. Pilates is effective exercise, but it certainly isn't cheap. When you add up the cost of mat classes, equipment classes, group classes, and one-on-one training sessions, you may be overwhelmed by the large price tag Pilates wears. The good news is that you can attain an exquisite Pilates figure without paying exorbitant Pilates prices. Here's how.
1. Practice Pilates at home.
If you want to do Pilates and you live in a larger city, you probably have many options of study available to you: mat classes, equipment classes, group classes, one-on-one sessions. These classes are quite helpful, but they also can be quite expensive. Consider purchasing a Pilates book or DVD for private home study. This option is not only cheaper, but it allows people who live in smaller cities and rural areas to take part in effective, life-transforming exercise.
2. Get a basic foundation of Pilates knowledge from a professional.
Practicing Pilates at home is a great way to save money, because you're not paying a teacher's salary or equipment fees. Before you break out your Pilates exercise videos, however, consult a personal trainer to brush up on the basics of Pilates. Don't try to teach yourself; you need a pair of experienced eyes to watch you and help you perfect your form. Paying for a couple intense, one-on-one sessions, though initially expensive, will set you on a path of good form and exercise independence.
If you have a specific exercise video you want to use, consider working through the video with your trainer. He or she will be able to give you specific tips and advice that pertain to your specific video, thereby increasing your chances of succeeding on your own.
3. Buy inexpensive equipment for home use.
One reason Pilates classes cost so much is that the equipment is expensive. You don't have to invest hundreds of dollars to practice Pilates at home, however. Buy fitness bands, a magic circle, or a gym ball and substitute these for the more expensive pieces of Pilates equipment found in professional gyms.
4. Be choosy about which classes you take.
If you really want to be part of a Pilates class, be choosy about what class you take. Mat classes are usually the least expensive option, whereas equipment classes often cost the most. Large-group classes typically cost less than small-group and one-on-on offerings.
It may be intimidating to step into a Pilates group class, but you can gain a lot by watching the instructor interact with and correct other students. Pricy one-on-one sessions, although appropriate for initial study, may not be necessary after you've acquired the basics skills of Pilates.
5. Understand the mechanics of Pilates.
Pilates is different from other exercise programs. It is not as simple as aerobics or calisthenics; you must learn by doing, not just watching. One important goal of Pilates is to activate and isolate small muscle groups that have not been used in a while. Simply following your physical intuition will probably not lead you to good Pilates form. Pilates students need professional input, at least at the beginning of study, in order to perform the exercises correctly.
That being said, you can save a lot of money on Pilates study by following the above guidelines. Simply obtain professional guidance when you need it, but strive to achieve good Pilates form and exercise independence at home, through inexpensive videos, books, and home-adapted Pilates equipment.
Jessica Bosari is a freelance writer and blogger for various publications and her own telecommute writing jobs blog. You can read more of Jessica's work here. If you have any comments or questions about SavingTools or about saving money, leave your comments in the form below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!