First devised by Joseph Pilates as in the early decades of last century, Pilates is now loved by millions the world over. Initially created to rehabilitate injured athletes and dancers, it has now evolved to suit all ages and fitness levels. As a form of low-impact exercise, Pilates aims to strengthen muscles whilst improving postural alignment and flexibility.
Indeed, the diverse appeal of a Pilates in generally is one of the core reasons driving its popularity in the region. Not only does it cater to all; it is also available in a variety of styles and aerobic levels. The sheer expanse of movements is enough to keep even the most avid fitness buff interested and challenged.
Pilates also offers a myriad of health benefits. Not only is it a fabulous addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle; it strengthens, tones, and balances the body holistically. Pilates can also work to address those little niggles and get your body back on track.
Available in mat, clinical, classical or reformer styles, there is plenty on offer to cater to your individual needs. As with any exercise the hardest bit is often simply getting started. With many studios and instructors on offer, finding your best fit can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, we’ve rounded up our pick of the best Pilates studios in the Canberra region below.
What makes a great Pilates studio?
The best Pilates studios are a wellness sanctuary for clients, allowing them to improve their health and fitness at ease. Led by experienced and passionate instructors they challenge both novices and aficionados alike. Here are some considerations to keep in mind while evaluating potential studios:
- Qualified, experienced, and passionate. Pilates is a specialised exercise program that takes years of practice and theoretical knowledge to master. At a very minimum look for a studio with diploma qualified instructors. Moreover, instructors with a background in fields like physiotherapy are also advantageous, demonstrating a broader knowledge and skills base. Along with qualifications experience in Pilates is also vital. Incorrect movement and poor form can aggravate existing injuries or even cause new ones. Instructors should be hands-on, correcting and adjusting alignment as needed. Finally, look for a studio that is operated by a passionate team – their enthusiasm and dedication make all the difference.
- Style suited to your need. Pilates enthusiasts are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to classes. Typically, there are four key strands each with their own benefits. Those looking to address specific injuries or physical needs may find that clinical Pilates is best. Others who prefer more general exercise may like the body weight movement that mat Pilates provides. Conversely, those seeking a challenge or quick results may find equipment led reformer Pilates attractive. And others looking for a combination of mat and equipment may gravitate to classical Pilates. Either way, consider your preferences and evaluate a studio’s ability to deliver them. Each may have an area of specialisation which is also worth exploring. And, if possible, opt for a trial class to ensure the style is suited to your need.
- Cost to class size equation. When it comes to Pilates classes, size matters. From private lessons all the way up to twenty per session or more, each has its benefits and draw backs. Those who are new to a style, or the regime altogether, may benefit from personalised instruction in a small class. Others who have been practising for years will be comfortable working independently on a reformer with a large group. Cost will also play a role, and where possible prioritise value. So, when it comes to the cost versus class size equation, consider your needs and weigh up accordingly.
- Convenient. One of the best ways to start – and stick – to your new Pilates regime is by selecting a studio that is convenient. Location, class times, and access to things like parking or public transport are always important. So too is proximity to home or the office. To truly integrate Pilates into your schedule, opt for a studio that ticks the boxes as far as convenience is concerned.
- Flexible class delivery. There will always be times where attending a class may be cumbersome. Interruptions like business trips, unwell family members, or the need to prioritise other things all impact our schedules. The best Pilates studios will recognise this, and factor in flexible modes of delivery. Things like virtual classes and online programmes are incredibly beneficial, providing the flexibility to exercise at a time of choosing.
The best Pilates studios in Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Back in Strength has been holding Pilates classes in its large, fully equipped studio for more than 10 years. After a thorough assessment, personalised programs address issues and get clients pain free and reaching their goals.
The range of classes include reformer, classic, and clinical; with special needs like pre and post-natal also available. Qualified instructors provide innovative solutions to client needs, developing awareness of and recruiting core muscles and progressing to advanced exercises. The result is a strong and stable body. Instructors regularly review and assess client progress.
More than 60 classes are offered at Back in Strength each week, Monday to Saturday. Some classes can be claimed on private health or through certain health third-party payers.
Carrie Paine wrote on Riotact, “Back in Strength at Deakin is fantastic! It’s a safe and supportive environment for the young and not-so-young, fitness fanatics and casual exercise enthusiasts, as well as anyone just wanting to gain strength and flexibility.”
Pilates Centre Canberra offers studio and group classes. With outstanding teachers and delivery, this is a safe place to work out. All instructors are passionate, motivating, knowledgeable and members of Pilates Alliance Australasia.
Studio sessions use the full range of Pilates equipment. Individualised programs are private (one instructor, two students) or semi-private (one instructor, four students). They are versatile and great for overall body conditioning, including flexibility, strength and mobility. Studio sessions are also loved by for those who are pregnant or post-natal and those needing rehabilitation, spinal pathology management or other systemic and structural condition management.
Group classes (maximum five people) use Pilates Reformer machines and focus on alignment, flow and strengthening the body as a whole. Matwork classes are group style (maximum 10 people), run on mats and use small equipment like fit balls, rollers and magic circles.
Elise Murphy wrote on Google, “Such different approaches to Pilates but amazing in different ways.”
With over 30 years’ experience, Hawker Place Physiotherapy and Pilates provides the highest standard of care in a safe, friendly and professional environment. Hawker Place Physiotherapy and Pilates recognises the unique long-term benefits of clinical Pilates for building strength and physical awareness, as well as for injury prevention and rehabilitation.
Hawker Place Physiotherapy and Pilates is dedicated to providing clients with the best available care, tailored to specific physical needs and capabilities. Specialising in clinical Pilates, all instructors at Hawker Place Physiotherapy and Pilates are qualified with the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute.
The practice requires a one-on-one assessment before you start your classes. This is so highly-trained staff can properly assess personal needs and familiarise clients with Pilates before they start. Small group and individual lessons are available.
Andrea Hotchkiss wrote on Riotact, “Hawker Place Physiotherapy and Pilates has wonderful, professional staff led by Grant Sutherland. They have in-depth knowledge about each person and are therefore able to assist everyone, no matter age, flexibility or past or current injuries.”
Pilates Alive, a boutique studio, is led by Esther Mooney who has 20 years’ experience teaching Pilates to a range of ages and abilities, supporting clients to increase stability, agility, mobility and strength. Esther holds a post-graduate certificate in the Pilates Method and belongs to the Australian Pilates Method Association. She works with dancers, athletes, those suffering injuries and chronic pain, those in rehabilitation, and pre-natal and post-natal clients. Private, group and online sessions are available.
Core Essentials Pilates is about strengthening, toning and improving balance in an enjoyable and professional environment. The studio focuses on wellbeing through intelligent movement and exercise. Classes include Springboard, Mat, Reformer, Semi, Duo, Circuit and Private. Men’s classes are available.
Karen Dascarolis wrote on Google, “I’ve been to a lot of Pilates studios and this one suits me best. Instructors, location, facilities, classes and cleanliness are all top notch … the friendly professional feel brings me back every time.”
Elysium Studio Pilates supports clients to look and feel great in a safe, effective way. That includes improving mental and physical wellbeing. Classes are designed around everyone’s likes and fitness levels, including Matwork, Reformer, Circuits and Semi-Private. Pregnancy Pilates classes are also available.
On Google, Fiona Joiner wrote, “I was worried I would be too unfit or uncoordinated but Elyse tailors exercises … I’ve already lost a bit of weight and am toning up. My lower back pain is improving too.”
The passionate team behind Embrace Pilates and Fitness strives to create a personal fitness environment that welcomes the community and fosters a sense of belonging. The team believes Pilates should focus on progress rather than perfection.
Offering reformer Pilates, their supportive environment and experienced teaching staff help clients find the right movements.
Michelle Van Epps wrote on Google, “Embrace Pilates and Fitness is a real gem in the Pilates industry in Canberra … incredibly knowledgeable and patient instructors who make you feel welcome and looked after.”
If you’re looking for more articles on improving your physical health, you might like our articles on the best yoga studios in Canberra, the best physiotherapists in Canberra and the the best dietitians Canberra has to offer.
Your experience with Pilates studios in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the Pilates studios listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of Pilates?
Pilates is an effective and beneficial workout for all body types. It focuses on isolating muscle groups, improving endurance and flexibility, and building a strong core. For these reasons, Pilates helps you maintain a good posture, use your muscles and joints carefully, and exercise safely. It also helps improve your strength and muscle tone.
How is Pilates different from yoga?
One of the biggest differences between Pilates and yoga is equipment. Yoga is all mat-work whereas Pilates also uses equipment. Another difference is that yoga focuses more on flexibility. Pilates also concentrates on strength and conditioning. Finally, Pilates is not fundamentally spiritual like yoga is.
Can I do Pilates with an injury?
This depends on the type and severity of the injury. Pilates can help with some injuries, depending on what the injury is, how bad it is and how recent it is. The important thing is to talk to your doctor or health professional, as well as you Pilates instructor, on what you can safely do.
Is Pilates hard for beginners?
Like all forms of exercise, it's important to start at the right level and progress from there. If you’re just starting out with Pilates, join a beginner class. Also talk to your instructor so they’re aware you’re a beginner. Don’t push yourself too hard. The last thing you want is to injure yourself and not be able to get back to those Pilates classes you love.
How much does it cost to go to Pilates?
Different studios charge different prices so it’s best to head to websites or call studios to discuss what they charge. Many factors are at play, including the size and style of studio, location and how much equipment it has. The number of classes you attend will also affect price. Some studios offer discounts or package rates.