Gainesville Health and Fitness: Pick Pilates to get Long and Lean Muscles

Strengthen your muscles through movement with Pilates machines at the Tioga location
Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 7:15 AM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - “I have seen it bring people out of pain and move a lot better in their everyday life,” said Amy Fowler, a Pilates Instructor at Gainesville Health and Fitness.

Pilates was invented by Joe Pilates during World War 1. He started these exercises while he was a prisoner in an internment camp.

“And ended up recruiting a lot of the other inmates in there, and they found that the inmates that were doing the exercises were able to stay healthier than the ones who were not,” mentioned Fowler.

Pilates focuses on core strength, range of motion and balance. To some this may sound like yoga, but they are different.

Fowler explained, “yoga has a lot more holding poses, and strengthening in that way, where is pilates is a-lot more strengthening through movement.”

When you go to the gym you normally wear sneakers, but with pilates it’s a little bit different. You should ditch your sneakers, and your socks. That way when you sit down and you go on the machines, and put your feet up, it allows for the proper movement of your feet and your ankles.

“We let people wear socks, as long as they have grippies on them,” said Fowler. She added, “but barefoot really is the best.

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There are three types of pilate machines; the reformer, the chair, and the cadillac. If the machines intimidate you, you do not need to use them. Fowler said, originally Joe Pilates came up with the mat work, which is just with your body and a mat.” She added, “I find this (the machines) is a better place for beginners to start, because the machines are spring loaded and you can have assistance. Also it’s easier for people who have a hard time getting up and down off the ground.”

Regardless of your age or work out experience, pilates is great because it’s modifiable. “My daughter has come in here and worked out with her ballet class, and I worked with people up to almost 100 years old,” mentioned Fowler. She continued, “we have classes that are more about strength and mobility, where there is not a-lot of sweating maybe, not as many calories burned. We also have advanced classes where people walk out of here dripping with sweat.”

Pilates classes with a mat are taught at all three Gainesville Health and Fitness locations. Pilates classes with equipment are only taught at the Tioga location. You can also try Barre. Barre is under the Pilates umbrella. Barre classes are taught at the GHF Women’s Center.

RELATED STORY: Gainesville Health and Fitness has a new class inspired by ballet called “Barre,” at GHF Women’s Center.

Visit for more info or call the gym at 352-377-4955.