Looking for an exercise class that acts as a workout, whilst developing your core muscular control, strength and flexibility? Then we’ve got just the one for you… Pilates! Developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, Pilates is a technique which helps you master controlled movements, and improve endurance.

What’s Pilates all about and is it right for me?

Pilates was invented to improve flexibility and increase core strength. With the focus that Pilates demands, it’s not only your body getting a workout, but your mind too. The other core principle of Pilates is control and centring, as Joseph Pilates believed that for people to control their bodies, they must have a starting point – their centre.

Who is the class for?

Pilates can be enjoyed by everyone, whether they’re complete beginners, or have been practicing for years. All the exercises can be adapted to the needs of each individual, so don’t be afraid to give it a go. Pregnant women can also enjoy the workout, although you should speak to your doctor or midwife first, just to be safe.

Why is it so popular?

There are a couple of different types of Pilates to try – the most common is mat Pilates which takes place in an exercise studio. All you need to take is a mat and yourself – there’s occasional use of a resistance band, but that’s down to the instructor and they’ll usually be provided. There’s often music over a mat Pilates class to help you relax more.

The less common is Reformer Pilates which is on a narrow bed with a sliding platform, made more or less resistant by adding or removing springs. You can perform very basic, to highly advanced movements in a range of positions on the reformer bed.

Both sessions will offer a full body workout to anyone and everyone, and you’ll soon see your core strength and overall flexibility improve.

What do the experts say?

The experts say the benefits of practicing Pilates are endless. From developing your core muscles (not to mention toning your arms and legs as well), to learning to focus your attention, you’ll experience lots of positive effects. For complete beginners it’s advised to start with a mat class where you’ll learn to get your technique right. Once you feel ready, you can move onto the Reformer bed to try this out.

What should you wear?


Really it’s whatever you’re comfortable in! Some prefer wearing leggings and a t-shirt, whilst others come in shorts and a vest. There’s no right or wrong clothing, as long as it’s comfortable, stretchy and easy to move in. Pilates classes are done either barefoot or with socks on.

Give Pilates a go at David Lloyd Clubs

Why not give it a go? At David Lloyd Clubs we run a huge range of different classes in our dedicated Mind & Body studios, including many different Pilates sessions. To find your local club and enquire about joining, find your local club here.