It always confusing what to wear to a new class or just find that comfy but stylish outfit for working out. Below are just some basic guidelines to help you decide.
May 4, 2009
Elisabeth MarshallBy choosing appropriate clothing, Pilates students can get the most from their sessions.
There’s a wide range of workout gear marketed specifically for Pilates, but it’s easy to find suitable clothing from a variety of sources. Sports stores tend to have a good selection, but check out dance retailers and department stores as well.
Many Pilates students wear tank tops or singlets, but it pays to think about how much skin they reveal. Sweaty skin can stick to mats or other equipment and be uncomfortable. In addition, many Pilates instructors give tactile cues as part of their teaching – it may be more comfortable to wear a top that covers the shoulder blades, upper back, and midriff, to avoid an instructor’s hands on clammy skin! T-shirts work well, as long as they’re form-fitting enough to stay put in upside-down exercises. If the studio is cold, it’s a good idea to wear layers that can be easily removed. Try ballet wrap tops from retailers like abiandjoseph or Capezio.
The ideal Pilates pants are form-fitting, with a smooth waistband that’s not too low – some Pilates exercises are notorious for their tendency to slide students out of low-rise leggings. Avoid buckles or ties that could dig into hips. It’s useful for instructors to be able to see ankles, so look for cropped 3/4 pants or long shorts. Avoid baggy pant legs that will hang in the springs or slide down during exercises that have the legs stretched toward the ceiling. Make sure pants are stretchy enough to allow complete freedom of movement. If you wear shorts, wear tight-fitting bike shorts or cropped leggings underneath.
Grippy socks, like ToeSox, are ideal for Pilates, though there are several appropriate footwear options. For hygiene reasons, it’s best to avoid bare feet.
If you have long hair, tie it back in a style that will allow you to lie comfortably on your back. Low or high ponytails, or one or two plaits, tend to work well. For short hair, a headband may help to keep hair away from eyes.
For safety reasons, avoid jewelery that might fall off, get caught in equipment, or scratch upholstery. Many students like to take off even simple wedding rings while doing aerial work on the Cadillac. Watches can cause wrist discomfort during weight-bearing exercises like Push Ups – if they’re bothersome, it’s best to remember to take them off before beginning a session.
Don’t feel that it’s necessary to dress up for a Pilates session – it’s most important to be comfortable, able to move freely, and focused on a great workout!
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