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Why Your Favorite Athletes and Celebrities Love Pilates

Two beautiful ladies working out with their gym instructor.


Why Your Favorite Athletes and Celebrities Love Pilates

Sports enthusiasts constantly look for ways to improve their performance and avoid injury. While traditional strength training has been the go-to for decades, there’s a new player in town: Pilates. This low-impact exercise form has become popular among athletes of all levels, from beginners to pros. In addition, it is also very popular with celebrities.

But what makes it so effective for improving bodies? Let’s explore Pilates’ benefits and how to incorporate the exercises into your training routine.

The Rise of Pilates in Athletics

Contrary to popular belief, Pilates isn’t just a workout for dancers and gymnasts. Today, athletes in sports ranging from basketball to tennis are also doing Pilates.

One reason for the rise of Pilates in athletics is its ability to improve core strength and stability. You need a strong core for optimal performance. Pilates targets the deep core muscles that traditional strength training and cardio often neglect. With guidance from a Pilates instructor, your body experiences efficient movement patterns and reduced injury risk.

Athletes love that Pilates is low impact yet super effective. Unlike high-impact activities like running and jumping, Pilates is gentle on the joints. As a result, it’s an excellent option for men and women looking to stay fit while preventing or recovering from injuries.

Finally, Pilates boosts body awareness and control. This can translate to better performance on the field or court.

How Can Pilates Help Athletes?

Pilates can help athletes:

  • Build core strength
  • Develop agility and flexibility
  • Improve mental focus
  • Aid in the recovery process
  • Improve body function and reduce the risk of injury

Let’s take a closer look at each:

Pilates for Agility and Flexibility

Agility and flexibility are essential for dodging defenders, pivoting on the court, and changing direction on the field.

Pilates improves the body’s ability to sense its position in space. The exercises require athletes to move through different motion planes while maintaining control. This helps develop the neuromuscular connections needed for quick, precise movements. Pilates exercises involve fast transitions between activities, which sharpens reaction time and speed. In addition, stretching exercises help people develop greater flexibility.

The roll-up is an example of a Pilates exercise that improves agility and flexibility. It involves lying flat on your back and slowly rolling to a seated position. When practicing this, use your core muscles to control the movement. The roll-up enhances core strength and spinal flexibility, vital for moving swiftly.

Pilates for Mental Focus

Athletes rely on their mental focus as much as their physical abilities to perform at their best. Staying focused under pressure is crucial for doing well in sports. Pilates encourages mindfulness, which helps people refine their mental focus.

During Pilates exercises, athletes must focus on their breath and body. By practicing mindfulness, they can stay present now, even when under stress on the court or field.

In addition, Pilates movements require body awareness. As athletes develop a more profound sense of their physical abilities, they can identify areas of weakness or imbalances. Then, they can work to correct them and perform better.

Pilates for Post-Workout Recovery

Post-workout recovery is imperative for an athlete’s training routine. If you play regular sports, your body must repair and rebuild muscles. Reducing soreness and preventing injuries is paramount for optimal performance. There are countless ways to recover after a workout. But if you’re looking for ideas, Pilates is a great way to aid post-workout recovery.

Since Pilates focuses on activating core muscles, it strengthens the abdominal region. As a result, athletes who tone those muscles can better maintain proper form during workouts.2 In addition, stabilizing the body during exercises reduces the risk of injury and improves overall performance.

The stretching and lengthening aspect of Pilates can help with the muscle repair and rebuilding process—athletes who do Pilates find that stretching reduces stiffness and soreness after a workout.


As we age, adapting our workout routine and choosing age-appropriate workouts is important. Pilates is versatile enough to meet anybody’s needs to improve their movement gracefully, making it highly challenging.

Kate Hudson is one famous star dedicated to Pilates through the years. Having discovered Pilates when she was 19, the mom of three has continued incorporating the workout into her exercise routine. For Hudson, she states that Pilates makes her feel her strongest, and at 44 years old, she looks as good as she feels.

Big TV personality Chelsea Handler is another celebrity who appreciates how gentle Pilates is on her body. Since taking Pilates, Handler stated it has made her longer and leaner and has completely changed her body for the better.

Overall, Pilates helps you perform weight training exercises more effectively and safely because it strengthens your core and improves your posture. It also reduces stress on your joints and prevents injuries. As a result, Pilates allows you to stay fit and healthy at every stage of life.


Pilates is a tried and true workout celebrities look to for building and strengthening their buttocks. Pilates incorporates specific glute-activation exercises and movements that target the gluteal muscles and can effectively build a stronger, more sculpted butt.

In Pilates, various movements target the gluteal muscles. These include bridges, leg presses, lunges, and squats. Additionally, Pilates exercises like clamshells, side-lying leg lifts, and exercises incorporating resistance bands also help target the gluteus muscles by engaging and strengthening the muscles.

Pilates effectively activates and strengthens the gluteal muscles, promoting growth and toning. When practicing Pilates regularly, individuals can expect to see improvements in the size and shape of their buttocks over time. Additionally, engaging and strengthening the gluteal muscles not only helps in toning and shaping the butt but also improves overall hip strength, stability, and functionality. Additionally, strong glutes are crucial in enhancing posture, addressing alignment issues, and preventing injuries associated with the lower back, hips, and knees.


If you’ve ever wondered how A-list celebrities stay so strong, toned, and sculpted, there is a good chance their secret is Pilates! This versatile workout appeals to individuals of all ages, shapes, and sizes.

Younger celeb favorites like Hilary Duff are proud supporters of Pilates. The How I Met Your Father actress attributes Pilates to helping her stay long and lean. She recently shared her current workout routine, which includes doing Pilates three to four days a week in a “hot-as-hell” room. Another on-screen favorite, Emma Roberts, has also raved about Pilates. The American Horror Story star credits the workout with helping her feel more energized and centered.

a woman doing pilates

Former Spice Girls member Victoria Beckham has long been known for her lean, toned figure. She attributes her slim physique to a combination of discipline in the kitchen and consistent exercise, including Pilates.

For Adele, Pilates was key to helping her lose her post-baby weight. According to Adele’s former Pilates instructor, she was concerned with strengthening her pelvic floor, so they worked on her lower back, focused on many core movements, and did a lot of pelvic floor and bridge work.

a woman doing pilates

Pilates has also been a support for celebs who struggle with chronic illness. Lady Gaga has proudly declared her love for Pilates and how it has helped her push through fibromyalgia. Lady Gaga uses Pilates to stay healthy and active despite her debilitating chronic disorder. Similarly, Jennifer Aniston is a self-professed “Pilates person” who attributed the exercise to helping alleviate her hip problems and a pinched nerve.

It remains a fitness favorite among other celebrities such as Chelsea Handler, Sandra Bullock, and Reese Witherspoon, who all credit this workout to staying healthy, strong, and fit.

Male Celebrities Who Do Pilates

Pilates has been long associated with women’s fitness, but times are changing. More men are discovering its benefits and including it in their fitness routines. In addition, several male celebrities, including Harry Styles, have been vocal about their love for Pilates.

a man doing pilates

Styles has been doing Pilates for several years. He’s expressed that it helps him loosen tight hamstrings. He commits to Pilates once a week to improve his posture and support his grueling workload.

David Beckham is another A-lister who has professed his love for Pilates. Referring to it as “fantastic,” Beckham does an hour of Pilates daily. He has expressed that he is in the best shape for years, thanks to Pilates.

a man doing pilates

World-famous soccer star Cristiano Rinaldo also counts Pilates as part of his fitness regimen. It makes sense, given that Pilates helps with flexibility and increases range of motion, greatly reducing the possibility of injuries. And for this celebrated athlete, an injury is the last thing he wants.

a man doing pilates

Other celebrities who swear by Pilates include Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and James Harden.

How to Incorporate Pilates into Your Training Routine

Pilates is an effective way to improve body awareness, flexibility, and strength. It’s a valuable addition to any athlete’s training routine. Incorporate it into yours by starting with the basics.

Despite it being low-impact, Pilates can be challenging. If you’re a beginner, you must first learn proper form and technique. Then, take a few beginner classes and work with a certified Pilates instructor to develop a solid foundation. From there, you can move on to more advanced exercises.

Consistency and discipline are integral to getting impressive results from Pilates. First, determine how much time you can commit to it each week. Then, schedule it into your calendar. This has helped our clients stick to a routine and reap the full benefits.

Pilates offers various exercises you can customize to fit your training needs. Don’t be afraid to mix it up by trying new variations to keep things fun and challenging.

Don’t have time for a complete Pilates workout? Incorporate some Pilates movements in your warm-up or cool-down. These can help prepare your body for training or recovery from one.

Experience the Best Pilates Studio in Alexandria, VA

When it comes to finding the best Pilates studio in Alexandria, VA, look no further than sculp’d. Our expert instructors will help you achieve your fitness goals through personalized and challenging workouts. Call (703) 567-4442 to schedule a consultation and experience the benefits for yourself!

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1. Pilates, published in National Library of Medicine, Link
2. Pilates: how does it work and who needs it?, published in National Library of Medicine, Link

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