Is Pilates For You?

By: Sarah DoBroka Cooley, Physical Therapist

What is Pilates?

Long before P90X, Pure Barre, Cross Fit and Burn Boot Camps were introduced to the fitness community, Joseph Pilates developed a system of exercise on his own body and then taught his system.  Pilates is a low impact, full body workout that is beneficial for people of various ages and various fitness levels. The emphasis on core training develops strength, flexibility, muscle endurance, coordination, balance and good posture, making it a great primary workout or form of cross training.  It is also a good form of mental health, liberating stress and helping to connect the mind and body.

What to expect:

A typical workout can last 45-60 minutes.  You can participate in group classes or private lessons. The two most common types of sessions are mat and reformer. Whether you’re on a mat or machine, you will still snag core benefits.  Wearing form fitting clothes is also recommended.

Can men do Pilates?

Although Pilates is seen as predominately female, men’s bodies can benefit as well.  Pilates builds muscles not typically targeted with weight lifting by using controlled movements and not the typical “just power through” attitude common in the gym.  Men with more muscle mass also tend to be less flexible, so Pilates can improve overall flexibility.  This system is also used to improve overall athletic performance and as a form of injury prevention.

When us Pilates NOT for you?

Do not participate in a class or do exercises at home if you have any of the following:  acute pain, severe night pain, possible infection or fracture, a tumor or abdominal hernia or pre-eclampsia.   If you are recovering from an injury or surgery, consult your physician, physical therapist or athletic trainer before returning for specific modifications.

In Summary:

If you are a runner, Pilates is for you. If you cycle, Pilates is for you. If you play intramural sports, Pilates is for you. If you sit behind a computer and daydream about your favorite Netflix series, Pilates is for you! You get the point. With so many exercise variations and progressions, you will never get bored with Pilates!

If you are looking for a location in the LKN area Club Pilates is a great place to start and they have a special in October!  Tell them you heard about them on

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Sarah DoBroka Cooley PT, SCS, COMT, Cert DN has greater than 17 years of clinical experience and highly respected credentials including being a Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist, a Certified Manual Therapist, and certifications in dry needling and instrument assisted manual therapy. She specializes in treating orthopedic injuries in athletes who compete on interscholastic, collegiate, Olympic, and professional levels. Locally, she has served as a PT consultant to Davidson College and was a member of the Motorsports Outreach Team for NASCAR. Contact her at

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