How To Enter Your Pilates Princess Era, Without Breaking The Bank

TikTok has made many things abundantly clear over the last few months — including that we're all currently in our Pilates era (or aspiring to start one).
The hashtag #pilatesprincess has a whopping 293.6 million views, and research conducted by Lifespan Fitness revealed that videos tagged #reformerpilates have racked up just over 27.4 million TikTok views.
Besides the aesthetic, minimalist studios and cute athleisure sets, there are some fact-based reasons that can help explain why we're all obsessed with the practice. Studies have shown that pilates can increase muscle strength, endurance, and flexibility and can help improve posture and balance. In many ways, it's a physical and mental antidote to hours spent crouched over a laptop while working from home or the office.
"Pilates teaches low impact, high repetition movements to build strength and tone without causing stress on the joints and body," says Kirsten King, an instructor at Fluidform Pilates Studio, who's taught pilates for 22 years.
"This strength and stability will support your fitness and day-to-day function. You may experience less pain and imbalances, improve your flexibility and move more efficiently."
Pilates, while popular, does have a reputation for being on the pricier side of exercise. But we promise you don't have to break the bank to reap the rewards — here's how.

Don't be afraid to start small

So many of us have picked up a new hobby (knitting, painting, baking, etc.), spent hundreds of dollars on the various equipment needed to start and then given up after the first two days of starting your "new era".
Like most goals, consistency is the key to achieving results. There's no need to buy into the most expensive membership option at the fanciest studio in your area to develop your pilates skills.
"In an ideal world, 20 minutes of pilates every day can transform your life," says King.
King says that most clients complement their in-studio workouts with at-home sessions to maintain consistency, using Fluidform's app that offers access to over 300 workouts in your living room. There are also heaps of free pilates workout videos on YouTube to help with practising at home during WFH lunch breaks and cosy Saturday arvos. All you need to get started is a few basics – a mat, a comfy bra, and tights.
Once you become a certified pilates obsessive, buying a quality reformer to use at home could be a great option. It'll not only level up your skills but also save money in the long term, as you'll be able to practice as much as you like without a studio membership.
King recommends that when you are in the studio, heading to small group or private classes is important to ensure the teacher can provide adequate attention and hands-on corrections if needed.
"Your form and technique is fundamental to achieving deep muscle connection and real results. Small group classes allow for these adjustments, so no matter which class you choose, the workout should be tailored to your fitness level and abilities," says King.

Trusting the process is everything

"For anyone new to Pilates, start by forgetting everything you think you know. Find trust in the process and believe that you can change and transform," says King.
Pilates can be challenging. While it doesn't look as intense as running or weightlifting from the outside, it can burn, and the days following your first workout can involve a bit of soreness.
King recommends a good way to resist the temptation to kick your new-found routine to the curb is to prepare yourself emotionally by setting realistic goals, finding a teacher you trust and remembering to warm your body up before sessions.
"Movement is about feeling comfortable and safe. These emotions ensure the body is relaxed and ready to move and find balance. The body and mind both need to feel at ease."

Get your workout essentials sorted

Part of building a workout routine means removing all barriers that may get in the way of you getting up and out the door. So, having your workout gear ready to go is an easy way to ensure you stick to kicking your goals (folding up your new set and placing it on your bed, ready for when you get home from work, is a bonus).
King said that her must-have for any pilates session is her reusable water bottle, a quality pair of leggings, resistance bands, a comfy crew neck or oversized tee and a gym bag to pop it all in.
Buying these things doesn't have to mean breaking the bank, either. Signing up for something like the rebel Active Loyalty program means you’ll earn points when you shop (which can be cashed in on future purchases at rebel), get access to member prices as well as early access to their big sale events.
If you find yourself a few weeks in and deeply obsessed with the pilates princess lifestyle, a rewards program like this could save you a significant amount of money.
Although social media can make us feel this way, pilates isn't about signing up for the most expensive studio or wearing the trendiest set — there are plenty of cost-effective ways to go about it. Overall, it's about connecting with your mind and body and challenging yourself a little bit each time you do it. And, if you fall head over heels in love with it along the way, that's a bonus.
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