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Who Can Do Pilates?

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

Today we’ll talk about who can do Pilates!

Who Can Do Pilates?

The truth: Anyone can do Pilates. Any and every body can do Pilates. It is accessible no matter your age or fitness level or anything else.

  • You can be any age (children to those over 100)

  • You can be any gender identity (male, female, non-binary, transgender, neutral, literally any identity)

  • You can be any race (literally any)

  • You can be any weight (literally any)

  • You can be any body shape (no one is the exact same shape, so ANY shape)

  • You can be in any state of health (ideal health to recovering from something)

  • You can be in any type of physical state (couch potato to triathlete)

If you have a body, you can do Pilates.

Having said that, there are exercises that have contraindications based on conditions.

- A contraindication is something (such as a symptom or condition) that makes a particular exercise inadvisable.

In Pilates we may variate or eliminate that exercise for someone with a contraindication. Every body CAN still do Pilates.

Your teacher must have the knowledge to lead you through a safe workout.

- It is extremely important to let your teacher know if you have any medical conditions that could be a contraindication, so the teacher can decide whether to create a variation or eliminate an exercise during your session.

- Most studios will have an intake form - it's always best to fill it out to completion with as much detail as possible.

*Before starting any new exercise program, it is always best to ask your doctor about the program and ask if you should mention anything specific during your intake session.

Examples of contraindications:

  • Scoliosis

  • Osteopenia or Osteoporosis

  • Fusion in the neck or spine

  • Pregnancy (based on trimester)

Examples that should be mentioned on intake to increase the benefits of Pilates:

  • Hypermobility

  • Vertigo

  • Weakness due to stroke

  • Replacements (knee, hip, etc) & include dates

  • Postnatal - include weeks postpartum

  • Previous injury (rotator cuff, knee, hip flexor, etc)

  • Pain points (low back, knees, neck, elbow, etc)

*These are not an inclusive lists, so when in doubt - write it out.

If you are wondering what your session would look like if you see that you have more than one contraindication or things that I recommend mentioning - you can ALWAYS ask for a consult with the studio or purchase a Private session to find out.

- Some studios offer a complimentary intake session (free session) to ensure they get all the information they need to provide you with the tools to make you successful.

- Some studios don't offer a complimentary intake, but have a single Private session offering.

  • I HIGHLY recommend scheduling a Private session and paying for the intake to ensure you get all the information you need to make your practice a success.

Whether you have a complimentary intake or pay for a Private session - it's a great opportunity to find the right "fit" with a studio/teacher.

-I'll have another post scheduled on "How do I choose a Pilates Studio?" Here we'll go into the types of studios and it may help you decide on the type of studio to look at.

One thing I don't cover in that post is "fit" based on gender identity, race, or weight.

Exploring the studio website can give you a sense of the clientele they service, but in some instances I believe that this can be hidden - especially with the pandemic going on for the past year. It's possible that a studio hasn't updated the website in a year or more. Going to the studio's Instagram or their teachers' Instagrams might show you a glimpse into the studio, ideals, teacher's personality, etc. However...

When in doubt, CALL & ASK questions!!

  • Are you accepting of all gender identities?

  • Does your teaching staff use preferred pronouns?

  • Do you have any BIPOC teachers? or Do you have any [insert race specific] teachers?

  • Do you have an anti-racism plan and what does it look like?

  • Do you have any BIPOC clients?

  • Do you have any Plus Size Teachers?

  • Are all body sizes welcome? or Do you have any classes that offer modifications for bigger bodies?

Having a sense of belonging can be essential when starting anything new. When you Google "Pilates" - you'll see mostly the same body doing advanced exercises. It doesn't mean that there aren't people of different gender identities, race, or body shapes doing Pilates - it just means it isn't being picked up in the search.

ASK questions and see how the answers make you feel.

- I recommend a call with the owner, if possible, so you can hear the answers and feel the tone.

- If that isn't possible, email will at least give you some of the answer before you decide to try the studio.

There is a place for you in Pilates.

Who Can Do Pilates?


Picture shows Pulling Straps on Reformer (part of the Long Box series) Level 3

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