You might remember the viral clip of Harry Styles doing Pilates in London that swept the Internet and became the topical meme-of-the-week back in January of this year. Celebrities flaunting their love of a Pilates workout is nothing new; many caught the Pilates bug long ago.
Kate Hudson (How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, Fabletics owner) shared a Tiktok video of her making a challenging move look easy. Hudson, in an interview with People magazine back in 2021, spoke about prioritizing movement every day: “I like to be able to set new goals to see what I can accomplish, and I love how flexible and strong I feel after a good workout, especially doing Pilates, which never gets easier.” Model Lori Harvey’s 2022 MET Gala look sparked questions on the internet of how to obtain those rock-hard obliques. Harvey’s secret? Pilates. “Pilates, it changed my life,” said Harvey on the red carpet. Friends star Jennifer Aniston, who has long expressed her dedication to health and fitness, swore by her Pilates workouts. When struggling with an injury, Aniston relied exclusively on those low-impact Pilates workouts to maintain her strong, lean look. In a 2022 interview with Bustle, Aniston explained, “If you have an excellent teacher and you understand the beauty of it, it’s like a moving meditation.” Whether or not you think of the workout as an active way to meditate, the effects of the workout are staggering.
The Pilates workout we know today originated from Joseph Pilates, a German-born physical trainer who developed equipment and technique for injured soldiers during World War I as a way to rehabilitate those who could not walk. In the early 1920s, Pilates and his wife Clara opened a gym in New York City which incorporated the Pilates method. The gym focused specifically on injury recovery, so many who frequented the studio were athletes, many of whom were men.
Pilates content continues to flood the Internet, but it’s not your average fitness craze or a fad that will go out of style. These days on TikTok, videos are trending of women bringing their “gym-bro” boyfriend/brother/fill-in-the-blank-here to a Pilates class. The idea behind the videos is to show how controlled, slow movements to get that leg-shaking burn are difficult no matter what fitness level someone is. You don’t have to be lifting crazy weights or running insane distances to get the lean, toned look everyone craves. With consistent dedication to the Pilates method, clients will enhance their mobility, strengthen their joints, and improve their cardiorespiratory fitness (essentially, how muscles receive oxygen).Without fail, each of these Tiktok videos shows someone underestimating the advantages of a Pilates class and walking out with that special kind of sore only a Pilates class can bring.
Pilates is an inclusive workout that can be adapted for individual needs, making it approachable for pregnant women, older folks, and beginners alike. No matter where you fall on the Pilates scale, workouts can always be modified to forearms or knees—or made more complex with an extra carriage kick, spring change, or grabbing free weights. Pilates-goers know that there is no such thing as “too slow” when it comes to Pilates. Those who frequent Pilates classes know that the workout merges flexibility, muscle control, balance, breath work…a lot goes into a single movement in Pilates.
Channel your inner Harvey, Aniston, Hudson, or Styles and try the workout method that will transform your body. From walking the red carpet to running everyday errands, those Pilates results will have you feeling like your favorite A-lister.