How Pilates Became The Latest Celebrity Fitness Obsession

How Pilates became the latest celebrity fitness obsession

Athletes and celebs are using Pilates to boost their holistic health and fitness. The evidence suggests you should too.

HAVE YOU EVER been to a Pilates class, looked around and found you’re one of the few blokes in the room? As a man, it can be easy to dismiss Pilates as just another workout trend that’s not entirely meant for you. But hear us out–Pilates is not just for women. In fact, it may just be the missing piece to your fitness puzzle. 

With a bunch of Hollywood celebs recently seen flying the Pilates flag, it seems heavy weights and ‘yolked’ physiques might be making way for a more athletic aesthetic.

If you’re looking to boost flexibility, make your limbs more supple and limber, improve balance and posture and reduce your risk of injury in team sports, Pilates might be for you. Read on to discover the many benefits of hitting of the mat.


Pilates is trending among celebrities 

David Beckham swears by Pilates, having been introduced to the practice while on loan at AC Milan. Matthew McConaughey also enjoys a session on the mat and our own Jacob Elordi is known to incorporate a dedicated stretch into his weekly workout sessions. Trending movie star Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick), has also been seen on social media wrestling his body through reformer Pilates, describing the practice as “awful” but “great”. 

But it was probably pop music heavyweight Harry Styles who really kicked off the trend, appearing in a video posted by Exhale Pilates London. In it, Styles is seen twisting his core while holding a bar above his head. Simple stuff on paper, yes, but trust us, but give it a try some time—it’s tough!

Even Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito appeared in the video, the 65-year-old demonstrating Gumby-level flexibility.


Instagram | @thegiancarloesposito


In the sporting world, meanwhile, top athletes such as LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andy Murray also incorporate Pilates into their fitness regimes. For athletes of this magnitude and vintage, any new way to get a physical edge on opponents and mitigate pain and injury in your twilight years is an investment worth making.

What is Pilates 

First, let’s debunk the myth that Pilates is only for flexibility and core strength. While those are certainly important, Pilates can also improve overall strength, balance, and posture. As men, we tend to just try and slap on muscle mass any way we can through weightlifting, but Pilates can help us achieve a more functional and balanced body.

Instagram | @exhalepilateslondon


Pilates is like yoga’s sophisticated cousin. It’s a form of exercise that focuses on building core strength, flexibility, and balance, all while using slow, controlled movements. Joseph Pilates, who created the discipline in the early 1900s, once said, “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.” And honestly, after trying Pilates myself, I have to agree with him. 

It’s all about precision and control, understanding each movement and how it benefits your body. Like an athletic puzzle, each movement slides perfectly into the next, creating a full-body workout that leaves your body feeling refreshed and invigorated. 

Combining low impact movements at high-intensity, Pilates is perfect for anyone looking to improve their fitness without putting too much strain on their joints. It involves extending, flexing, holding, breathing, and further repetitive slow movements that will have your muscles screaming. But here’s the thing—the next day your body won’t be overly sore, which is why a session on the mat between heavy lifting days is a good idea.

Can Pilates help you lose weight?

Pilates offers profound muscle-strengthening benefits, primarily setting your core, glutes, shoulders, and back alight. And depending on your intensity level, it can also begin burning calories to help you drop a few extra kilos. Taking a reformer Pilates class can help increase the intensity of your workout and provide added resistance for a more challenging experience.

What’s a reformer class? It’s Pilates performed on a reformer machine, which uses spring systems for added resistance. It’s surefire way to get sweaty, so best leave your ego at the door. 

The benefits of Pilates

A recent study outlined a laundry list of health benefits of Pilates, including improved posture, flexibility, muscular strength, endurance, body composition, functional autonomy, static balance, motor skills, and specific sports activity components. The study also suggests that Pilates positively affects mood, quality of life, and psychological illnesses, including anxiety and depression.

Additionally, Pilates can benefit men who play sports or participate in activities that require explosive movements. Pilates’ slow and controlled movements can improve body awareness and coordination, leading to better performance on the field or court. 

Why is there a resurgence in Pilates?

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the days when hulking physiques were the ideal male aesthetic are numbered. The current trend is for a more athletic and balanced rig, to look and feel good in all aspects of life. And Pilates can help you achieve just that. 

Many guys in years past were either too self-conscious to be seen in Pilates rooms or felt the workout wasn’t intense enough for them. And sure, these stereotypes persist for some men. But as the empirical evidence for the benefits of Pilates continues to mount and the fact that some of the most recognisable male celebs on the planet are starting to hop on the bandwagon, Pilates is having a moment. Perhaps it’s time to incorporate a session into your weekly workout regimen.

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