Most people associate Pilates with women aged 20-40, in decent shape, just looking for a way to exercise quietly indoors. This misconception of Pilates as a “women’s workout” couldn’t be further from the truth! For one thing, it’s a much more challenging and difficult type of challenge, and for another, it’s not just for healthy, already fit women! Here are five kinds of people you may find yourself sharing workout space with at your next Pilates class:
- Tough guys. Football players, rugby players, soccer champs, golfers, runners and more are often seen taking Pilates to stay in shape during the off season or to increase flexibility, core strength and balance. So don’t be surprised if the person next to you in class is six foot six, tips the scale at twice your weight, and sports some facial hair!
- People who are “out of shape”. Far from being a cop-out, Pilates is actually safer and more effective than many forms of exercise if they are not in the habit of exercising and want to start. They can move at their own pace and quickly ramp up.
- Aging people can derive great benefit from Pilates as a safe workout that increases strength, maintains flexibility and balance, and keeps them feeling and looking younger.
- Disabled veterans or others with injuries. One of the original purposes of Pilates was to help soldiers who were wounded get rehabilitated. Pilates has also been proven to be an excellent workout for people with back injuries or other problems.
- Many Pilates centers now offer mixed classes so parents and children can work alongside each other. This is a fantastic way to learn discipline, support growing bodies, and accentuate training for other activities such as sports.
- Pilates was also originally a common activity for ballet dancers of both sexes. Barre Pilates is making a big splash currently and most Pilates studios now include barre Pilates in their offerings.
This should clear up any misconceptions about who Pilates is for – obviously, it’s a great workout regimen for just about anyone! Welcome them all into your space and enjoy learning with them as you continue your own Pilates journey.