Walking into a new pilates class for the first time is incredibly exciting. When you’re in a new studio or with a new instructor, new energy is bound to be felt. But even after filling out the whatever paperwork you needed to in order to take the class, and even though the front desk associate or manager might be well versed in your pilates goals, it is still important to communicate these things directly to your instructor before class.
In fact, there’s a laundry list of items that you really should discuss with your instructor before any physical activity begins (which is why we recommend starting with private lessons first). However, here are the three most important things to tell your instructor before class.
If this is your first time taking this particular class
If you’ve had 15 years of experience with mat pilates but this is your first reformer class, then yes, technically this is your first time. You can let the instructor know you’re a seasoned pro on the mat, but if this is your very first time using apparatus equipment it is imperative you give your trainer that information. The instructor will then either walk you through the basics of the machine, or will give you a little more attention throughout class. This will come in handy, especially when it comes time to change spring loads or when you’re looking for your foot straps!
If you have any physical limitations of any kind
No cartilage in your left knee? Have a slight case of scoliosis? Currently dealing with a pretty bad sciatica flare up or a tennis elbow? These are all things your instructor needs to know. The last thing you want is an instructor to be pushing you during a side leg series without realizing you have radiating pain from your hip and below. An instructor won’t be able to read your mind, so letting them know about any physical limitations you have is imperative. Whether you’re used to working around these things or not, you want to let your instructor be in the know about it.
Any injuries - past or present
Even if your injuries are not affecting you currently, it is still worth mentioning to an instructor you’re meeting for the first time. You have no idea what the curriculum for the class might be, and something could be planned that brings old injuries to the surface. Don’t power through them - you don’t have to. Be safe, and make sure you tell your instructor ahead of time so he or she can be prepared to give you appropriate modifications.
When you walk into a pilates class for the first time, generally and instructor will ask if you have any physical limitations or injuries that should be noted. Don’t be shy - this is incredibly important. You’ll always want to give a little bit more information if it’s your first time with this particular teacher.