Low-impact and functional fitness workouts are rapidly gaining popularity in health and wellness communities. Many who once meticulously tracked calories burned per workout and committed only to cardio and high-impact exercises have now turned to more measured and controlled strength and toning workouts like Pilates and Barre. These exercises target supporting muscles that aren’t engaged during typical workouts, which provide greater strength and control in daily movements and performance of other sports. The Memphis Health + Fitness community is embracing the Pilates and Barre boom, with students all over the city raving about their favorite studios and poses. The beauty of these low-impact workouts is that they can be tailored to anyone based on their fitness goals, age, and mobility — so anyone can enjoy the benefits.

Traditional Pilates is a mind-body exercise developed in the 1900s by Joseph Pilates, which uses a combination of approximately 50 repetitive exercises that require strength, stability, flexibility, and attention to muscle control, posture, and breathing. These traditional methods are embraced by local studios Core Collective and Club Pilates, but core tenants of traditional Pilates are incorporated into most local Pilates and Barre studios. Ballet Memphis and Crystal’s Body Shop teach STOTT® Pilates, an iteration of traditional Pilates that incorporates contemporary thinking on spinal rehabilitation, fascial integration, muscle conditioning, and athletic performance enhancement. Inferno Hot Pilates classes can be found at Dose Hot Pilates and Yoga, which combines high-intensity interval training with Pilates-based principles in a heated room. Pure Barre and Neighborhood Barre utilize many similar movements to traditional Pilates but combine classical dance postures and exercises using a ballet barre. And at pilatesadrienne901, a mix of traditional and contemporary Pilates is incorporated at a home studio. With so many different options, there’s something for everyone! 

However, the key to an amazing practice is an instructor dedicated to helping their students achieve the maximum benefits from their workouts. Eight renowned Pilates and Barre instructors in Memphis and their students shared their experiences with the practice and how Pilates or Barre have changed their lives. Though their practices and experiences may differ, each instructor shares a passion for seeing their students grow and hope to continue spreading their love for Pilates and Barre to the Memphis community.