5 Pilates Myths Debunked

Pilates isn’t your average workout — and our equipment isn’t your average gym machine, either. We've compiled a list of our favorite misconceptions first-time Pilates-goers admitted to us, and we plan on setting you straight!

1) It’s not just for your abs…but it’s a lot for your abs.

Pilates is well known for it’s core-tastic focus, but there’s plenty more to it than just highly technical crunches. Depending on the client, a Pilates session can be geared towards injury rehabilitation, correcting imbalances in the body, getting specific muscles to fire, or working up a sweat.

It’s all about body connectivity, and the reason we focus so much on the core is because it provides power for the rest of your body.

2) The equipment.

When people first walk into a room full of spring-suspended straps, fuzzy loops, and wooden dowels, the most common reactions are…interesting. We hear people say reformers look like medieval torture devices, a swing set flipped on its side, or something that belongs in the Kink.com building.

We totally get it.

They’re not your average piece of gym equipment, but that’s precisely what makes them so awesome! The versatility of the reformer and tower allow endless possibilities for exercises. You can work every muscle imaginable — plus some you didn’t even know existed.

3) You don’t need to go to boot camp to work out.

Who would’ve thought you could work out and lay down at the same time? I’ve had many people say they were surprised they were sore after their first day in the studio because they felt so relaxed during the session.

Plus, if you’re used to moving your body in big ways, like with circuit and boot camp classes, Pilates may feel like a shock to the system. We often want you to move in subtle, small, and slow ways; for some people, that seems downright boring. The deeper you delve into an exercise, though, the more specifics you’ll find, and the more interesting it becomes.

4) If you do Pilates, you have a Pilates body.

Having a “Pilates body” is more about how you feel than how you look. Yes, all of the images you see when you Google ‘Pilates’ make you want to stop eating carbs, and yes, many of your teachers will boast the lean physique of a dancer. But that doesn’t mean that doing Pilates is all about being skinny.

Pilates is about building strength and gaining control over your muscles as you move them. If you feel your core engage when you do arm work, you have a Pilates body. If you think about the alignment of your spine when you’re walking down the street, you have a Pilates body (and a Pilates brain, too!).

Try to worry less about how you look and more about how you feel.

5) You can’t zone out.

Pilates classes are almost as much of a brain workout as they are a body workout! Proper alignment is a huge part of what makes a Pilates exercise successful, so we ask you to pay attention to every little detail in your body, from the position of your pinky toe to the muscles in your neck.

Especially if you’re not used to it, this can be very challenging. We know that you can’t possibly comprehend every cue we give during a class, and that’s why we’re constantly talking: The more variety we offer in cues and images, the more likely you are to find one that sticks and helps the exercise click.


Author: Ali Weeks