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How to get back into Pilates after a break

Whether you’ve been off enjoying seasonal festivities, away on holiday, stepping back from exercise due to injury or illness, or simply just taking a break, Pilates is always here for you when you get back. 

Life can be busy with all sorts of pressures and deadlines and we can all sometimes fall into periods where we don’t exercise or where we neglect our well-being. 

When you have decided it’s time to get back into your Pilates practice there are a few simple things you can do to help make getting back into it a whole lot easier. 

1. Make a plan

One of the most common reasons that people stray from their usual exercise routine is due to lack of planning. Motivation comes and goes but one way to help combat this is to make a plan when you are feeling motivated (and stick to it!) Have a think about where you were at with your Pilates practice before you took a break, consider how long it’s been since you last practiced and then come up with a realistic plan to start up a new routine. 

Perhaps a 1-hour in-person class once a week feels manageable to you, or maybe you feel you would benefit more from 10 minutes of practice every day before you start work. It is important to make a plan that feels right for you and that is manageable with your other commitments. 

Top tip: If you are struggling to rebuild the habit, try making and printing off a chart so that you can tick off each time you stick to your plan. This tricks your brain into the reward system which will help keep motivation high and is also extremely satisfying. After all, who doesn’t love ticking something off their to-do list?! 

2. Keep it simple

Getting back into any form of exercise after a break (long or short) can seem daunting. Making the commitment to yourself is the first step but the second is to make sure that when you do start back up again, you keep it simple. 

Starting with some simple exercises will soon warm your body up and ease you back in gently. Start by attending a beginners class or do a beginners on-demand video from the comfort of your own home before getting back to the studio. 

3. Take it slow

One of the most important things to remember when re-establishing your Pilates routine is to take it slow. Rushing to “get back” to the level you were at before you took a break may feel difficult and could have the reverse effect than you want it to. If you rush back into things you can risk injury, as well as demotivation if you set yourself unrealistic goals. 

Building up step-by-step or movement-by-movement will help you to get back into things and will reactivate your body’s muscle memory. 

4. Monitor your progress

Monitoring your progress can be extremely motivating when you are establishing a new exercise routine. Tracking your progress can be a huge help when it feels like you are struggling to get back into a routine. Even small, incremental improvements will help you to observe your progression and feel more confident in your Pilates practice. Again, a habit tracker can be a great way to monitor this. As well as acting as motivation, you can also see the improvements you are making week after week. Perhaps last week The Hundreds seemed way too difficult but after a couple of weeks of practice, you managed it! 

5. Don’t forget to enjoy it!

The most important thing when getting back into Pilates after a break (as with any other type of exercise) is to enjoy it. At Pilates East we strive to make sure our clients enjoy our classes, whether that’s in 1 to 1 or group classes. Exercise should be fun so let’s get those endorphins released and enjoy the process!