VALLEY Tries It: Pilates

Much like the recent revival of Y2K trends such as parachute pants and low-rise jeans, social media has been the catalyst for the resurgence of the yoga-like exercise Pilates. 30-day Pilate’s challenge instructor and influencer Bailey Brown sums up the Pilates craze in a now-viral TikTok, “Gorgeous, gorgeous girls do Pilates,” she says “Pilates girls are hot.”

Brown’s audio, gaining the views of millions, is just one of the latest sounds associated with this hot exercise. Tons of young influencers with a platform, adorning matching workout sets and brightly colored yoga mats rave about the body transformations and health benefits of simple 20-minute at-home Pilates videos. These TikTok users are not alone. Celebrities such as Duchess Meghan, Jennifer Aniston, the Kardashians and Phoebe Tonkin are switching out high-intensity sweat sessions to the calming nature of Pilates. As more and more TikToks pop up on our For You page, VALLEY is determined to investigate: is Pilates worth the hype?

What is Pilates?

Before diving into the review, what is the core of the workout itself? Pilates is hardly a new form of exercise, having been invented by Joseph Pilates when he opened his Manhattan studio in 1926. The exercise was popular for off-season dancers before it became mainstream in the 80s and 90s. A low-impact yoga-like workout that emphasizes core strength, flexibility and stabilization, Pilates focuses on form, alignment and breathing while improving those in understanding of their own body. With a slow arch of the back, inhale pattern or reach of an arm, the body moves in a way that interacts with each limb, a result of carefully planned logic. And, the best part is all you need to get started is a yoga mat and Internet access for a YouTube video. It’s that easy.

VALLEY’s Thoughts:

Many influencers claimed that they saw results after only one week of doing the workout, so VALLEY put that to the test.

Every day this past week, I rolled out a bright orange yoga mat and threw on matching workout sets in the morning before class. I paired the 20-minute full-body Pilates workout by @MoveWithNicole with a 15-minute “Hot Girl Walk” on the treadmill.

After my first session, not only did I quite enjoy my time on the mat, but I was amazed at how fast the 20 minutes felt. I usually groan through at-home YouTube workouts, but Pilates put my mind in such a meditative state. By the end of the week, I started looking forward to my mornings. I felt so in touch with my body and its movements. My flexibility increased drastically — which comes from someone who can barely touch their toes — and my abs even appear more toned. I have noticed which muscle groups carry me throughout the day, feeling a greater sense of stability as I speed walk up Shortlidge Road to the HUB and take three flights of stairs for one of my classes. Nothing, however, even comes remotely close to the confidence I feel in my own body. Though I may not look it quite yet, I feel so much more toned and comfortable walking through the streets.

Enough with the praise. We have a question to formally answer.

VALLEY’s Final Verdict:

According to VALLEY, Pilates is worth the hype. With more sessions and more difficult positions, I hope to continue to gain strength, flexibility and confidence in my appearance, and I want you to feel that way too.

Have you ever done Pilates? Tweet @VALLEYmag with your favorite videos and send us a picture in your favorite workout set!


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