We Tried The Workout Currently Trending On Instagram

And it's more than just a fitness fad...

Chances are you’ve come across The Pilates Class on your daily Instagram scroll. The feed is a vision of nude and earthy tones: sunlit studios, chic athleisure sets and glowy “I just worked out” skin. There’s influencer Tash Oakley sweating it out in front of her laptop; founder Jacqui Kingswell stretching on a deck against a picture-perfect seascape; and a group of monochrome-clad women taking the class aboard a superyacht. Or perhaps you’ve seen the logo splashed on the side of buses and buildings, alongside Kingswell’s megawatt smile.

Since the online pilates platform launched in mid-2020, it’s become a viral hit, amassing 82,000 followers including a number of high-profile devotees. But while The Pilates Class has all the underpinnings of a social media sensation, it couldn’t be further from your typical Insta-workout fad.

Kingswell, a former professional dancer who lives in Sydney, launched the platform in a moment of panic during the early stages of the pandemic. “In March I got a call from all the studio owners where I taught saying that they were shutting down,” she recalls. “I was crying in the car thinking, I don’t how I’m going to pay my mortgage.”

And so she decided to turn her lemons into lemonade and take her popular workout classes online. “Overnight I thought I’d be happy if five members signed up, but I had 50. That’s when I realised that this was the future, so I got a proper website and rebranded, and The Pilates Class was born.”

The platform runs on a subscription basis and boasts an ever-expanding roster of at-home classes, all taught by Kingswell. Each has its roots in pilates/dance technique, ranging from high-intensity cardio to targeted strength sessions, barre, traditional pilates, stretching and meditation, along with pre- and post-natal options.

The aesthetic and marketing is unashamedly sleek, but it’s the philosophy behind the brand that really sets it apart. “This is not an 8-week challenge of thrashing your body that you won’t be able to sustain – it’s something you’ll be able to do until you’re 80,” explains Kingswell.

“Growing up, my fitness was dance, which was my passion. So the minute I had to go to a gym and work out to maintain my body shape, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that this was how it was for so many people,” she continues. “There’s not one part of me that will run on a treadmill for 10 kilometres to be skinny! And that carries through to my classes – The Pilates Class was never about ‘Come and get the perfect abs or the perfect booty.’ That’s a bonus and a lot of people do want the physical changes and that will happen over time, but above all it’s about really enjoying your time on your mat.”

Jacqui Kingswell
The Pilates Class founder Jacqui Kingswell

Having tried the classes, we can vouch for that. Some get your heart racing and challenge your stamina, others work the core or offer a grounding sense of calm. And while you can feel the burn the next day, these aren’t the kind of workouts you’ll hate or dread. Instead, they invite you to connect with your body and breath, and simultaneously get the dopamine pumping.

“That’s something my members communicate to me on a daily basis. It’s not, ‘Oh my gosh, my abs are amazing,’ it’s ‘I felt really motivated during class and I feel aware and more confident within my body,’” she says. “That’s why I’m doing this, I want women to be able to love their body.”

And for proof that’s more than just a savvy tagline? Scroll through the aforementioned feed, and you won’t find a before-and-after photo in sight.

To find out more or sign up, visit

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