The 7 Best Online Pilates Classes of 2020

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Can’t make it to the studio? No problem. These virtual Pilates classes offer low-impact workouts and specific exercise instruction that incorporate the use of the six Pilates principles. Created by Joseph Pilates, this form of movement combines core work, torso stability, strength training, and flexibility into one functional workout.

At its core, Pilates focuses on whole-body fitness that can improve movement, strength, and control, which is also good for the soul. Specific workouts help develop core strength, increase flexibility, improve posture, boost your energy, and increase the mind-body connection. Plus, classes are adaptable to many fitness levels and needs.

The Pilates options below include a warmup, mat work for strength and conditioning, and a cool-down with stretching and flexibility exercises. All you’ll need to get started is an exercise mat and floor space. That said, some courses also incorporate light dumbbells, exercise bands, a Pilates ball, and other props that increase the intensity of the workout. If you’re ready to experience this intense mind-body workout, check out our top picks for online Pilates classes.

Our Top Picks

Pilatesology - Pilates Intermediate Mat Blast Workout with Alisa Wyatt: Best Overall



Often referred to as the gold-standard in online Pilates classes, Pilatesology has a robust selection of beginner through advanced classes with quality instructors who focus on classical Pilates exercises.

To access the Intermediate Mat Blast with Alisa Wyatt, click on the 33-minute video under “Try a free at-home workout.” This mat Pilates class is for intermediate-to-advanced levels and moves at a faster pace than a beginner mat class. You should also have a solid foundation of Pilates exercises and know how to perform them.

That said, the instructor provides excellent verbal cues as well as text-based captions at the bottom of the screen, so you can follow along. If you’re new to Pilates and want to get a feel for a traditional mat class, consider watching this class before you try it.

If you like the mat class from Alisa, you can enjoy free, unlimited access to other Pilates videos for 14 days. After the free trial is up, a monthly subscription to Pilatesology will cost about $20, or $179 for the entire year.

Alo Moves - Pilates Form with Teal Anderson: Best for Beginners



In Pilates Form, instructor Tela Anderson takes beginner and some of the intermediate exercises from the Pilates Mat class and breaks them down to work on the specific form and technique of each exercise. Over the course of six classes, you will also learn how to control your movements by engaging your body’s deep core muscles.

Each 30-minute class is a full-body workout that specifically works on the form and technique of the classical Pilates exercises, which includes the Pilates Hundred, Single-Leg Stretch, Pilates Roll-Down, Rolling Like a Ball, Spine Stretch, Swimming, and more. The recommended format for this program is to do the six classes (one each day for six days) with one rest day, for four weeks. After the successful completion of this schedule, you will be ready for the intermediate series.

If you like the 14-day trial and think you will commit, Alo Moves offers a yearly plan for about $199 and a monthly one for around $20. Included with the monthly fee are hundreds of Pilates, yoga, fitness, and meditation courses designed to do at home on your own time.

Pilates Anytime - Athletic Mat Flow with Tracey Mallett: Best for Intermediate to Advanced Levels



If you’re looking for a challenging class that will boost your heart rate while targeting every muscle in your body, head over to Pilates Anytime and try the Athletic Mat Flow class.

Taught by fitness expert Tracey Mallett, this 30-minute intermediate-to-advanced level class will move and work your entire body. One of the perks of this course is the transcript that accompanies the video, which gives you access to all of the instructor’s verbal cues and directions for the entire sequence. It would be best if you had a basic foundation in the Pilates exercises before trying this course.

The pace is moderate, with a focus on flow, cardio, strength, flexibility, athleticism, and coordination. Pilates Anytime is one of the most comprehensive online subscription services that offers thousands of Pilates classes for all levels and interests. The site features a wide variety of experienced instructors with new videos added weekly.

Pilates Anytime is a good choice for instructors or serious students looking for more in-depth practice. After a free, 15-day trial, Pilates Anytime will cost you about $18 per month.

Daily Burn - Pilates Phase One and Pilates Phase Two: Best Comprehensive Program

Daily Burn

Daily Burn

Even the most dedicated fitness enthusiasts can benefit from a structured program that takes the guesswork out of working out. Enter: Daily Burn’s Pilates Phase One and Pilates Phase Two program.

If you’re new to the method, start with Pilates Phase One. This comprehensive program covers the fundamentals of the practice in six different videos, including Intro to Pilates, Classic 1, Classic 2, Core Flow 1, Core Flow 2, and Stretch. Each class length varies and ranges from 9 minutes for the stretch workout to 32 minutes for the Classic 2 class.

After mastering this level, you’re on to Phase 2. This series takes the foundation of Phase One and increases the difficulty of the workouts by focusing on a controlled flow of exercises and removing breaks in between. Classes include intermediate levels of the workouts from Phase One and range in length from 11 minutes for Stretch Flow to 34 minutes for Classic 3. You’ll need a Pilates Magic Circle for both phases.

Daily Burn offers a free, 30-day trial where you can check out Pilates Phase One and Two, as well as its other fitness classes. Once your trial is up, you can sign up for a subscription plan. Rates start around $15 per month for the Basic plan up to about $20 per month for the Premium plan.

Pilates on Fifth On-Demand: Best for Using Props

Pilates on Fifth

Pilates on Fifth

Pilates Mat is the foundation of Pilates classes, but once you understand the basic principles of the workout, it’s time to add a few props. Pilates on Fifth offers classes that incorporate props such as the small ball, stability ball, chair, Cadillac, Reformer, Ladder Barrel, Magic Circle, exercise bands, and more.

To get a better idea of the classes it offers, check out its Great Pilates Workout introduction video. This short clip shows how owners and Stott Pilates-trained instructors Katherine and Kimberly Corp use the stability ball, small ball, and exercise bands to increase the intensity of a basic Pilates workout. The on-demand service gives you access to more than 700 videos in roughly 23 different categories, including Pilates workouts, educational training, technique, and more.

The Pilates on Fifth On-Demand program will run you about $13 per month. You can also sign-up for the virtual studio that offers live Pilates classes like Pilates, CARDIOLATES, Barres & Belles, CoreAlign, and SilkSuspension via Zoom. Plus, Pilates on Fifth offers Pilates Academy International, a teacher training program designed to help you become a Pilates instructor.

Gaia - Supercharged Abs: Best When You’re Short on Time



When time is tight and you can’t fit a full workout into your schedule, give this 13-minute Supercharged Abs class a try.

Taught by Caroline Sandry, this class is part of the comprehensive video library offered by Gaia. In the time it takes to check email and scroll through social media, you’ll target every muscle in your body in this simple yet effective sequence.

Sandry takes you through a series of Pilates exercises using a set of light dumbbells. If you don’t have weights, she recommends using full water bottles. Sandry demonstrates each move while providing detailed cues to walk you through the steps. In addition to working your core muscles, this class also focuses on the glutes, shoulders, arms, chest, and back.

You can try the Supercharged Abs class for free on YouTube. If you enjoy the course, consider joining Gaia, which offers thousands of other videos. Gaia offers a free, seven-day trial, followed by three subscription plans, including a monthly one for about $12 per month, an annual package for about $99, and the Live Access plan for roughly $25 per month.

Ultimate Pilates Toning Workout — 30 Minutes Abs, Glutes, Back with Lottie Murphy: Best to Fit Your Budget

Lottie Murphy

Lottie Murphy

Who doesn’t love a free class? The 30-minute Ultimate Pilates Toning Workout with Lottie Murphy is not only free, but it’s also guaranteed to tone, lengthen, and strengthen your body.

The routine targets the abs, glutes, and back muscles, while also focusing on proper posture and form. Aimed at intermediate levels, the class moves at a moderate pace with very little rest between exercises. However, there are plenty of opportunities for stretching that allow for active rest. Murphy provides excellent cues and detailed instructions, and she counts down when performing the exercises.

If you enjoyed the Ultimate Pilates Toning Workout, you can join Lottie Murphy’s YouTube channel, which offers several free Pilates classes along with yoga-inspired workouts and healthy recipes. Some of the top picks on her channel include Upper Body Pilates Workout, Flat Lower Tummy Pilates, Quick Morning Pilates Routine, and 3-Minute Inner Thigh Burn.

How We Chose the Best Online Pilate Classes

Our picks are a mix of free- and subscription-based Pilates classes. Some of the paid programs we reviewed offer a free trial period where you can “try before you buy,” with Daily Burn coming in first with a 30-day trial. Unlike other fitness programs, Pilates is a method that takes time to learn. To help with the process, we included subscription services like Pilatesology and Daily Burn, which offer comprehensive programs that allow you to move through a series of classes that get progressively more difficult.

And, since we recognize that Pilates can be intense and very challenging, we also included Athletic Mat Flow, which has an athletic focus. Finally, because Pilates requires expertly trained instructors, we also considered the teachers’ training, with Pilates on Fifth coming in as a top pick for instructors and advanced students looking to improve their practice.

What Are Online Pilates Classes?

Pilates classes are a mix of core work, total body toning, and flexibility that improve overall strength and posture alignment. Classes are generally 10 to 45 minutes in length and include a thorough warm-up and cool-down. The basic Pilates Mat classes are appropriate for all fitness levels, and you don’t need to be familiar with the method to start. Once you’ve mastered the core principles and exercises like Rolling Like a Ball, Swan, Swimming, Single-Leg Circle, Double Leg Stretch, and Hundred, you can move on to intermediate and advanced Pilates classes that introduce new exercises, incorporate props, combine mat with barre, and add cardio intervals.

Who Should Take Pilates Classes?

Pilates is a low-impact activity that is appropriate for most people. However, if you’re new to this exercise style or you’ve never taken a Pilates class, it’s a good idea to start with a beginner or introductory course, regardless of your fitness level. This will allow you to learn the basic principles and cues the instructor will use at higher levels. The majority of a mat class is spent on the floor, so if lying prone or getting up and down off the ground is contraindicated, talk with your doctor before trying a class. A skilled instructor will be able to offer modifications and alternatives such as chair Pilates.

How Much Do Classes Typically Cost?

In general, online Pilates classes are either free or part of a paid subscription service that can cost between roughly $10 and $30 per month. Live studio classes will cost about $20 to $50 per class, depending on the location, brand, and instructor’s experience.

For example, a Pilates on Fifth class in the studio can range from around $28 to $41, with multiple course packages bringing the cost down. That said, many health clubs and gyms offer Pilates Mat in their lineup of lessons that come with your membership.

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Article Sources
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  1. Journal of the American Aging Association. “Effects of a Pilates exercise program on muscle strength, postural control and body composition: results from a pilot study in a group of post-menopausal women.”