The Pilates Effect (Paperback)

Heroes Behind the Revolution

By Stacey Redfield, Sarah Holmes, Kevin Bowen (Foreword by)

Red Lightning Books, 9781684350865, 200pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (9/1/2019)

List Price: 17.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


With over 9 million Americans practicing Pilates, the popular core exercise system is taking the world by storm. While many find the system helps to strengthen the core, improve posture, and recover from or prevent injuries and pain, Pilates has been clouded in controversy since the beginning. Its origin story is one of greed, ego, celebrities, and lies, with heated legal controversy that threatened the industry.

In The Pilates Effect, Stacey Redfield and Sarah Holmes reveal the hidden history of Pilates. From humble beginnings, Joseph Pilates founded the groundbreaking regimen in New York City and worked closely with his partner Clara to rehabilitate and renew dancers who had been injured or were aging. Although Joseph's core strengthening regime was touted as "fifty years ahead of its] time," finance and health issues plagued Joe and Clara's business. A small and devoted group of followers, including Carola Trier, would fight to spread the practice that they felt gave them a second chance at life and rehabilitated their bodies and souls.

A fascinating and inspiring story of fitness in America, The Pilates Effect showcases the people and events that formed an iconic industry. Redfield and Holmes offer inspiration and practical advice for how Pilates can offer change for everyday people regardless of gender, ethnicity, or background.

About the Author

Stacey Redfield is an actress, model, and spokesperson. Her Pilates career began after over a decade of weight training, aerobics, and two babies didn't leave many options for exercise. She quickly became a believer in the health impacts of the system and opened the Physical Methods Pilates Studio in 2000. Sarah Holmes is passionate about sharing the benefits of Pilates. The Pilates Effect grew out of her life experiences and doctoral research at the University of California, Riverside, where she examined the practice of Pilates as it relates to race, class, and gender. She taught as an Assistant Professor of Dance and holds an MA Dance, Mills College, and a BA Economics, Scripps College, and she has published critical scholarship about Pilates. She is certified with Polestar Pilates, Peak Pilates, and the Pilates Method Alliance and worked as a Master Instructor for Peak Pilates and, more recently, Balanced Body. Her current research intersects with complexity science, somatic practice, contact improvisation, and critical race studies.