Seattle Athletic Club


April Fools’ Pilates Myths

Myth: “Pilates is mostly for women”

What do Tiger Woods, Curt Schilling and Kobe Bryant all have in common? Pilates. Pilates has never been “just for women” and its benefits are certainly not gender biased. After all, Pilates was developed by a man, Joseph Pilates, who was a gymnast, a boxer, and a military trainer in his early years. It was initially conceived as a training program for armed forces and law enforcement, but it became popular as a physical rehab program for dancers in New York City. Men who practice Pilates are in excellent shape thanks to the amazing fitness program.

Read more: Pilates Isn’t Just For Women: Breaking Gender-Specific Workouts

Posted September 6, 2012 by Adam Maielua

Myth: “Pilates is only for flexible people”

Flexibility is an inherent part of Pilates training, so you will gain flexibility by doing Pilates regularly. The exercises are geared to improving flexibility for a more limber body with greater ranges of motion.  And for those people who are overly flexible, the core conditioning creates joint stability so the goal is a balance of strength and flexibility. All exercises can be modified or adapted to suit each individual’s flexibility level. Pilates can truly be enjoyed by just about everyone.

Myth: “Pilates only works your core”

While Pilates does build core strength, Mr. Pilates always emphasized that his exercises were for the whole body. He believed the more muscles you use to perform a movement, the more efficient the movement would be. This creates a system of functional strength that applies to all movements. The Pilates system teaches a balance of strength and flexibility, or, “the uniform development of our bodies as a whole,” Pilates often said.










Here are 6 principles that you’ll encounter in a Pilates session:

Centering: Bringing the focus to the center of your body, which can teach you how to use your core muscles to generate athletic or forceful movements. 

Concentration: Bringing full attention to each exercise and learning how to engage in high quality focus.

Control: Performing a movement with control and fluidity, which can teach you how to move more gracefully.

Precision: Having self-awareness of your body’s tiny movements and knowing the alignment of one body part relative to another and how your body moves through space – all of this can help with athleticism. 

Breath: Using a very full breath in your exercises and thinking of your lungs as a bellows which strongly pump air fully in and out of your body, which you can use in other activities such as stress relief or sports.

Flow: Performing your movements in a fluid, graceful manner, which can help you become a better dancer or athlete, or even simply improve your everyday posture and coordination.

For more information, please contact PIlates Director, Susan Foley, at or (206) 522-9400 ext. 281

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