Written by Teneice Bowie
Image by @alo
Pilates is having a major moment! Maybe it’s Lori Harvey and the Hollywood “it girls” professing their love for the modality or the Pilates Princess movement on TikTok, either way, it’s here so pull out your expensive leggings and get ready to make Pilates your new favourite fitness routine.
Pilates is a fitness practice created by Joseph Pilates originally created for those in martial arts, boxing, and other athletes; however, the practice was originally called Contrology. It wasn’t until after his death in 1967 that the method became known as Pilates. Pilates, as we know it today, are repetitive exercises against resistance with core strength at the foundation of the movements. There are different ways Pilates can be done: mat, reformer, or on the different apparatuses – all of which are part of a complete Pilates program.
Pilates come in all shapes and sizes
Pilates has long been dubbed the workout for middle-aged white housewives but things are changing! Younger, more melanated instructors are on the rise sand o are those with varying body types. Pilates has also gotten the wrap of being only a workout for thin women but that’s simply not the case. Pilates girls come in all sizes and so do their instructors so there’s a good chance someone that looks like you is teaching in a studio nearby. Let’s not forget the boys! Pilates is NOT just a workout for women. Men get all the same benefits as women and find it to be a nice complement to the strength training styles they are used to. Once you identify a studio, check their website for the instructor profiles or search Instagram or TikTok for online classes with instructors you can relate to.
Switch it up to suit your vibe
Classic Pilates is most similar to regimented Ballet instruction. There are exercises done in a rhythmic sequence following a certain repetition and set count. There are also contemporary-style classes where instructors may blend classic exercises with movements from other modalities (sculpt, boxing, traditional bodyweight exercises, etc) and contemporary classes are most likely to have popular music pumping through the studio. Find the studio and instructor that either matches your vibe or has an aspirational class to keep you locked in and consistent.
It’s addictive (in a good way!)
It’s important to know that Pilates is a practice. It’s a fitness modality that can absolutely be done daily, I teach an athletic style class where we also use weights so that my clients can get everything they need from a single class several times a week. Whether you take class in-studio or online, it’s wise to schedule your class time in advance. Doing so sets a commitment that becomes hard to break, especially in-studio as most charge per class (anywhere from £16-£32) and will charge hefty cancellation fees if you start to flake on your commitment.
If online classes are more fitting for your lifestyle, set a routine time, prepare a well-equipped space for your home practice, turn your phone on DND, and remove as many other distractions as possible. Online classes deliver big results and are a fraction of the cost of in-studio classes which can also help keep you consistent.
Pilates has been a long-standing proven modality and it’s here to stay so whether you choose to sweat at home or in a studio, this workout is for you.