Young Asian woman on a Pilates reformer

Pilates is one of those intimidating workouts that many would like to get into, but few end up trying. The reason? It seems expensive, the reformer (yes, that long, medieval-looking contraption), and everyone doing it seems fit to begin with. Here, an expert lets you in on the secrets to a good Pilates workout and why you should give it a try – whatever your fitness level or age.

Benefits of Pilates

The Pilates workout is a form of by improving muscle tone, balance, and endurance. It was developed in the 20th century by German physical trainer Joseph Pilates, and it’s been one of the most in-demand workout classes since. Therry Dizon, a certified Pilates instructor at Onelife Studio, shares its benefits.

“A Pilates workout strengthens the muscles, increases your flexibility, and improves your core, balance, and coordination just to name a few. Generally, it boosts your overall health,” she says. In a studio, your instructor can cater to your fitness goals. “The exercises are relatively low impact so anyone can do it and you will see and feel the benefits in your everyday life.”

Pilates boosts performance in your 20s and 30s.

While the benefits of doing Pilates workouts can’t be categorized by age, there are certain patterns. “If you are active and athletic in your 20s and 30s, Pilates is a great complement to your sport or whatever it is you are doing and can help you perform better. If you are sedentary during this age, then Pilates is a good way to get into fitness as it meets you where you are at,” Therry explains.

This flexible workout routine is easy enough for beginners but challenging enough for elite athletes. You don’t have to be as physically fit as a member of to get into it – you can start at any

“If you get injured, then we take the rehab route of Pilates to speed up your recovery. If you are pregnant or have just given birth, then we also focus on what your specific needs are at that time.” She adds that most people in this age group also get into fitness for reasons. If you want that long and lean look, the Pilates workout is for you.

Your 40s and 50s are usually when you start feeling the effects of your lifestyle during your younger years. “Usually, it’s either you’ve been sedentary and are looking for a low-impact way to get into fitness, or you’ve been engaging in high-impact activities and are starting to experience aches, pains, or injury.”

“Pilates is good for people who do not want something too strenuous. It can make you strong without being hard on your joints or increasing stress hormones in the body. You would need less of that at this age, especially for women in perimenopause or ” she says.

Pilates maintains mobility and strength in your 60s and up.

Pilates is so low-impact, even seniors can get into it to avoid becoming frail. “It can help them get strong enough to be able to perform daily activities while living on their own. We train seniors to be able to move independently, sit up and down, walk around without the assistance of others, carry things on their own, and improve their balance.

It also prevents pelvic incontinence.”

Do I Need an Instructor to Do Pilates?

Beginners should work with a qualified Pilates instructor or coach. Focused, one-on-one sessions can help guide you and correct your form while customizing the workout for any unique physical issues. For example, an instructor can tailor your Pilates workout to relieve sciatica symptoms.

“If you are new to movement, it's essential to approach it carefully while building your stamina, strength, and mobility for frequency and intensity. Aim to build up your sessions to at least two to three times a week and be consistent so you can see and feel the benefits,” Therry explains.

Common Misconceptions About Pilates Workouts

People think Pilates is only for the flexible and is only good for stretching. The fact is, you don’t have to be flexible or athletic to get into it. As mentioned above, it’s a low-impact exercise that works with a person’s unique needs, abilities, and pace.

Many also shy away from Pilates because it sounds expensive. “It’s actually not,” Therry says. If you’re on a budget, you can take group classes, which are cheaper. On the other hand, you can’t really put a price on having a stronger, more able body. “One-on-one sessions offer value for money, too. You are paying for a specialized service that will improve the quality of your life and not just a temporary fix.”

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As our expert has shared, a Pilates workout delivers valuable benefits to practitioners of all ages. It's the perfect supplement to any existing exercise regimen or training – yes, even for inflexible non-celebrities!