A friend of mine owns a Pilates studio in Philadelphia (Trullo Pilates in Northern Liberties. Book a session!). And this week we were talking about the words we use in advertising our business. She’s adding signage to her location and Jackie and I are trying to develop some new marketing for the Florida slow season at our studio.
Pilates is something that people THINK they know. “Oh, that’s like yoga, right?” “Do you just lie on the floor?” “That’s with those machines that look like torture equipment.” “That’s just for dancers.” “I went to a class at my gym, and I didn’t feel anything.” Or worse, “I went to a class at my gym and it made my neck hurt.”
Combating these perceptions is a difficult task. Especially in a marketing piece. Much easier in a conversation and experience.
What are the most important things people need to know about Pilates? Here are mine.
1. Pilates is equal parts strength and stretch. Each exercise should have those 2 things going on.
2. Pilates should translate to your everyday life. One of the advertising phrases Trullo decided to use was “Effective Lifestyle Programs”, implying that Pilates is more than something you do there in the studio. It is a lifestyle (see my Fitness is Not a Number post). Pilates should affect your everyday life- your posture, how you think about movement, your ability to move, in any task- mundane or athletic.
3. Pilates moves from the center out. It is not “just core”. If you don’t actually move your body, it’s not very much exercise. It does start it your core, but you use it to move your arms and legs, support your head, etc.
4. Pilates is exercise! It is not “laying on a mat”, “just stretching” or any of the other varieties of those statements. You should feel like you are working! Granted, some people come to Pilates to rehab an injury, or have other conditions that prevent them from vigorously “working out”. But, Pilates is should work your muscles. People should sweat. They should occasionally be sore (in the good “I’ve found muscles I didn’t know I had" way). They should engage their entire bodies.
5. Pilates is compatible with all other forms of exercise. Pro athletes love it because it’s a great way to keep their muscle tone without stressing their joints to the point of risk for injury and to increase their flexibility. Dancers love it because they get strong without losing their long, lean lines. Tennis and golf players benefit from the spine flexion and torque, and learning to use their arms from their center, resulting in less shoulder injuries/stress.
What do you wish people knew about Pilates? What of the above items did you not know about Pilates?