Jules Hardman

Want to take your Pilates workout to the next level? Here’s an idea…

“What’s the difference between HIP Pilates and our usual Pilates classes?”- This is something I’ve been asked recently since adding this new session to my timetable.


HIP stands for High Intensity Power

The aim of the class is to get off the mat and reintroduce ourselves to the ‘global’ muscles of the body. This makes us stronger which in turn, makes us healthier.


HIP is the brainchild of Lisa Bradshaw – a Pilates teacher with over 20 years experience. She co-authored bestseller The Pilates Bible and was Education Manager for Body Control Pilates – Europe’s largest teacher training organisation – for many years. In her own words; “I have witnessed my Pilates clients with pride over the years; training their bodies to be aligned, controlled, strong and generally fine tuned. But then what? The body is surely ready to be put into action, to move.”


So HIP Pilates was born: a 50 minute session involving lunges, squats and plank sequences whilst staying true to the integrity of Joseph Pilates.


HIP Pilates is a more dynamic form of Pilates that combines the precision and focus of a traditional Pilates session with the dynamic energy of a high intensity workout.

Combining core strength, balance and coordination with an energetic cardiovascular element HIP Pilates is the answer to many people’s search for a functional ‘feel good’ workout.


To make it easier to understand, here is a comparison of regular Pilates vs. HIP Pilates:


  • SLOW movement vs. DYNAMIC movement


  • Majority ON the mat lying down vs. majority OFF the mat standing up


  • STABILISING muscles worked vs. larger, GLOBAL muscles worked


  • PREPARE for correct movement vs. EXECUTE correct movement



However, CONTROL is an important element of both types of class and is something even the most dedicated Pilates client and teacher finds challenging when taking the class. Doing mat Pilates classes definitely helps when it comes to HIP Pilates, HIP still focuses on alignment and posture – just at the same time as squatting, lunging and planking!


Power Pilates is most suitable for those who are injury free though, anyone with knee or hip problems would benefit hugely from the precise nature of the weight-bearing lunges and squats. Emphasis is on tracking the knees over toes at all times, therefore strengthening the quads.


The class is fast paced, but importantly LOW impact. Therefore you will increase your heart rate safely whilst burning fat, strengthening your lungs and building lean muscle mass. The class also uses light hand weights, which improve bone health.


Perhaps you have tried a ‘bootcamp’ or ‘circuits’ style class before and there are certainly similarities to the HIP method. However, the Pilates foundation to all the exercises means you get so much more out of them.