Pilates for Beginners: London

Pilates classes in London City

If you are new to Pilates and have been searching “Pilates for beginners London” then stop (and read this article)! Because we’ve put together some top tips and advice for anyone new to Pilates and living in London.

Things to consider before choosing your first class

There might seem like there are a million studios offering Pilates in London.

But take a closer look at their websites’ and you’ll notice that each studio offers its own type of Pilates.

This can be a little confusing for all you beginners out there. So, to break it down for you, we’ve listed the main styles of Pilates you will come across in London. And here they are:

Classical Pilates

What is it?

  • A type of Pilates that is closest to Joseph Pilates’s original style of teaching (he invented the Pilates method).
  • Joseph Pilates designed his exercises to be taught in a certain order. Classical instructors still teach these exercises in this order because they say it warms up the body, challenges it and then cools it down in the perfect way.

How is it different from other methods?

  • Whilst newer Pilates schools play around with exercises, Classical Pilates teachers tend to stick more rigidly to the original Pilates repertoire. This is because they believe that the original way is the best way to create balance in the mind and body.

Is it mat or equipment-based?

  • This kind of Pilates is predominantly taught on the equipment.

Rehab-based Pilates

What is it?

  • This type of Pilates uses the principles of Joseph’s original method but the exercises have been adapted by physical therapists so that they can be used in the rehabilitation of their clients. Changes to the Pilates repertoire are also informed by new medical discoveries around things like improving spine health.

How is it different from other methods?

  • Rehab-based Pilates tends to modify original Pilates exercises to make them suitable for their clients. This is because this kind of Pilates is often used in the rehabilitation of injured patients, with pre-and post-natal ladies, or with clients who have illnesses or other special needs.
  • However, the instructors who teach this type of Pilates are often very knowledgeable about the human body and what it needs. So, this kind of Pilates is safe – and good – for everyone.

Is it mat or equipment-based?

  • It is mostly taught on the equipment with some home mat exercises thrown in.

Fitness Pilates

What is it?

  • Fitness Pilates uses the Pilates equipment (or sometimes the Megaformer, but that’s for a whole different post…) and props like weights to create a more high-intensity experience.

How is it different from other methods?

  • Pilates is traditionally taught at a slow, deliberate pace. Fitness Pilates classes, however, aim to improve cardiovascular health at the same time as toning the body by working at a faster tempo.
  • They can be very physically challenging classes, which can be great if you’re already fit and well, or are experienced with Pilates. We would suggest choosing a class designed for beginners if you are new to Pilates and want to try one of these.

Is it mat or equipment-based?

  • Fitness Pilates is mostly available in London through group mat classes or Reformer classes.

Finding the Right London Studio

London Pilates studios should have detailed information as to what style of classes they teach available on their websites. If they don’t then feel free to ring them up and ask them. There is nothing worse than turning up to a class feeling anxious about what you’ve signed up for, especially if you are a beginner.

More advice for Pilates beginners

Choosing a Pilates style that suits your needs, abilities and goals is important.

So, do some research before signing up to any class and take advantage of any free or discounted classes on offer. After trying a few different classes, you will soon discover which one feels right for you.

Further information on Pilates for beginners in London: