Why pilates workouts doubled last year according to Garmin – and how to get started

Pilates is the core-based exercise you should start if you want to improve stability and strength. Plus you can do it at home

Man practices Pilates
(Image credit: Getty)

We have seen a lot of new health and fitness trends emerge over the last couple of years, many influenced by the circumstances of the pandemic. Pilates seems to fall under this category as the home-workout-friendly exercise more than doubled in popularity last year, as revealed in a recent Garmin report.

Similar to yoga, Pilates is a low-intensity and low-impact physical activity that is often viewed as more inclusive than other forms of exercise. Although you typically practice Pilates on one of the best yoga mats, it differs from yoga. Pilates has a greater focus on core strength, whereas yoga concentrates more on flexibility and stability.

The 2021 Garmin Connect Fitness Report revealed that both exercises increased in popularity last year. But there was a significant increase in Pilates workouts, as the number of sessions more than doubled (increasing by 108.3%), while yoga experienced a 45.55% increase. 

Korin Nolan, leading Pilates expert and co-founder of Dynamic Pilates TV, shared with Fit&Well that Pilates has long been hailed as the go-to body conditioning exercise for athletes, dancers, and celebrities and that more and more people are recognizing the benefits of this body toning technique.

She noted, "Lockdown has also probably increased people’s awareness of pilates even more so. As we were all on Zoom, Pilates is the perfect form of exercise as you don’t need much room or equipment to get started."

Pilates expert Korin Nolan performs a side lying leg lift

(Image credit: Belle PR)

Nolan didn't forget to mention that high-intensity training still has its place but Pilates is the ideal workout that complements all other sports and forms of exercise. It improves mobility and strength meaning you are more protected from injury and it helps to reduce stress,  "which after the last couple of years we all need!" Nolan added. 

If you are still apprehensive about returning or joining the gym during COVID then Pilates is a safe way to ease yourself back into exercise from the comfort of your home. Here are just some of the key benefits of Pilates: better posture, improved strength (especially in your core), less aches, pains and tension as well as improved mood and sleep.

If you are interested in starting a class Nolan recommends doing your research first as there are different variations of Pilates these days and don't be scared to start with a beginner's class.

"This is where you will learn the key fundamentals that are so important for getting the technique right," she explained.

Ready to transform your body and mind with Pilates? Try this 25-minute beginner Pilates workout below. You won't need any equipment but a mat, and it might be a good idea to have one of the best water bottles for the gym close by.

Jessica Downey
Jessica Downey

Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. She is a keen runner and is currently sweating her way through a 10k training plan. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen - which she loves sharing with others on her healthy living-inspired Instagram account, @jessrunshere. Despite her love for nutritious cooking, she stands by the saying ‘everything in moderation’ and is eagerly conquering the London food and drink scene!