Pilates is stepping back into the wellness spotlight.
After seeing interest slightly fade over the past decade, the pioneer of studio fitness is back on the scene… and potentially in a big way.
With new start-ups pouring into the space and numerous Pilates studio chains eyeing ambitious expansion, Pilates is trending.
In one of our recent newsletters, we highlighted that the number of people searching for “Pilates classes near me” has skyrocketed, along with other Pilates related queries.
But what’s causing this sudden stretch in popularity, and what can we learn from it?
Pilates – TL;DR
Pilates is a low-impact exercise regimen designed to build strength, improve flexibility, and hone in on proper posture.
An estimated 12 million people practice it worldwide and this looks set to rise.
Somewhat surprisingly, there’s little regulation around Pilates, which means the quality of instructors and training can vary more than other disciplines.
It might remind you of yoga, but there are distinct differences.
While yoga reaches into spiritual depths, turning exercise into an experience that stretches beyond the mat, Pilates takes a more no-nonsense approach… and gets straight to the point, focusing on physical strength and muscular balance.
Why is Pilates Trending?
Local Pilates studios are nothing new… but it seems like they’re transitioning from a niche corner of wellness to the mainstream.
We’ve noticed 4 big factors that help explain this rise in popularity.
First off, Pilates gets results.
Its low-impact yet high-results approach is like a siren song for those looking to build strength without the pound and ground of high-intensity workouts.
People aren’t just feeling the burn; they’re seeing the results. And in a world that loves a good transformation story, Pilates is writing blockbusters.
The group class vibe is another magnet pulling people in.
There’s something about sweating, stretching, and strengthening in unison that turns a workout into a community experience… especially after the pandemic.
Plus, Pilates is accessible… anyone can give it a go.
Some local studios and online creators have started integrating Pilates with things like yoga, barre, HIIT, and dance, to create hybrid workouts that allow people to enjoy the best bits of different modalities.
This naturally introduces people to Pilates who may have initially come for a different style of exercise.
Backed by Celebs
Let’s not forget the stardust sprinkled by celebrities who swear by Pilates.
When the stars align with a fitness trend, the world takes notice… and Pilates has a red carpet of loyal followers preaching its benefits.
If you scroll through social media, it won’t take long until you see a famous face sprawled over a Pilates reformer… speaking of which, check out the growth in search interest for this iconic piece of Pilates equipment below.
For the Everyday Athlete
If you’ve never tried Pilates, now may be a great time to give it a go. From local studios to online sessions, there is plenty going on in the space at the moment.
As well as boutique Pilates studios, many generic gyms are now offering Pilates classes too.
For the Professional
Listen to the data. For fitness professionals, the Pilates wave is a call to action.
People aren’t just stumbling upon Pilates; they’re actively searching for it.
For Personal Trainers, Physiotherapists, and even Nutritionists, adding Pilates services to your toolkit could be a great way to better serve your audience and add new revenue streams.
Yogis take note. Yoga studios may also want to take note.
The line between yoga and Pilates is blurring as enthusiasts look to blend the spiritual soar of the former with the physical prowess of the latter.
Unlike yoga, HIIT and strength training, apps and streaming services in the Pilates space is currently less saturated. The standard of UI and functionality is also currently lower than other fitness apps, creating opportunity to marry Pilates and tech for mass appeal.
Considering the search interest, there’s still not that many quality Pilates apps out there.
Selling equipment, including reformers, could also be a big market too.
For too long, wellness programs at work have focused on “step challenges” simply because they’re easy to track (and set up).
The interest in Pilates demonstrates that workers would probably get more value from a mix of wellbeing services, including classes and group fitness.
We help coaches, businesses and everyday athletes make smarter decisions with data-backed insights into the latest fitness trends.