Common Misconceptions of Pilates

Common Misconceptions of Pilates

When I tell people that I am a Pilates instructor they typically give me a perplexed look. Then I get the questions; “Is that like Yoga?” “I’ve heard of that, is it hard?” “Isn’t that on that weird machine?” Or, statements like – “I like cardio better” quickly put an end to the conversation. But as someone who has been a fitness instructor for almost 20 years, teaching every fad to come along, I feel fortunate that I can teach Pilates AND that I get to share the benefits of this awesome form of exercise with my pupils every week!

For some reason Pilates (perhaps the name is just too strange) endures some serious misconceptions. So I’m going to try and break a few common myths and answer some questions along the way;

  • Pilates is just another form of Yoga, right? Yes, Pilates is similar to Yoga in its concept that you can use different “poses” to stretch and build flexibility and balance. But Pilates is really more about MOVING into and through a series of exercises to gain strength, flexibility and balance.
  • Doesn’t Pilates use that weird machine? There are two forms of Pilates. the first commonly known as Matwork, and the other version is Reformer Pilates that is done on a large piece of equipment which was invented by the originator of this exercise system; Joseph Pilates. There are also several small pieces of apparatus that can be used with the Matwork version of Pilates, such as a ring, or small ball. But you really don’t need anything other than a Yoga style mat to do Pilates.
  • Isn’t Pilates only for women? In actuality Pilates was designed for men rehabbing from their injuries in WWI and in some ways is even more beneficial to a man’s physique. Men tend to pronate (round forward) when they build muscle in their upper bodies, so Pilates is a great way to focus on the shoulder girdle in a positive format that improves posture, too.
  • Pilates is a real workout! Some people think that it would be more beneficial to just do cardio. But I feel that Pilates, and its principle of building core strength – is the foundation of a stronger, more fit body that will allow you to excel in any other form of exercise, including strength training and all forms of cardio.
  • Yes, we even sweat in Pilates! There are countless professional athletes that have found the benefits of this amazing discipline, increasing not only strength and flexibility but finding the added power that comes from being able to engage the core during activities like golf or running.
  • Pilates just works your abs, right? As a fitness professional and triathlete, I have found Pilates to be the foundation of keeping my core strength at its peak, so that I can maintain my fitness regimen AND stay healthy as I train. Pilates is also awesome for keeping your back healthy – after all, you need core strength to support your back at every level of activity.

If you are looking for an entry-level fitness class OR if you are an athlete that wants to improve their level of fitness – give Pilates a try. I suggest committing to at least a month of classes, as with every new form of exercise Pilates takes patience to learn proper form and therefore gain the most benefit. But most of all – enjoy feeling better with Pilates – I promise that you will!

Carrie Oesmann
Carrie Oesmann


has spent the past 20 years developing her skills and expertise in the real world of interior design. With her new blog site, “My Bailiwick”, Carrie shares her valuable insights on her experience as an influencer in global community of interior design professionals.

Carrie addresses all the aspects of interior design; working with clients, partnering with contractors and developing designs that really work within her clients’ budgets, personal taste and lifestyle. Carries insights bring the design process into focus as she explains how decisions are really made and why. And how each of those decisions impacts the big picture.

Carrie’s active lifestyle proves her mantra “A body in motion stays in motion!” So outside of her thriving design business Carrie pursues life with a passion. Whether she is teaching Pilates, training for a triathlon, traveling the world, or simply enjoying a round of golf and taking her golden-doodle Bailey to a local nursing home for a visit, Carrie is constantly on the go.

Gold and silver awards for her designing talents are a testament to her creativity and dedication to her profession. Carrie’s work has been featured in multiple trade magazines including New York Spaces, Distinctive Kitchens, Design NJ, New Jersey Home and Style, to name a few, as well as designer showhouses and even a television pilot. Carrie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and an Associate’s Degree in Interior Design from Centenary College. She is an active professional member of NKBA, the National Kitchen and Bath Association and ASID, the American Society of Interior Designers, and is one of the elite who have passed the rigorous national qualification exam, making her an NCIDQ certified interior designer.

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