Mar 25, 2024 - Things to Do

Pilates is having a moment in the Twin Cities

Illustration of a woman stretching on a yoga mat shaped like a plus

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

The heyday of high intensity interval training (HIIT) is over. Low-impact workouts — and particularly Pilates — are all the rage for Twin Cities fitness enthusiasts.

Why it matters: As longevity becomes a primary health focus, a growing number of exercisers are opting for movements that advance their day-to-day functioning and better protect them from injury, Axios' Carly Mallenbaum writes.

Zoom out: Nationwide, Pilates was the most popular ClassPass workout of 2023, with booking reservations up 92% from 2022, according to data shared with Axios.

  • Chanhassen-based Life Time has doubled its Pilates instructors since 2020 to meet growing demand, per Theresa Barone, national manager of the wellness and fitness brand's Pilates program.

Zoom in: In Minneapolis, Pilates ClassPass bookings increased 140% in 2023, compared to 2022, according to data shared with Axios.

What we're hearing: "After COVID, it just seemed like everyone was hungry for Pilates," said Kendahl Jest, a longtime instructor who opened the private lessons studio Kora Pilates last year. "People were hungry for community and moving their bodies."

Between the lines: Many who try get hooked on the positive impacts the exercise can have on posture, strength, and stress, she said.

  • "I think people are just discovering like, wow, there's this amazing method of movement," she said. "And a lot of people once they start they just can't stop because it's just that good."

Plus: Pilates' low-impact style appeals to all ages. Jest works with clients who are "18 and who are 80." Life Time has seen a boost in interest in its "ARORA" classes, which are tailored for "baby boomers and beyond."

What we're watching: Solidcore — the most popular Twin Cities Pilates studio on ClassPass — is opening a new location in the North Loop this spring, per signage at the intersection of N. 2nd Street and N. 3rd Ave.

  • It will be its third outpost in the metro.

Go Deeper: "Functional fitness" is the workout buzzword of the moment

Editor's note: This story has been updated to show the name of the Life Time program is ARORA, not Aurora.


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