Celebrity Devotees

Pilates vs Yoga?

Both Pilates and yoga are often seen as trendy (and bendy!) celebrity choices when it comes to fitness. There is sometimes even a Pilates vs yoga debate regarding which is better. Therefore, we thought it would be useful to look at what celebrities say about their experience with Pilates. Below we list a range of testimonials from celebrities who chose Pilates. There’s a reason why they chose Pilates over other forms of exercise and fitness such as yoga. Read more to find out why….

Testimonials from some famous devotees…

The list of celebrities who do Pilates is almost endless, from Liz Hurley, Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna to Martin Amis, John Cleese and Ian McKellen. It would almost be quicker to compile a list of celebrities who don’t do Pilates.


“I have been going for 13 years… How do I measure the success of Pilates? Certainly, I emerge with a tremendous sense of well-being, and even if I do call at the coffee shop for a croissant afterwards, I still feel my health has been served. I remain active and relatively agile.”

– Joan Bakewell, writer and broadcaster, on the secret of her health and agility at the age of 70 – from an article in The Guardian.


“These [Pilates] exercises are really very necessary when you do a lot of sitting… They keep you flexible enough to pull on your socks as you get older… When I get out of the car now, I don’t go arrggghhh…”

– Martin Amis, novelist and twice-a-week Pilates devotee.


“I do Pilates four or five times a week. The benefits are subtle, but it increases your flexibility and really tones you up. It also straightens your spine and improves your posture. In the past eight years, I’ve grown more than two and a half inches (6cm). I am 5ft 7ins (1.70m) and I am very pleased with that.”

– Belinda Carlisle, singer and pop icon.


Pilates for Actors

“I don’t like to waste time. I want to spend it doing the best possible thing for me. Pilates has given me the greatest returns. It sucks your butt up, tones the legs and shoulders. Nothing else gives you definition like it.”

– Lucy Lawless, best-known for portraying Xena, Warrior Princess


“Now I have muscles of steel and could easily deal with giving birth.”

– Hugh Grant, actor and film star


“I have done every diet in the book over the years. What made the big difference was the exercise. Now I do a lot of walking, Pilates and some running and swimming.”

– Lorraine Kelly, TV presenter


“I’m a Pilates person. It’s great. I had a hip problem. I had a chronic back, a pinched nerve and a hip problem and it’s completely solved all of it. I love it. It makes me feel like I’m taller.”

– Jennifer Anniston, TV and movie star


“Pilates is the only exercise programme that has changed my body and made me feel great.”

– Jamie Lee Curtis, movie star


“What do I like most about Pilates? ‘The fact that I can really feel my body working. I might do 250 crunches but my body is so used to them that I don’t really feel them. With Pilates, I can really feel [my abdominals] even if I only do six or 12 repetitions.”

– Joan Collins, actress and writer, who first started doing Pilates over 30 years ago


“You have turned me into a Ferrari; my husband thanks you.’”

– Ruby Wax, actress, writer and TV personality, to her Pilates teacher


Also Pilates for Athletes

“It helps with a lot of injury prevention. I’d recommend it to anyone.”

– Elena Baltacha, British former tennis player


“Athers suggested I try daily Pilates exercises. He swore by them.”

– Andrew Flintoff, former England fast bowler, on the advice he got from Mike Atherton, former England cricket captain, on how to tackle his back problems. Flintoff took the advice and was soon back to fitness and form.


Finally Pilates For Injuries

“Pilates is not just for the fit. It is wonderful for injuries. My damaged shoulder was taken in hand, special exercises prescribed, attentive care always available. A younger member of our group recently had a hip operation and Pilates helped her recovery; another broke a leg and arrived for classes encased in plaster. Already she’s back on her feet. I stop short of making medical claims. I merely report what I have seen.”

– Joan Bakewell, writer and broadcaster, on the secret of her health and agility at the age of 70 – from a recent article in The Guardian.